by William F Henness
There were at least 12 different people who did not recognize the risen Jesus of Nazareth, assuming he did rise.
"Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, the worshiped him; but some doubted." (Matt. 28:16,17)
The "some" could have been between two and more. But they had lived with him three and a half years, but "some" when they saw him, doubted it was really he. Why?
"But their eyes were holden (restricted) that they should not recognize him." (Luke 24:16)
These were two disciples on the road to Emmaus, who no doubt knew him but did not recognize him at all. Why not?
"And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus." (John 20:14)
This was Mary Magdalene, who was probably the closest disciple and the one who loved him most, and yet, she saw Jesus and did not know who he was. Why not?
"But when the morning was now come, Jesus stood on the shore; but the disciples knew not that it was Jesus." (John 21:4)
These were seven close disciples, namely, Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathaniel, James, John and two other unnamed. It was morning light. (John 21:2) Why?
When Jesus was allegedly ascended up into the heavens, two angels said to his watching disciples:
"..., ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." (Acts 1:11)
Question. Which "same Jesus" will come again? Was it the one who lived with his disciples for three and one half years, or was "this same Jesus", the one that those closest to him did not recognize?
Now, there is one final twist to Jesus' appearance after his alleged resurrection. John describes him one more time.
"His head and his hair were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were like a flame of fire; and his feet like fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice like the sound of many waters...; and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and his countenance was as the sun shineth in its strength." (Rev. 1:14-16)
I want to purpose a question. Is it possible that the reason so many close disciples did not immediately recognize him after his death, was because it was someone else pretending to be the resurrected Jesus? And then there is the description in Rev. 1, by John, which was probably the result of hallucinations.
I'll tell you one thing. If I met someone that I knew very well, after they died, I would know them. Unless that person was someone else.
Online Reading List
- An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish by Bertrand Russell (1943)
- Bible Teaching and Religious Practice by Mark Twain
- God is Imaginary
- Is there an Artificial God? by Douglas Adams (1998)
- Skeptics Annotated Bible
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine (1795)
- Which Way? by Robert Ingersoll (1884).
- Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell (1927)