Who can bear witness to the resurrection of Jesus?
- by Thepfulhouvi Solo
27th Sept 2004 (Nagaland Post)
He who has not seen resurrected Jesus cannot bear 'Witness' to His resurrection; were 'Resurrection' a legal Case to be decided in the Court of Law, the Judge would straightway refuse to admit any non-eye-witness “Witness”, Saul (Paul) was not one of the 12 Apostles; and after his departure from the places of his perhaps second Missionary journey; some Corinthians and Galatians seem to have deprecated the authenticity of his 'Witness'.
Paul had to very earnestly write them [Ga1.1:8]: "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you other than what we have preached to you, let him be cursed” and in [l Cor. 9:1] he wrote: "Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?", then humbly in [ICor.15] he wrote: "Last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared also to me.”
Josephus, the great Jewish Historian, born after the Resurrection, has mentioned Jesus but not as having seen Him. The Pharisees, particularly those at Jerusalem must have had many contacts with Jesus. It is quite possible young Saul, as a law student in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus under renowned Professor Gamaliel and aspiring to be a Pharisee, may have accompanied one or the other of the many delegations the Pharisees made to Jesus to argue Him down or to entrap Him in some pre-planned legal or religious matters; and saw Jesus.
During the tearful farewell, meeting with the Elders of the Ephesian Church at Milletus, at the end, of his third missionary journey, some 20 or so years after the resurrection of Jesus, Paul quoted Jesus: “It is more blessed to give than to receive"[Acts.20:35]. This statement of Jesus is not found in any of the four Gospels: where did Paul get these words of Jesus? It quite possible young Saul must have attended at least some of the many sermons Jesus preached at Jerusalem or elsewhere; the whole life of Jesus was a sermon, and Paul must have remembered this other Gospel Writers possible have missed; Saul must have seen Jesus.
After his conversion, Paul was in Jerusalem, he was in the Temple praying and in a trance he
“saw Him saying to me, Make haste and get out of Jerusalem quickly, for they will not receive your testimony concerning me" [Act.22:18]. Paul saw Jesus in a trance, he recognized Him because he recollected the face of Jesus. Paul must have seen physical Jesus; Only those who have seen resurrected Jesus or only people prepared to loose their all for the Faith can bear 'witness' to His resurrection and that too only when one is a TRUSTABLE fellow. No Judge would ever accept as Witness a known Liar: even an honest man has to swear for truth before a Magistrate prior to giving his testimony.
Paul may claim he has seen, resurrected Jesus but if people do not trust him, they would not believe what he said: it is only a Trustable fellow that can truly give the Gospel of Christ fundamentally depends actually on trust a Preacher commands. People may hear him, they may understand what was said, but they will believe what he said only when they Trust him otherwise everybody is a stiff-necked fellow! The trustabjlity of a person depends not on any colossal outward appearances or utterances but on minute traits of truth in the person. People may belittle minute traits, however, trustability depends not on some big “Bill Boards' of outward appearances or utterances but on minute traits of true character.
God has given all men, irrespective of education, an uncanny power of perceiving Truth in another person and nothing other than Truth and Truth alone can bear Witness to the Truth of the Gospel of Christ. A Preacher may not trust a layman; that would not amount to anything of consequence but if a layman distrusts a Godman; woe to the Kingdom of God!