People Saw Jesus After the Resurrection, People See Jesus Today.

New Testament scholar, Bart Ehrman, had an interesting blog recently reviewing sightings, visions and dreams.

We’ve all heard of people seeing the Virgin Mary in cracked windows.  There are people today who say they have seen her in person.  These include Ph. D’s, public officials and other credible people.

One of the most famous sightings was Mary above a water fall.  She was there for several days. Thousands saw her.  It would suggest a fog pattern from the water vapor, but I wasn’t there.

Multiple people have seen Jesus in recent decades.  Like sightings of Mary, some were made credible people and more than one who reported seeing nearly the identical thing.

My own way of ranking the reliability of these would be (a.) sightings with tested photographs, (b.)  those from multiple independent observers without an advocacy motive  and  (c.) small groups or individuals with a history of advocacy for that seen.

I am skeptical about recent sightings of Jesus or the Virgin Mary.  Known humans were there.  But, I wasn’t.

I wasn’t there to see the resurrected Jesus.  Neither were those who wrote about the sightings.

All of this is complicated even further by what are called visions.  As I recall, Paul never saw Jesus in person, but in a vision.  The consensus of believers seems to be Paul’s vision was as reliable if he had seen Jesus in person.  Apparently, the two are interchangeable.

Could it be all post crucifixion sightings were visions, like that of Paul?

www.ehrmanblog.org

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About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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72 Responses to People Saw Jesus After the Resurrection, People See Jesus Today.

  1. Matt says:

    well jon, i cant tell you for certain if the bible is completely historically accurate, after all im just a blue collar boy from small town nd. some people devote their entire lives to studying its authenticity so i will just go with their findings and my faith. however, i can say, biblically based or not, that god does 100% for certain exist.

    if you, and every other non believer, would be honest with yourselves…if you would just swallow that stubborn pride…if you would just get past any other hatred, anger, or past hurts…if you would read and research with a truly open heart and open mind…if you would not deliberately choose to remain ignorant by avoiding what might change your beliefs….you would without a doubt come to believe.

    http://www.loamagazine.org/nr/the_main_topic/eucharistic_miracle_in_buenos.html

    the proof is there jon, you just need to look (with an open heart and an open mind) and you will find it.
    God Bless

    • entech says:

      Oh Matt, do we have to carry so much baggage, can’t we simply have no reason to believe? Simply to not find any credibility in so many miracles and so forth.

      My own story is that I was educated in a Church of England school in England, daily prayers and bible study, prayers were twice on Sunday one at school and a group march down to the village church. I was never mistreated, bible study included discussions and explanations, there are two stories that had an impact on me and they way I tried to live (apart from the obvious from Rabi Hilali “don’t do what you would find hateful if done to you”, a much preferable version of the golden rule than do unto others) they are the widows mite and the good Samaritan. The rest just faded away into irrelevance and mythology.

      • Matt says:

        all sarcasm aside, no you dont have to carry that baggage!(i would be willing to bet there is more there than you lead on…likely some you dont even know about) not finding credibility in it is only ignoring reality, you can tell yourself its not there…but that doesnt change the fact that it is indeed there.

        im not saying that a person cant live a good moral life without believing in god, however, i can say that such a person would be missing out on the fullness of life. without Christ a person will never reach their full potential, and that my friend is something you will have to experience for yourself to realy understand.

        im sorry you stopped growing in your faith…go back and try again…it will be life changing if you let it!
        God Bless.

        • entech says:

          An old Persian Sufi Poet said it better than I ever could:
          Myself when young did eagerly frequent
          Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
          About it and about: but evermore
          Came out by the same Door as in I went.

          Neither your belief nor my lack has any affect on reality, I am not ignoring reality but I do suspect that you are creating your own.
          I can’t say that there is no God, but I can say there is no reason to believe that there is one.

          • Matt says:

            i pray for you my friend…i wish everyone could experience what i have…there would be no nonbelievers left.
            God Bless.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Matt 1:51 “without Christ a person will never reach their full potential..”

