Daily Words of God: Knowing God | Excerpt 81
February 28, 2021
Jesus Eats Bread and Explains the Scriptures After His Resurrection
Luk 24:30–32 And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and broke, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened to us the scriptures?
The Disciples Give Jesus Broiled Fish to Eat
Luk 24:36–43 And as they thus spoke, Jesus Himself stood in the middle of them, and said to them, Peace be to you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, Why are you troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as you see Me have. And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, He said to them, Have you here any meat? And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And He took it, and did eat before them.
Next, we will take a look at the passages of scripture above. The first passage is a recounting of the Lord Jesus eating bread and explaining the scriptures after His resurrection, and the second passage is a recounting of the Lord Jesus eating a broiled fish. How do these two passages help you to know God’s disposition? Can you imagine the kind of picture you get from these descriptions of the Lord Jesus eating bread and then a broiled fish? Can you imagine, if the Lord Jesus were standing in front of you eating bread, how you might feel? Or if He were eating at the same table with you, eating fish and bread with people, what kind of feeling you would have in that moment? If you would feel very close to the Lord, that He is very intimate with you, then this feeling is right. This is exactly the result that the Lord Jesus wanted to bring about by eating bread and fish in front of the gathered people after His resurrection. If the Lord Jesus had only spoken with people after His resurrection, if they could not feel His flesh and bones, but instead felt Him to be an unreachable Spirit, how would they have felt? Would they not have been disappointed? Feeling disappointed, would the people not have felt abandoned? Would they not have felt a distance between themselves and the Lord Jesus Christ? What kind of negative impact would this distance have created on people’s relationship with God? People would certainly have felt afraid, that they dared not come close to Him, and thus they would have had an attitude of keeping Him at a respectful distance. From then on, they would have severed their intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and returned to a relationship between mankind and God up in heaven as it was before the Age of Grace. The spiritual body that people could not touch or feel would have brought about the eradication of their intimacy with God, and it would also have caused that intimate relationship, established during the Lord Jesus Christ’s time in the flesh, with no distance between Him and humans, to cease to exist. The only things that were stirred in people by the spiritual body were feelings of fear, avoidance, and a wordless gaze. They would not have dared to get close or to engage in dialogue with Him, let alone follow, trust, or look up to Him. God did not wish to see this type of feeling that humans had for Him. He did not want to see people avoiding Him or removing themselves from Him; He only wanted people to understand Him, come close to Him, and to be His family. If your own family, your children, saw you but did not recognize you, and did not dare to come close to you but always avoided you, if you could not gain their understanding for everything you had done for them, how would that make you feel? Would it not be painful? Would you not be heartbroken? That is precisely what God feels when people avoid Him. So, after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus still appeared to people in His form of flesh and blood, and still ate and drank with them. God sees people as family, and God also wants mankind to see Him as the One dearest to them; only in this way can God truly gain people, and only in this way can people truly love and worship God. Now can you understand My intention in extracting these two passages of scripture in which the Lord Jesus eats bread and explains the scriptures after His resurrection, and in which the disciples give Him a broiled fish to eat?
It can be said that earnest thought had been put into the series of things that the Lord Jesus said and did after His resurrection. These things were full of the kindness and affection that God held toward humanity, and full also of the cherishment and meticulous care He had for the intimate relationship He had established with mankind during His time in the flesh. Even more, they were full of the nostalgia and the longing He felt for His life of eating and living together with His followers during His time in the flesh. So, God did not want people to feel a distance between God and man, and nor did He want mankind to distance themselves from God. Even more, He did not want mankind to feel that the Lord Jesus after His resurrection was no longer the Lord who had been so intimate with people, that He was no longer together with mankind because He had returned to the spiritual world, returned to the Father whom people could never see or reach. He did not want people to feel that any difference in status had arisen between Him and mankind. When God sees people who want to follow Him but who keep Him at a respectful distance, His heart is in pain because that means that their hearts are very far from Him and that it will be very difficult for Him to gain their hearts. So if He had appeared to people in a spiritual body that they could not see or touch, this would have once again distanced man from God, and it would have led mankind to mistakenly see Christ after His resurrection as having become lofty, of a different kind than humans, and someone who could no longer share a table and eat with man because humans are sinful, filthy, and can never draw close to God. In order to dispel these misunderstandings of mankind, the Lord Jesus did a number of things that He used to do in the flesh, as recorded in the Bible: “He took bread, and blessed it, and broke, and gave to them.” He also explained the scriptures to them, as He used to do in the past. All of these things that the Lord Jesus did made every person who saw Him feel that the Lord had not changed, that He was still the same Lord Jesus. Even though He had been nailed to the cross and had experienced death, He had been resurrected, and had not left mankind. He had returned to be among humans, and nothing about Him had changed. The Son of man standing in front of people was still the same Lord Jesus. His demeanor and His way of conversing with people felt so familiar. He was still so full of lovingkindness, grace, and tolerance—He was still the same Lord Jesus who loved others as He loved Himself, who could forgive mankind seventy times seven. As He always had before, He ate with people, discussed the scriptures with them, and even more importantly, just as before, He was made of flesh and blood and could be touched and seen. The Son of man as He was allowed people to feel intimacy, to feel at ease, and to feel the joy of regaining something that had been lost. With great ease, they bravely and confidently began to rely on and look up to this Son of man who could forgive mankind of their sins. They also began to pray in the name of the Lord Jesus without hesitation, to pray to obtain His grace, His blessing, and to obtain peace and joy from Him, to gain care and protection from Him, and they began to heal the sick and cast out demons in the name of the Lord Jesus.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III
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