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From the Minister


Thought for the Day Friday 24th April


There are three more appearances of Jesus before his final appearance to the disciples on Ascension Day. Oddly two of those appearances are not recorded in the gospels, and we only know about them because of an almost passing comment in Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.

“He appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James”. (1 Corinthians 15:6 & 7)

There are two thoughts that I want to draw out from these verses. The first of those is about the Bible. Is it not strange that there is no account of these resurrection appearances of Jesus in the gospels? The Bible is not a history book in the normal sense of that term. The gospels are a selective account of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. They do not make the claim to be a complete history, in fact towards the end of John’s gospel we are told that they are not to be treated as though they were a historical textbook.

“Jesus did many other miraculous 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 Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name”. (John 20:30 & 31).

“Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them was written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written”. (John 21:25)

The gospels are not a complete history, they are not a historical text book; they do not record events in chronological order. When we treat them in this way we are in danger of being led astray. The gospels are theological, spiritual writings that are designed not just to tell the story of Jesus, but to lead people to faith in him, and there to find life in all its fullness. There may well be a Bible in nearly every house in the country, but I suspect that in these times few people outside the church have opened the book and read of Jesus. If they did, I believe that the gospels would do that which they were written for, and lead people to faith and everlasting life with Jesus.

The second thought is the one I think Paul is getting at when he writes to the Corinthians. In the text quoted he seems to be saying: “If you don’t believe me – here are the witnesses to the resurrection – go and ask them yourself”. We can no longer challenge people to do that, but we can still say as we witness and testify, that we have met with the risen Jesus, and in that meeting we have found newness of life. We have been born again.

Steve Wallis

Newbridge Baptist Church
Llanafan Road, Newbridge, Powys, LD1 6LY
Telephone The Minister: 01597 860185
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