          You are aware, I hope, of billions of people who have other religions. And, I hope you are aware of people who are/were at the top of their fields, the highest of their potential, and were not believers, Keynes, Enstein, Mark Twain, many more.

          The majority of nonbelievers spent some or much of their lives emerced in the faith. They found happiness and fulfillment after leaving. I’m glad for you that you find something pleasing in the faith. What you do not know is how happy you might be without it.

          • Matt says:

            i maintain that your examples could have been even greater with Christ. how can you say that they ever reached their full potential?

            that is my point exactly jon, i have tried living without it….it was a disaster…. i have personally experienced the supernatural…i have personally experienced physical, mental, and spiritual healing through prayer. so i can say, with 100% certainty, that i am better off with it than without it!

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Matt 12:16 “If you…would be honest with yourselves…swallow that stubborn pride…get past..hatred, anger, or past hurts and research with an open heart and mind..”

      I have no stubborn pride, hatred, anger or past hurts and like to think I have an open heart and mind. I read these articles like the one you linked about an event which does not have widespread acceptance and wonder, “Could the sighting of the resurrected Jesus have been something kind of hoky like that story?” Could it have been just someone’s vision or dream that which was turned misinterpreted into an actual event, later embellished with details like the graves opening up and many corpses walking out that were, “..seen by many”?

      My question is not based on “pide..hatred…anger..past hurts..” It could be equally true that believers’ refusal to consider the probability the resurrection is a myth is also based on pride, hatred, anger and past hurts.

      • Matt says:

        see jon that is where the athiest field of view stops and the christians keeps going. we humans can experience the spiritual world if we are open to it, and some do on a very real personal level. until you understand and accept that there is a spiritual world(and there is proof of it) that is far bigger than what most people can grasp, you will never understand the teachings of christianity.

        when a person accepts the spiritual and supernatural world…or even better yet, gets to experience it….then there is no reason to no believe mystics and other spiritualy gifted people who have these visions and revelations. when we can believe the credibility of these people who confirm the events of scripture…then there is no reason to not believe what is written. but first you need to accept that there is alot more going on out there than what most can see.

      • entech says:

        You see Jon you must want to believe, if you open yourself to possibility then it will come to you.
        It is a slow process:
        1. first you must be open to belief, must want to believe,
        2. then belief will come to you,
        3. when you truly believe, you will not need proof all will be revealed,
        4. the truth will be so obvious it will be proof enough in itself,
        5. to achieve this true enlightenment you must first go to step 1.

        Sorry if this sounds sarcastic but it is essentially an argument that is continually presented.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          entech 2:42 “..it is essentially an argument that is continually presented.”

          Yes, continually. But, thank you for reminding me of the basics. Let me see if I understand.

          I start by being open to belief and wanting to believe. Then, belief comes to me. And, what if I want evidence for what I have come to believe? I don’t need it. My belief is proof there is a god and all the Bible is true and all the words in it guided by the god. If my belief does not provide proof there is a god, it is because I do not want to believe and I must start again.

          To reach my full potential, as our friend, Matt, suggests, I must abandon the requirement for evidence and launch myself into the dreamy world of spirits, ghosts, fairys and gods.

          • Matt says:

            i guess when you said you were approaching this with an open mind and an open heart a couple posts ago you meant right up to the point of actually opening a book…. i dont mind your sarcasm because i know what is real and how it has affected my life. your view of what is realy going on around us is stunted by the narrow minded “freethinking” blinders you go through life with. open your eyes to what is going on around you.

            i dont know what it would take for you to accept the reality of supernatural events. humor me…read Pray Hope and Dont Worry True Stories of Padre Pio by Dianne Allen. its a cheap book…10 bucks give or take on amazon. heck give me your mailing address and i will buy it for you and send it to you. at worst you will just have one more christian fairy tale to poke fun at.
            God Bless.

          • Henry says:

            entech: “suggests, I must abandon the requirement for evidence”

            Even with the evidence there, you still reject. No one can help you at this point. You have Moses and the Prophets.

