Why Didn't Jesus' Disciples Recognize Him?
Chris. I've been reading over the scriptures, about the resurrection, that
we've been talking about. You've brought up a few interesting points, but
I still believe that the bible proves that Jesus rose as an invisible
spirit, not bodily.
if Jesus rose in the same body that he was executed in, how come nobody
Chris: Like who?
John: In John chapter 20, Mary Magdalene was there at the grave site. Jesus appeared to her and verse 14 says, "After saying these things, she turned back and viewed Jesus standing, but she did not discern it was Jesus". So, how could Jesus have been in the same body if Mary didn't even recognize him?
Chris: I think Mary didn't recognize Jesus for several reasons, John. For one, verse 1 says that she arrived at the empty tomb while it was still dark. Even if you allow time for her to go and tell Peter and John the news, and then return herself, it may still have been shadowy. On top of that, Mary was weeping, which would have clouded her vision even more. And finally, John, the very last person that Mary expected to see alive that day was Jesus Himself. It probably just didn't register in her mind, initially.
John: That may be true for Mary's account, but what about the two disciples who walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus? They had about three hours with him and still didn't know who he was; and the bible says nothing about it being dark, or anything about them crying.
Chris: Actually, John, this passage proves even further that Jesus did, in fact, rise from the dead in the very same body that was killed.
John: Are you serious?
Chris: Very. Look at verse 16. It says, "but their eyes were kept from recognizing him". John, if Jesus did appear to them in a different body, why did their eyes have to be restrained from recognizing Him? If that were the case, they wouldn't have known it was Him anyway. If you go to verse 31, it says, "At that their eyes were fully opened and they recognized him". You see, when God unveiled their eyes, they knew Him immediately.
John: But if what you say is true, then Jesus' ransom sacrifice was invalid.
John: Because he would be receiving back his life in the flesh that he already offered up for sin. In John 6:51, Jesus said, "the bread that I shall give is my flesh in behalf of the life of the world". If Jesus received back his body, then his sacrifice is worthless.
Chris: John, the Watchtower is reading something into the text that is not there. For one thing, Jesus said that He would "give" His flesh for the life of the world, not "give up" His flesh forever. If you follow the Watchtower's reasoning on this, you would be forced to conclude that Jesus never returned to heaven.
Chris: John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son". If the Jehovah's Witnesses want to be consistent with their interpretation, they would have to say that since God gave His Son, He could never take Him back again.
John: I see.
Chris: The testimony is rock-solid, John. Jesus Christ rose from the dead, bodily and visibly, the same way He is coming again. Anyone can claim a spiritual resurrection. Any religion can say that their leader rose as an invisible spirit. But a spirit resurrection is no resurrection at all. Jesus' resurrection is unique because His body was never found. His body was never found because it rose. No honest man can deny the facts. Both history and scripture prove it. What do you say, John, will you believe it?top of page