For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
Christ in us
“This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.” (Jn. 21.14).
Here is a passage that awakens curiosity and revelation. This was already the third time that Jesus appeared to his disciples, who had accompanied him for three years and a half in his ministry, but none of them recognized him physically: "But when the morning had now come, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus" (Jn. 21:4). Why was he presenting himself in a different form every time he appeared to his disciples?
This brings us a very beautiful revelation. Before his death Jesus said: “A little while, and you will not see Me; and again a little while, and you will see Me, because I go to the Father” (Jn. 16:16). Then in verse 22 he still says: "Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you".
Jesus wanted his disciples to know him, after his resurrection, not physically, but by faith in their hearts. "A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you" (Jn. 14:19-20).
The Lord teaches us that, even if we had known him according to the flesh, we no longer know him that way (2nd Cor. 5:16). That is why from now on, we must not know people according to the flesh. Although we reside in the flesh, we no longer walk in the flesh, but in the spirit (Romans 8:9).
He also teaches us not to judge according to appearance, but to believe that our brethren are the temple of the Spirit, the Lord’s dwelling place. No longer do God’s children live, but Christ: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).
When we look at a brother, we must not see his appearance, but see Christ in him. When we embrace a brother, we embrace Christ; when we love a brother, we love Christ; if we listen to a brother, we are listening to Christ. But when we sadden a brother, we sadden Christ, since “…Christ is all and in all” (Col. 3.11)
Jesus, today, does not present himself in a physical form, but presents himself through each of the members of his Body, even in the simplest and weak (1st Cor. 12:22). The disciples did not recognize him physically, but they knew he was the Lord (Jn. 21:12). This is also true with us, when our hearts are glad and burn for any member of his Church: “Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luc. 24:31-32).
May our eyes be opened to see the Lord Jesus in our brothers.