        • Wanna B Sure says:

          None of these points are a valid formula or method to or of faith.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Wanna 3:29 “None of these point are a valid formula or method to or of faith.”

            I respectfully differ with you. Countless times here you have accused entech and I of having hardened hearts, or some such term. It is exactly what our friend, Matt, is saying. He uses the phrase “open mind and an open heart”.

            What you are both saying is there are these super natural events caused by an invisible being. If we have “open hearts”, we will believe these things without real world evidence. If we need real world evidence, we are closed minded and hard hearted. Tell me what is incorrect about my paraphrasing here.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; You miss the point completely. These points mentioned are the core of “decision theology” (prominent among Evangelicals). To say; “I will open my heart to believe”, is not of faith, but of works. Nor can one say; “I will purposfully harden my heart”. The “hardening” comes from denying the Holy spirit, and is the RESULT of. I have not said anything about “supernatural events”.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Jon; The next natural step beyond “decision theology” is “prosperity theology”. If one can choose to believe, one can also choose to be prosperous. In some groups, both seem to go hand in hand. Those of “non-faith” evidently think that decision theology is the norm, but it is not. It is actually a more recent trend popularized by Billy Graham with his “Hour of Decision”.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            —–And the reocurring “alter calls” so popular among the same groups.

          • Matt says:

            the “real world evidence” IS there jon! you claim to not be stubborn or pridefull…so what stands in your way of learning and accepting.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            Are you ready for it? Ready–aim–fire—Bondage of the Will.

          • entech says:

            Bondage of the Mind a good book (obviously not THE good book) by R.D.Gold.

          • Wanna B Sure says:

            A good book by the bound will

  2. Michael Ross says:

    “People Saw Jesus After the Resurrection, People See Jesus Today.”

    ” blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”(John 20:29)

    We say “show me and I will believe”

    God says “believe and you shall see”

    • entech says:

      The natural corollary to “believe and you shall see” is “you shall see what you believe” which explains why Buddhist nuns and Christian nuns have different visions in their meditative states.

      If you go to a casino and say I believe my cards add up to to 21 not 23 the house will still take your money, as I said before in my belief system reality exists independently of me and whatever I think about it has absolutely no effect. So I cannot be any other than one of the “show me and I will believe crowd”, it would take great faith to believe otherwise. What faith would be needed to stand and look down into the Grand Canyon and say how amazing that a single flood could create all this in only a few minutes.

      • Michael Ross says:

        Gary Parker, who has a B.A. in biology/chemistry, an M.S. in biology/physiology, and a doctor’s in biology/geology from Ball State, began his career as a non-Christian and evolutionist. He has earned several academic awards, including admission to Phi Beta Kappa (the national scholastic honorary), election to the American Society of Zoologists, and a 15-month fellowship award from the National Science Foundation.

        In Parker’s own words: “I once believed and taught, like so many others, that the rock layers in Grand Canyon represented stages in evolution laid down over vast eons of time. But, after leading over 15 week-long backpacking trips for university students through the Canyon and studying the rock layers and fossils close up, I’m ready to stake the place out with Bible verses! What I once assumed was a record of a lot of time, now looks like evidence of a lot of water instead.”

        “you shall see what you believe”

        You believe your thing, I’ll believe mine, and if we meet, its beautiful.

        • entech says:

          Fr. George Coyne SJ was born in 1933, in Baltimore, Maryland, and joined the Jesuits in 1951. He obtained his B.S. in mathematics and his licentiate in philosophy at Fordham University, New York City in 1958; he earned his PhD in astronomy in 1962 from Georgetown University and completed the licentiate in sacred theology at Woodstock College, Maryland in 1965 when he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest.
          Following his doctoral work he continued his astronomical research at Harvard University and at the Lunar Planetary Laboratory (LPL) of the University of Arizona (UA). He taught at the University of Scranton and in the Department of Astronomy at the UA.
          In the 1970s he served as director of the University of Arizona’s Catalina Observatory, Associate Director of the Steward Observatory and the Lunar Planetary Laboratory, and as acting director of the astronomy department of University of Arizona.
          As director of the Vatican Observatory (1978-2006), he founded the Vatican Observatory Summer School, and the Vatican Observatory Research Group. Currently, he is President of the Vatican Observatory Foundation.

