Christ in disguise? A lesson for us in John 21?

Many times I feel, in my quest for Truth, that I am on an ocean where the waves are so high I cannot see my destination. I have to trust in God to bring me through, trusting in His promise of “Seek, and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you,  ask and it will be be given to you”. The caveat here, of course, is that we will get what we seek and that includes “another Jesus” or “another gospel”. The key is whether we seek in honesty and humility, thinking highly of Christ and nothing of ourselves. That’s a tough one sometimes, isn’t it?

Anyway, my real point is that as I was reading John 21 this morning, I was struck by the fact that the disciples, who were out fishing in spite of the fact that they had already seen the most amazing proof of Christ’s resurrection, didn’t recognize Jesus by sight in verse 4. They also didn’t recognize Him by sight when they were with Him at breakfast in vs.12-14. So, how did they know that this was Christ?

It appears it was because of what He said and did that they, John being the most perceptive, figured He must be Christ Jesus. The words of John make it plain, I think, that Jesus did not appear to them in a familiar form. Why else would John say “None of the disciples ventured to question Him “Who are You?” In a related appearance, when Jesus appeared to other disciples on the road to Emmaus, they did not recognize Him until they had pieced His words and actions together and come to that realization.

Now, we know that Jesus appeared in a physical body (Luke 24:38-43), but apparently Jesus did not always appear in a familar form. Even John says in 1 John 3:2 that only when Christ returns and we are resurrected and glorified with our new immortal bodies will we “be like Him, and shall see Him as He is”. So, I’m thinking ( since I’ve never read or heard this expounded on) there is a lesson in this for us which reinforces what Jesus often implied: that we human beings always tend to judge things by the outward appearance and let that sometimes overrule the evidence of something quite different in truth.

I pray that God will help us to recognize fruit and works of the Spirit rather than base our approval of things on feelings, first impressions and intuition. We all need to learn to “judge righteous judgment” concerning those who claim to be Christ’s and the many different “gospels” that are being taught. If it’s an apple tree, it’ll grow nothing but apples. No walnuts, no oranges, and certainly no prickly pears!

For an interesting take on the significance of the numbers in the Gospel of John check out this article.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by memnan on October 11, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Very interesting…wolves are famous for wearing sheep’s clothing as well…

    The science of numbers can be interpreted in so many areas that we can indeed accept the belief/truth that every thing has a numerical basis…but who interprets the numbers and why?

    While I do not believe it is wrong to study such things…we should be carefully aware of the source.

  2. Thanks bro for a very thought provoking post. Amen, man looks on the outward, but God looks on the inward.
    Thanks

  3. Thank you both for the comments!
    And Nancy, dear, I only point to the “numbers” post as a matter of interst. I certainly don’t think anyone should base their understanding of the truth on synchronicity! But, it IS cool to see how thinsg seem to “add up”.

  4. Posted by memnan on November 2, 2008 at 6:11 pm

    OK Mr. Smarty, here’s a link to the Nova program Hunting the Hidden Dimension, about the mathematics behind nature. We watched it and I thought you needed to see it…You can watch online if you didn’t already see it…*: )

  5. Posted by memnan on November 2, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/fractals/program.html

    It helps if you actually get the link!

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