TEEN TREE OF LIFE

Waiting on The Lord Jesus Christ - Part 2

August 7, 2022

 

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on The Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

 

In chapter JOHN 20, the apostle John presents us with the narrative that lies at the heart of the Gospel: Jesus Christ, Who was crucified, has been raised. We read how Mary Magdalene, Peter, and an unnamed disciple discover that His Tomb is now empty: the outward and visible sign that He has conquered death. And we are witnesses to the moment when Mary meets her Risen Lord. Her grief turns to joy as she declares the good news, “I have seen the Lord.”

 

Here's a portion of the chapter: But Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she cried, she bent over to look into the tomb. She saw two angels dressed in white. They were seated where Jesus’ body had been. One of them was where Jesus’ head had been laid. The other sat where his feet had been placed. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said. “I don’t know where they have put him.” Then she turned around and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?” She thought he was the gardener. So she said, “Sir, did you carry him away? Tell me where you put him. Then I will go and get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him. Then she cried out in the Aramaic language, “Rabboni!” Rabboni means Teacher. Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me. I have not yet ascended to the Father. Instead, go to those who believe in me. Tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news. She said, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.  (JOH 20:1-18 New International Reader’s Version)

 

When you read that The Lord Jesus Christ tells Mary to “go to those who believe in me. Tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God,” it’s clear what a wonderful revelation this was about the new relationship that had developed between them. Can you see how He was stressing His Humanity to them?  He was also stressing the hope that was now theirs because one day, they would be like Him. This was not to say that Jesus and the disciples were of the same substance, for His Words are “My Father and your Father, and My God and your God,” not “Our Father and Our God.” Jesus is Son by Nature, but those who believe are sons by adoption.

 

GAL 4:5 (New International Reader’s Version) tells us: He came to set free those who were under the authority of the law. He wanted us to be adopted as children with all the rights children have. The Lord Jesus Christ’s Relationship with God is as a Member of the Eternal Triune Godhead, but we now share in an intimacy with God we had not known before. This is the same hope that is given to all who place their faith in The Lord Jesus Christ for Salvation from their sins and follow Him. There is a waiting that goes with this hope. Think about that: you hope as you wait. It’s the same thing with faith in that there is certain amount of waiting in faith.

 

Now look at what Jesus said in MATT 12:50 (New American Standard Bible): “For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother, and sister, and mother.” The apostle Paul wrote: So he decided long ago to adopt us. He adopted us as his children with all the rights children have. He did it because of what Jesus Christ has done. It pleased God to do it. (EPH 1:5 New International Reader’s Version) The apostle John eloquently wrote: See what amazing love the Father has given us! Because of it, we are called children of God. And that’s what we really are! The world doesn’t know us because it didn’t know him. (1 JOH 3:1 New International Reader’s Version) Don’t these verses fill you with great hope and the patience to wait for God in every circumstance?

 

There is one other thing that Jesus said to the women who had been at the tomb that is recorded in MATT 28:  9-10 (New International Reader’s Version): “Greetings!” he said. They came to him, took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee. There they will see me.” This is why the disciples were now at the Sea of Tiberias in JOH 21 which we looked at last week. John probably uses this name for the Sea of Galilee because it would have been more familiar to those he was writing to. Back in JOHN 6:1, he used both names to explain what he was talking about. So, they were at the Sea of Tiberias because Jesus had told them to meet Him there.

 

In JOH 21:1-2 (New American Standard Bible), there is a reference to seven disciples being present: After these things Jesus revealed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias, and He revealed Himself in this way: Simon Peter, Thomas who was called Didymus, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of His disciples were together. Simon Peter was one of The Lord Jesus Christ’s very first disciples. He was introduced to Jesus by his brother Andrew. They were from Bethsaida on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Philip was also from that city. Peter was married and had a home in Capernaum where he and Andrew had worked as fishermen. They were good friends with James and John who were their fishing partners. Peter was bold and impulsive which resulted in his taking action at times before thinking things through. But his boldness made him a natural leader even among the disciples. John uses both names for him here. Simon, a Greek contraction of the Hebrew, “Simeon,” was his given name. Jesus called him “Peter” (or Cephas – Aramaic) meaning, “rock.”

 

Simon Peter was extremely devoted to Jesus Christ. Peter followed Him so closely, that if Jesus stopped suddenly, Peter would run into him. That’s why it’s Peter that jumps out of the boat in the middle of a storm to go to The Lord Jesus Christ Who was walking on the water. It is Peter that boasts that he would defend Jesus to his own death and later pulls out his sword and starts swinging it until The Lord tells him to put it away. Peter is scared, but he still goes to Jesus’ trial. Then, it is Peter who boldly rushes into His Tomb. It is also Peter who is the first of the twelve to whom Jesus reveals Himself in LUK 24:34. Peter is completely devoted to The Lord Jesus Christ.

 

In JOH 21:1-2, Thomas is additionally identified by his nickname, “Didymus,” which means “twin.” Though people often refer to him as “doubting Thomas,” he was not really any more doubting than the other disciples, because they didn’t believe the report of Jesus Christ’s Resurrection until after they had seen Him for themselves. Thomas was also a very devoted disciple of Jesus Christ, but he was given to bouts of sadness. Jesus Christ’s Crucifixion crushed his spirit and made him skeptical, but then seeing Him in the flesh – risen from the dead – reversed all that. He was now in Galilee waiting on The Lord Jesus Christ for further instructions.

 

The name Nathanael means, “God has given.” He is also referred to as Bartholomew, meaning “son of Tholmai.” He is from Cana of Galilee, which is only about five miles from Nazareth where Jesus grew up. He was a seeker of the Messiah and was introduced to Jesus by his friend Philip at the beginning of The Lord Jesus Christ’s Ministry. Jesus described Nathanael as someone without guile or deceit (JOH 1:45). He was a person who was up front and honest. He would speak his mind. He was a student of the Old Testament and had at first doubted that Jesus could be the Messiah since He was from Nazareth. But he learned the truth of Jesus’ Origin and Character and became one of His chosen followers.

 

The Sons of Zebedee are James and John. Their mother, Solome, was Mary’s sister, which makes them Jesus’ cousins. They had also been fishermen from the Capernaum area as Peter’s partners; so, waiting for Jesus in Galilee was simply a return home for them. They were also among the first of Jesus’ disciples. Along with Peter, they made up Jesus’ inner circle and were with Him at the raising of Jarius’ daughter, at the transfiguration, and nearby when Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Sons of Zebedee were zealous for Jesus and sometimes a bit rash, resulting in Our Lord naming them “sons of thunder.” Jesus also had to rebuke their personal ambitions at times. But they were committed followers.

 

The two other disciples are not identified. Some have speculated that they were Andrew and Philip since they were both from Galilee. That has led others to consider that they could be any of the other disciples (Matthew, James the Less and Simon the Zealot), but since John has not identified them, we don’t know.

{to be continued}

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