          Father Coyne would disagree with Dr.Parker. Most scientists, religious or not, would disagree with young earth creationism.

          They could both be wrong but I would back Father Coyne, I don’t agree when he says God started it all going all those billions of years ago, I do agree that once started evolution of the galaxy and life is the best scientific explanation available at the moment. I do agree when he says creationism/Intelligent Design is both bad science and bad theology.

          The other talks were an hour or so, this is only a few minutes.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwWqrXGtrRs

          So does my expert trump your expert? Are either correct?

          • Michael Ross says:

            “Nearly all peoples have developed their own creation myth, and the Genesis story is just the one that happened to have been adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders. It has no more special status than the belief of a particular West African tribe that the world was created from the excrement of ants”.
            ~Richard Dawkins

            This is off Jon’s topic but I’m sure he would say “Amen”.

          • Henry says:

            Dahkins: “adopted by one particular tribe of Middle Eastern herders.”

            Ahhh….this is the atheist high priest where Jon and entech pick up/enhance upon the “goat herder” term.

            I rather find it comforting that God used the “Joe The Plumbers” of the world to bring us Christ.

          • Stanta says:

            What I find is so odd is that those herders wrote THE best selling book in history.

          • Michael Ross says:

            And when Jesus went to choose the 12, He didn’t go to the temple or the synagogs. He ignored the religious establishment and went down to the sea shore where ordinary men were working. God uses the simple to confound the “wise”.

          • Stanta says:

            Entech, nice to see that you believe that religious belief does not require a person parking thier intelligence at the door. So many here, Jon included believe we are faithful because we are idiots.

          • entech says:

            Stan 5:33 As I try to say truth is not affected by belief. Father Coyne maintains his belief as well as being a top astronomer and cosmologist. John Polkinhorne is a top physicist and a Church of England priest.
            You can accept modern science, knowing it is still “a work in progress”, that not all answers are known or perhaps will/can be known and that the answers are not absolute, can and will change with knowledge. You can accept all of this and be a top worker in the field without it affecting your personal religious beliefs, faith if you like.

            The literal six day creation at about 4 in the afternoon 6 or 7 thousand years ago is plain wrong, as science offers an explanation that does not exclude their God but reduces the necessity and so damages the ego that says it is all created specially for me. To maintain this position requires a lot of false beliefs and explanations.

      • Wolfy32 says:

        Hmm.. I agree to an extent with both the non believer and believer.. Heh. I believe there is Mind over Matter.

        I’ve seen believers and non believers die of cancern and I’ve seen both be healed of cancer. Was it something different in their bodies or something in how much they truely believed they would recover? Is there a difference between denial — refusing to accept something, vs. strongly believing one will recover….

        I’ve read that Tibetan Monks can lower their heart beats to dangerously low levels simply through meditation and willing themselves into telling their body how to operate to keep them alive but slow their heart beats down significantly.

        I’ve been walked through a meditation that reality almost didn’t seem real when we came out of the meditation. It was a pretty amazing experience.

        Just because we don’t believe: in Karma, Mind over matter, etc, doesn’t mean that maybe there’s some truth or reality to it. Maybe Karma is a law of reality just as gravity. It’s not something we see or really know, yet it’s something we can experience.

        Maybe God is something similar, we don’t have to believe, but it is something we can experience. I don’t think one has to believe to experience God. When you experience him, it will be an experience that shakes your reality. It won’t require faith, or belief, it will just happen.

