Thursday, March 20, 2008

What did Jesus Teach After the Resurrection?

My friend wrote me a question about Jesus' post-resurrection teaching (by the way, feel free to post other questions and I will try to tackle them). Why is it that we have so much of Jesus' teaching before his death, but very little after his resurrection? First, let's list what we know about Jesus' teaching during those approximiately forty days:
  • Instructions to inform other disciples about his resurrection (Mt 28:10; John 20:17-18)
  • Demonstration that the resurrection was in a new body - thus showing that the new covenant age had begun (Lk 24:38-43; John 20:27)
  • Explanation of how Jesus' death and resurrection fulfills the OT prophecies (Lk 24:25-27, 44-46)
  • Blessing on those who believe in his resurrection (John 20:29)
  • Foundation of the church with people from all nations as disciples (aka the Great Commission) (Mt 28:19-20; Lk 24:47; Acts 1:8; John 20:21, 23)
  • Promise of the Holy Spirit and/or giving of the Holy Spirit (Lk 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8; John 20:22)
  • Restoration and re-appointment of Peter (John 21:15-19)
  • Unspecified teaching about the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3)
  • Unknown time of the fully restored kingdom (Acts 1:6-7)
  • Promise to be with his disciples to the end (Matt 28:20)
Notice three basic categories. Jesus teaches about
  1. his death and resurrection (its nature, significance, and connection to the OT)
  2. the founding of the church (its nature, its source of power, and its human leadership)
  3. Jesus' return (the unknown time, the restoration of the kingdom, and Jesus' presence until then).

I'll post more on this topic in the next few days. I'd love to finish now, but my sons are informing me that it's time to begin a sacred Maundy Thursday ritual. It will be held at the Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park. :)

The picture above is a stained glass depiction of Jesus' appearance to Mary Magdalene. It is displayed in Trinity Church, New York, and was designed by by Sir Edward Burne-Jones in the late 1800s.

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