Why Didn’t Jesus Just Appear to All Without His Body? ((Lent 16-2018)

Couldn’t Jesus have come just as a spiritual being or a vision and been everywhere, all at once? 

In the movie, Life of Pi, that we have been using as our launch pad for 40 hard questions of Why for Lent 2018 devotionals, the priest elaborates on his Sunday school answer: “Because He loves us. God made Himself approachable to us-human-so we could understand Him. We can’t understand God in all His perfection, but we can understand God’s Son and His suffering as we would a brother’s.” 

That’s a bit more pastoral than the Sunday school answer, an explanation beyond the cliché.

When you stop to think about it, a vision or a spirit might have been more efficient or impressive for show, but a whole lot less relatable to us.  A vision could blow our minds.  A spirit could intrigue us.  But only a human is truly understandable.  So finite.  So limited.  So … normal.

And yet even in His body, Jesus was remarkable because of what He revealed to us about the Father.  Oh, and the remarkable things He’d do!  Jesus answered Thomas’ and Philip’s inquiry in the most surprising way John 14:7 “If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” 8 Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” 9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.”

If the pre-crucifixion Jesus was still unrecognizable to Thomas and Philip after ministering among them for his 3-year ministry, just imagine how unrecognizable He would have been had He been Spirit or vision instead of the “Word made flesh” (John 1:14).

Think about it:

  • Showing up as a Spirit has many advantages.  The Holy Spirit’s coming at Pentecost proves that point.  What are some of the advantages of an indwelling Spirit compared to an external human teacher?  What are some of the disadvantages?
  • What did the sufferings of Christ do and how did His suffering make Him approachable and understandable?  What happened on the Cross?  What happened at the tomb and on Easter morning? For insight, read Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)  
  • Could a spirit or a vision alone accomplish this? 

Join me tomorrow for “Why Do We Need a Savior?”


For Lent 2018, we’ll explore the questions of Pi and Chi (the Greek letter beginning the word Christos, which means Christ, Messiah, the Anointed One). We’ll ask and answer the question “Why?” as we discover the uniqueness of Jesus Christ.  Join me for the 40 days of Lent which began February 14, 2018 by liking Seminary Gal on Facebook or having these devotionals sent to your email box which you can do via the sign-up on my Home page.  Thank you for blessing me with this opportunity to study together the Word of God.


Acknowledging that former years’ devotional series remain popular:

  1. Lent 2013 looked at The Letter to the Romans: Paul’s Masterpiece to reclaim foundations of our Christian heritage and began February 13, 2013.
  2.  A very special and ever popular offering was Lent 2014’s Be Still and Know that I AM God  which can be obtained through the archives beginning in March 2014. 
  3. Lent 2015 began on February 18, 2015 with a series entitled With Christ in the Upper Room: Final Preparations.  We explored what is often called “The Upper Room Discourse” found in John chapters 13-17
  4. ReKindle, the Lent 2016 series, began on February 10, 2016 and encouraged us to rekindle our spiritual lives.
  5. Light: There’s Nothing Like It was the 2017 Lent series and explored this metaphor often used to portray Christ.  It is archived beginning March 1, 2017.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 3, 2018

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