        I leave you with this. In 1997 a bunch of people in Airzona and Nevada (thousands of people) experienced what they thought was UFOs. Entire cities saw stationary lights in the sky surrounding the city. Yet, despite it being on the news, thousands of eye witness accounts. It just became something we all deny happened. It’s just flares In a triangular pattern that moved like an aircraft.. No one believed the lies, but, no one accepted the reality either. There could be evidence of God right in front of us, staring us in the face just like the UFOs, but yet many would still not believe it, or accept it as sufficient evidence. It would be explained away and denied. Simply because accepting a being out there greater than us that could wipe us out in a single second, is too scary for many to accept or believe in.

        It’s too scary to believe there might have been aliens here, or to believe that the government would have air craft that could do what happened back in 1997.

        If something is too scary for us to face, we deny it. It’s a natural response. We can deny reality all we want, at some point reality is going to burst our bubbles of denial. It sucks when that happens!

  3. Brad says:

    I saw Jesus once. And then the LSD trip I was on came to an end.

    • Henry says:

      That splains a few things. Thank you for clearing up some matters.

      • Brad says:

        Yes, and maybe it explains quite a few things in the Bible as well. There are quite a few natural hallucinogenic in nature that can get you a lot of supernatural happenings.

        • Henry says:

          Brad, you have no evidence.

          • Stanta says:

            Henry, aren’t they so cute when thy regurgitate what the “comparative religion” professor told them? Nothing new under the sun.

            I have never seen Christ, but totally sober I have heard him. Of course you weren’t there and the message was just for me so no one else heard it. Couple three times like that and yes you start believing.

          • Michael Ross says:

            Maybe Jesus was using Brad’s LSD to try to break threw his hard- headedness. A couple three more more trips just might do the trick.

          • Brad says:

            No, but the drug addiction and psychology professionals do.

        • Brad says:

          Of course, then there are also different forms of delusion and schizophrenia that can cause this as well. If I think I hear or see something or someone for long enough, eventually I will come to believe it.

          • Stanta says:

            Brad, three different times, three different situations, three different emotional states. I have plenty of psych credits in the last eight years to understand what schizophrenia is, and true schizophrenia is extremely rare and usually requires at least observation.

            And if I was having long conversations wit Jesus sitting in my livingroom I would probably see a doctor myself. But the guidance those few words said to me those three times changed
            My life.

        • Brad says:

          “aren’t they so cute when thy regurgitate what the ‘comparative religion’ professor told them?”

          It’s amazing the assumptions that are made. There has never been any “comparative religion” professor that has ever told me anything, nor have I ever taken a comparative religion class. Don’t need to get from anyone else what I can easily figure out on my own.

          • Stanta says:

            Self taught then, good, how many times have you read the Bible? I will make it easier, the New Testament. From other comments you have made it is understood you have never spent time in favorite target, the Church.

          • Brad says:

            “Self taught then, good, how many times have you read the Bible? I will make it easier, the New Testament.”

            To the contrary, I have read the entire Bible and continue to read it. Also, I actually took a religion class in college which, ironically, was a study of the New Testament (which I passed with an “A”).

            Furthermore, as a kid I was forced through church, Sunday School, confirmation, etc, etc, etc, and as an adult I tried church for 7 years. I became a devout member, served on the church council, and taught Sunday school.

            The problem is that self-honesty and truth got in the way, and I finally had to resolve the conflict within myself by getting out of religion and into spirituality.

          • Matt says:

            and there your problem is…you hit the nail on the head. spirituality without religion is a dangerous place to be! if you do not base your spirituality on god and his teachings where do you think it is coming from? the devil controls that realm my friend, it would be a good idea to realy research and reevaluate what you are involved in.

  4. Jon Tofte says:

    Jon, Lee Strobel’s book, “The Case for Christ” approaches the questions of Jesus existence and resurrection from a skeptics point of view. I recommend you read it.

    I think the most convincing evidence that the resurrection happened as the four independently written Gospels describe is the actions of the Apostles after the risen Jesus appeared to them. They went from cowering in fear behind locked doors after all seemed lost to boldly proclaiming the resurrection. Most of Christ’s disciples are believed to have been executed for their beliefs. No one in their right mind would die for something they know to be false.

