Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunday Sharing: 4 Questions--Can You Answer Any?

I finished up the Gospel of John last week and have started Acts now and as usual, had a hard time choosing one highlight.  I have a lot of questions this week from the passages I read, so think I'll share these with you and perhaps some of you may be able to answer some of them.

Question 1:  Why didn't Mary recognize Jesus?

John 20:15-16 says:  Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou?  whom seekest thou?  She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou has laid him, and I will take him away.  Jesus saith unto her, Mary.  She turned herself , and saith unto him, Rabboni, which is to say, Master.

Question 2:  Don't Touch!  Why was it okay for Thomas to touch Jesus but not Mary?

John 20:17 says:  Jesus saith unto her [Mary], Touch me not:  for I am not yet ascended to my Father:  but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.
 John 20:27-28 says:  Then saith he to Thomas, Reach higher thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side:  and be not faithless, but believing.  And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Question 3:  I always thought the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost in Acts based on Acts 2:1-4: 
After Jesus ascended to heaven, Acts 2:1-4 says:
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.  And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.  And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

However, according to John 20:21-22, Jesus breathed on the disciples and told them to receive the Holy Ghost when he appeared to them after his resurrection: 
Then said Jesus to them [the apostles] again, Peace be unto you:  as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.  And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:

If this is so, then how do you explain John 16:7 that says the comforter will not come to them until Jesus departs? 

John 16:7 Before he was crucified, Jesus is talking to his disciples and said,  
Nevertheless I tell you the truth:  It is expedient for you that I go away:  for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

 Question 4:  This is the same Peter who denied knowing Jesus and after receiving the Holy Ghost, now has power to do miracles like Jesus did!  God is the same and does not change, yet I know lots of Christians (followers of Jesus Christ) but do not see these kinds of miracles today.  Why?  Is our faith in Jesus so weak that we have no power or was this "power surge" just to get the early church kick started?  What do you think?

Acts 3:6-8 says:
Then Peter said, [to the lame beggar] Silver and gold have I none:  but such as I have give I thee:  in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up:  and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.  And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 
 Now  a special treat for you!  I can never read this scripture without thinking of this song that we used to sing:

UPDATE 8/5/14:  I just read a very fascinating and inspirational book on my Kindle that answers this question called THE RISK FACTOR:  CROSSING THE CHICKEN LINE INTO YOUR SUPERNATURAL DESTINY by Kevin and Chad Dedmon.  Reading this book was like reading the book of Acts except in modern times!  God IS still performing miracles today and Christians can see the power of the Holy Spirit work through them!  WOW, this was a fantastic read!

As you can see, it's been an interesting week for me.  I'd love to hear your thoughts about these questions or feel free to share a "stumper" of your own or a highlight from scripture that you came across this week in the comments.

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Sandee said...

The Bible is interpreted in many many different ways. I've always found it to be pretty difficult to understand.

Have a terrific day. ☺

Rebecca said...

These are terrific questions, and I think this is one of your best posts ever. I have thought about many of these questions, too! Here are some things that I have thought about them:

Q1: He probably looked a little different, especially after His resurrection. Also, she was distraught and crying. When i have been blubbering like a fool and see someone walk near me, I tend to avoid eye contact. So maybe Mary didn't stare Him in the face until He said her name, which she recognized.

Q2: I have assumed that Jesus ascended to his Father between the time Mary and Thomas encountered Him.

Q3: I think Jesus' breathing on them was very different than the Upper Room experience. In Acts 2, everyone was FILLED with the Holy Ghost. When Jesus breathed, they RECEIVED the Holy Ghost. There's obviously a big difference here.

Q4: I see tons of miracles. I have been filled with the Holy Spirit. I talk in tongues! I have been healed and have placed my hands on others and seen them healed. We DO see these kinds of miracles today, but some people are either not looking, ignore them, or live in an environment that doesn't talk about it. I see no place in the Bible where the filling of the Holy Spirit was a "power surge" for the early Christians. It's something that God is still doing. I have some recommendations for you, if you are interested in learning more. Do some research on these people: Kathryn Kuhlman; A. B. Simpson; Smith Wigglesworth; International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri; Angus Buchan of South Africa. Also check out

Rebecca said...

In John 20:21, the word "receive ye" is "lambano" in the Greek. The word can also be translated as "catch, hold, obtain, take, be amazed, attain." I implies passivity.
Other places this word is used:
John 1:16 Of His fullness we have RECEIVED
John 3:27 A man can RECEIVE nothing except it be given him
John 5:41 I RECEIVE not honor from nen
John 6:21 Then they willingly RECEIVES Him into the ship
John 7:23 If a man on the sabbath day RECEIVE circumcision

In Acts 2, it says, "And they were all FILLED with the Holy Ghost..." This Greek word is "plero." It means to supply, to fill, to imbue, the influence, fulfil a time, to accomplish, to furnish. like lambano, it is something that is being given to you, but it's different because it's something that is given to you to use. The Holy Ghost is given to give you power for living! If you read Acts, you can see that lots of people were being filled with the Holy Spirit, even decades after the Upper Room on Pentecost.
It's used a few other places in the Bible:
Matt 2: So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good, and the wedding was FURNISHED with guests.
Matt 27: 48 One of them ran and took a sponge and FILLED it with vinegar and put it on a reed
Luke 5:26 And they were all amazed and they glorified God and were FILLED with fear
Luke 6:11 And they were FILLED with madness
John 19:29 Now there was a vessel FULL of vinegar
Acts 3:10 And they were FILLED with wonder and amazement
Acts 4:31 and they were all FILLED with the Holy Ghost
Acts 5:17 And were FILLED with indignation
Acts 19:29 And the whole city was FILLED with confusion

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Sandy, I just try to focus on the parts I do understand and not worry too much about the things I don't. Some spiritual things are obviously beyond my comprehension but I believe as we act on what we do understand, the Holy Spirit will give us more understanding as we continue in the word.

Rebecca, thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions and share your insight from scripture with me. I am not a Greek scholar so sometimes to miss things. I really appreciate your response!

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