Connecting the Good News to Jesus Appearing to the Disciples

Connecting the Good News to
Jesus Appearing to the Disciples
Pastor Stephen "Red" Shumate
August 27th, 2016
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

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Connecting the Gospel: Jesus Appearing to the Disciples

Today we are talking about Jesus appearing to the disciples after He died and came back to life.

Acts 1:3 - After he had suffered, he also presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.

Why is Jesus appearing to the disciples important?
The answer, I believe, is found in what he told them…when he appeared to them.

Matthew 28:16-20
The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. 18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Here, Jesus gives us the great commission, which is our mission.  And what we need to connect here is that this is Jesus’ will for us.  If Jesus is the head of the body of Christ, and we are the body of Christ, then this is the instruction that the head is giving to the body.  He is telling us what we are to do from now until He returns.  This is His will, so the fact that Jesus appeared to His disciples and very clearly shared with us His will and His instructions for us, is very important.

How does this point to the good news?
How does Jesus appearing to His disciples after He had died and come back to life, point to the good news?  Quite simply….It erases all doubt…

If Jesus hadn’t appeared to anyone after his body went missing, then forever and always it would be a conspiracy theory.  If Mary and the disciples had come to an empty grave, but had never seen Jesus alive after that, then how could they know He was alive?

And this evidence was so strong and so moving that it compelled His disciples to go out and preach the gospel at the risk of imprisonment and torture.  To preach the gospel at the risk of their life.  People don’t do this over a hoax.

Where are we in the story of Jesus appearing to the Disciples?
This is the question we normally answer but this is not the question we are going to answer today.  Today, the question we are going to answer is “Where are we not?!” How are we not in the story of Jesus appearing to His disciples?

Luke 24:36-43
36 As they were saying these things, he himself stood in their midst. He said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. 38 “Why are you troubled?” he asked them. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” 40 Having said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 But while they still were amazed and in disbelief because of their joy, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 So they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence., 

In all of our texts today, Jesus appeared to His disciples…
He appeared to His Disciples to prove that He was not dead.
He appeared to His Disciples To prove that we serve a risen savior.
He appeared to His Disciples To prove that He Is in fact the Son of God.
He appeared to His Disciples To confirm all of the promises He has made will come true.
He appeared to His Disciples to tell us that He is going to prepare a place for us, and will one day come again.
He appeared to His Disciples to give them the great commission.

But Jesus will not appear to us...
Jesus will not appear to us to prove He is not dead

And why won’t He?  Because He has already given the world enough proof.  God proved that He is God of all things in the Old Testament with the 10 plagues, and in the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal.  God has already given more than enough proof that He is God of all things. And Jesus proved that He was the son of God through the miracles He Performed, through teaching with authority.  Jesus proved He was the son of God through is death and resurrection.

But I think there is another reason that He doesn’t constantly give us proof that He is who He said He is.  And I think this reason is best summed up by an answer that Lee Strobel, author of The Case For Christ, once gave in an interview.  Here is what Lee Strobel said:

“I think the evidence [of the resurrection] is important because it points us in the direction of Jesus being the Son of God, but if you ask me today why I believe, I don’t generally go back to the evidence, even though it’s there. It’s strong. It’s led me to that conviction. But, my belief today that Jesus is who He claimed to be is based on the fact that I’ve known Him now since Nov. 8, 1981. I have a personal relationship with Him. I think the evidence is important, but our relationship with God ultimately is how we know it’s true. And the Bible says that the Holy Spirit whispers to us, confirming to us that we are a son or daughter of God.” [emphasis added]

So, no… Jesus is not going to appear to us and we are not going to touch His wounds because 1. He has already left enough evidence behind for us to believe and number 2. More evidence doesn’t make our faith stronger…a better relationship with Him is what makes our faith stronger.

Do you constantly seek proof of God’s love in your life, 
or are you working on growing your faith?

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