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Monday, 10 October 2022
not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. Acts 10:41
Note: You can listen to today’s commentary courtesy of our friends at “Bible in Ten” podcast. (Click Here to listen)
You can also read this commentary, with music, courtesy of our friends at “Discern the Bible” on YouTube. (Click Here to listen), or at Rumble (Click Here to listen).
With Peter continuing his explanation concerning Christ Jesus to Cornelius, he just said that God had raised Him from the dead on the third day and caused Him to be seen. With that, he now clarifies what that means, saying, “not to all the people.”
To be seen by all the people was neither necessary nor would it be in accord with their conduct toward Him, having nailed Him to the cross (see Acts 2:23). Further, it would not be in line with Jesus’ words to the leaders as recorded in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. That parable ended with –
“But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’” Luke 16:31
Further, He had told them directly that they should not expect such a sign as is recorded in Luke 11:29-32. They had asked for a sign, but He had told them that no sign would be given “except the sign of Jonah.” The sign of Jonah was his preaching to the Ninevites.
In other words, for Jesus to reveal Himself to the entire nation would then exclude what God desires from His people, meaning faith. If one has sight, then faith is excluded. Jesus even told this directly to the apostles when speaking to Thomas –
“Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’” John 20:29
And even with the sight of their eyes, Jesus told them (in Luke 16:31 above) that in His resurrection they would still not be convinced. Therefore, it would have served no purpose for Him to reveal Himself to the people openly. In fact, it would have been counterproductive. Instead, He was seen only by a select few. As Peter says, “but to witnesses chosen before by God.”
It is a word found only here in Scripture, and it is a perfect participle, “having already been chosen.” The word is procheirotoneó. It signifies extending out the hand before. HELPS Word Studies says, “(‘God’s hand extended before’) illustrates how God, the Creator, plans out all the physical scenes of our lives before the foundation of the world (cf. Ps 139:16; Is 43:13 – 45:7). For example, the Lord’s hand determined who would be the initial witnesses of Christ’s resurrection.”
The idea of those select people seeing Jesus is that of being preordained to do so. For whatever reason, He determined these people, and no others, would be actual witnesses of the resurrection. But it was a sufficient number (see 1 Corinthians 15:3:3-8) to accomplish His purposes. Along with this thought, Peter continues with specific details concerning his words, saying, “even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead.”
There are three instances noted concerning this, Luke 24:30; Luke 24:42; John 21:13. The result of these occurrences is to absolutely solidify that Jesus Christ rose as a tangible, physical person. He was not an apparition, a spirit, or a hallucination of the mind. Rather, He ate with these people, they handled Him, and they spoke with Him.
Along with these instances are those of the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 15 (more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time) and the words of Luke in Acts 1 at the ascension. Such occasions provided enough substance to validate Christ’s resurrection and ascension while still leaving the matter to require faith by the nation of Israel. And from there, the testimony of those who saw Jesus after the resurrection now extends to all people of the world. The faith of Cornelius is an early testimony to this.
Life application: The note concerning those who ate and drank with Jesus is an important one. It was first documented in the gospels, and then it is repeated in Acts. Jesus physically and bodily arose from the dead. It is rather incredible to believe that there are people who claim that Jesus did not rise as a physical being even though they claim to believe in the Bible.
The Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example, deny a literal, physical resurrection of the Lord. They say, “Jesus’ own words showed that he would not be resurrected with his flesh-and-blood body” (JW.org). This is completely contrary to the words of the gospels, such as –
“And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, ‘Peace to you!’ 27 Then He said to Thomas, ‘Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.’” John 20:26, 27
In order to deny this, they submit the following commentary. Take time to carefully go through their words and see how many errors in thinking and in theology you can find. The analysis is a typical example of taking verse after verse out of context in order to deny the fundamental truth of who Jesus Christ is:
BE ADVISED, THESE OFFSET COMMENTS ARE FROM THE JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES AND THEY ARE UNSOUND DOCTRINE. THEY ARE GIVEN FOR INSTRUCTIONAL PURPOSES ONLY.
After Jesus’ Resurrection, Was His Body Flesh or Spirit?
The Bible’s answer
The Bible says that Jesus “was put to death in the flesh but made alive [resurrected] in the spirit.”—1 Peter 3:18; Acts 13:34; 1 Corinthians 15:45; 2 Corinthians 5:16.
Jesus’ own words showed that he would not be resurrected with his flesh-and-blood body. He said that he would give his “flesh in behalf of the life of the world,” as a ransom for mankind. (John 6:51; Matthew 20:28) If he had taken back his flesh when he was resurrected, he would have canceled that ransom sacrifice. This could not have happened, though, for the Bible says that he sacrificed his flesh and blood “once for all time.”—Hebrews 9:11, 12.
If Jesus was raised up with a spirit body, how could his disciples see him?
Spirit creatures can take on human form. For example, angels who did this in the past even ate and drank with humans. (Genesis 18:1-8; 19:1-3) However, they still were spirit creatures and could leave the physical realm.—Judges 13:15-21.
After his resurrection, Jesus also assumed human form temporarily, just as angels had previously done. As a spirit creature, though, he was able to appear and disappear suddenly. (Luke 24:31; John 20:19, 26) The fleshly bodies that he materialized were not identical from one appearance to the next. Thus, even Jesus’ close friends recognized him only by what he said or did.—Luke 24:30, 31, 35; John 20:14-16; 21:6, 7.
When Jesus appeared to the apostle Thomas, he took on a body with wound marks. He did this to bolster Thomas’ faith, since Thomas doubted that Jesus had been raised up.—John 20:24-29.
What is presented to you in these words by the Jehovah’s Witnesses is a purposeful manipulation of the word of God. Don’t be misled by the verses they cite. Think about what is presented and carefully consider what is said. In the end, either Jesus rose physically from the dead or He did not. And thanks be to God, He did. Jesus defeated death so that we too may live.
Lord God, may we be prepared to speak out and correct attacks against Your word. Help us to be sound in our thinking, well versed in Your word, and capable of defending the fundamental truths that it presents. May we do this to Your glory and to the correction of the evil doctrines presented by those who have an agenda to tear people away from the truths You have so clearly presented to us. Amen.