When you’ve read through the Gospels, have you ever tried to put yourself mentally there and wonder what you would have thought or done had you been there to see and hear what the Apostles and disciples actually saw and heard?
For about three years they travelled with Jesus, from town to town and city to city, watching Him heal multitudes and minister His truth to all that would hear. Some or all of the Apostles and disciples of Jesus, were witnesses to, participated in or experienced, the following partial list of New Testament occurrences or events:
They saw Jesus turn water into wine
They saw Jesus fill nets with many fish when none had been caught before
They saw Jesus heal multitudes from different diseases
They saw Jesus restore limbs and hearing and sight
They saw Jesus feed multitudes with little food and have much left over
They saw Jesus raise those who were dead to life again
They saw Jesus walk on water and calm the raging storm
They saw Jesus clear the Temple, out of righteous anger
They saw Jesus transfigured with Moses and Elijah
They heard God the Father confirm that Jesus was His Son
They heard God the Father tell everyone to listen to Jesus
They heard Jesus speak of the past, present and future
They heard Jesus speak truth about material and spiritual realities
They heard Jesus explain the intent and will of our Heavenly Father
They heard Jesus speak of the Law, prophecies and traditions
They heard Jesus speak of our transgressions and the need to repent and be born again of the Spirit
They heard Jesus speak of His own death and resurrection
They heard Jesus speak of the New Covenant, ushered in by His death, where our sins are forgiven because of our faith and trust in what He accomplished for us on the cross
They witnessed Jesus being beaten, scourged and crucified on the cross
They witnessed Jesus being buried in a tomb
They witnessed the empty tomb
They witnessed the resurrected Jesus multiple times over 40 days
They witnessed the ascension of Jesus going to the Father
They experienced the empowering promised gift of the Holy Spirit
They experienced the ushering in of the Gentiles (non-Jewish believers)
They experienced the birth and growth of the body of Christ, the Church
They willingly gave their lives to spread the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
Admittedly, these are just some of the things that the Apostles and disciples of Jesus Christ say they literally saw, heard and experienced. And most of these occurrences happened in that “about three year” time slot, not a really long period of time but not insignificant either. But it was obviously more than sufficient time for the Apostles and disciples to become thoroughly convinced that Jesus was indeed, the Son of God, the promised Messiah (Matthew 16:16 NIV).
Considering that Jesus told us that God is a Spirit and that one must believe that He exists in order to receive the gift He willingly offers (Hebrews 11:6 NIV), and considering that day to day faith or trust in God is the vital element that needs to be exercised in a relationship with God (Galatians 2:20 NIV), what more could God our Father possibly have done through Jesus, His Son, that would NOT have negated the trust (faith) prerequisite necessary to have a relationship with God, because He is a spirit?
The supernatural capabilities of Jesus were clearly self evident (divine authentication). The definitive WAY to be in union with God through faith was declared (John 3:16 NIV). The definitive TRUTH about material and spiritual realities were made known (John 6:63 NIV) and the promised resurrected eternal LIFE was demonstrated (John 14:19-20 NIV).
The miracles that Jesus did and the truths that Jesus spoke were witnessed to within the written Gospels and Epistles of the New Testament by the Apostles and disciples. These miracles validated the supernatural authenticity of who Jesus was and is. And as Jesus foretold, they did kill him on the cross and again as He foretold, three days later, He did rise again from the dead.
No mere man, anywhere, in any religion or in any recorded history, has EVER done that. And this very same resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, is witnessed to, by the Apostles and disciples, of the New Testament. Did they all believe and understand exactly what it was that they were saying? Yes they absolutely did! In fact, they were acutely aware of what it meant if Jesus was not who He said He was and had not in fact, risen from the dead!
1 Corinthians 15:14-19 NIV “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
So the thing is, they knew exactly what truths they were passing onto us, those of us who have not seen, and they deliberately and specifically recorded what they had seen and heard in the written word so that we also might believe. This is their testimony!
John 20:29-31 NIV “Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
So, what would you have thought, had you been there to see what Jesus actually did and hear all these things that He told us about? Would you have believed Him and become one of His disciples? Would you have acknowledged that He indeed is the Son of God and followed Him?
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!