    Because of faith and the information Ihave learned over the years, I say with certainty, “He is risen!”

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Jon 3:21 Thanks for the comment. To be honest, I don’t think the majority of scholars think the four gospels were written independantly. They, instead, appear to be copied at four different points in time.

      “No one in his right might mind would die for something they know to be false.”

      People die all the time for things they believe to be true, but everyone else knows to be false. When the U. S. started going into North Korea in the 50′s, Chinese soldiers died like flies. I’m sure it seemed very rational to them.

      • Brad says:

        “People die all the time for things they believe to be true, but everyone else knows to be false.”

        Good point Jon. Just look at the Islamic extremists who are willing to die by crashing planes into buildings for the “72 virgin” prize. They certainly believe it, but most everyone else knows how utterly insane it is.

        • Stanta says:

          Yes, the Islamists believed. If you were the creator of a lie, and you were faces with admitting it or death……what would you chose?

        • Wolfy32 says:

          There is inconclusive evidence that this illusive thing called “terrorists” did this 9/11. We scrutinize religion, but, imagine if we demanded the same evidence from our own government? The video evidence and information on 9/11 is amazing, the truth was right in front of us caught ON CAMERA, yet, everyone just accepts that it was all the act of these “terrorists”.

          We believe in terrorists derived by governments to target whoever they feel like targeting that day. Yet, belief in a supreme being, / spirituality, and God, is incredibly hard for us.

          I find it amusing the things we just accept as fact, and the things we demand evidence for. — No one from the government said the damage at the pentagon was done by terrorists. News casters did, and the government never denied it. However the section destroyed… Was slated to be brought down for reconstruction. No one was in that part of the building. It was slated to be demolished. The wreckage left at the site, was nothing near that of a Boeing 757. The wreckage caught on video didn’t match anything spoken by news correspondants at the pentagon.

          The flight number to reportedly have hit the pentagon, had been grounded. There’s a ton of facts that don’t match what happened at 9/11. Yet, we accept and believe the evidence that news people and the government feeds us. There were eye witness accounts that the towers fell like a planned demolition. That they saw the floors go just one at a time as though it was a demolition.

          There’s a ton of evidence that the 9/11 event was done by terrorists.. The terrorists may have been our own government. Or some independant military organization funded by our government I don’t know. All to support a case for going to war with “terrorists.” Whever the terrorists exist we’re at war with them…

          Very convenient. Yet, we believe it all the same regardless of the facts. God is so much harder to believe in. If we knew just how many lies we accepted as fact in life… I think we’d learn it’s pretty easy to accept that there may be a God out there. That’s more believable.

  5. Stanta says:

    Intersting Easter story for you. About 10 Friday night I went out to sit on the apartment buildings step, waiting for spring I guess. I wasn’t there two minutes when a woman comes up the walk, thinking it wads neighbor I said Hi.

    Nope, what poured from her was a sad story, semi sober now but an hour earlier her old man smacked her around a bit and through her out of the house wearing her work scrubs and a sweatshirt. She had already walked four miles, had two to go to get to a friends house, her feet were wet and it was raining lightly so hypothermia wasn’t far off. She told me talked to twenty people in that four miles trying to get a ride, most wouldn’t even look at her.

    I told her, give me a minute, I have to
    clear out the right side of the truck can to make room and you will have that ride. On he ride she keeps asking why I helped her and I kept explaining I had no choice. Finally I think I got it to her with the story “what you do for the least of these, you do for me.”

    She asked for my name and telephone number, gave her my first. We never give more than that in the prison program, it isn’t safe to work alone outside the program, especially with someone of the opposite sex and she understood that. Did tell her our retreat program and wrote the name down for her, maybe she will show up in September.

    As I went to sleep last night I wondered if she would have found help if I hadn’t been on the steps ? I hadn’t been planning to go out, in fact I should have been already in bed. I have been discovering in my spiritual journey that seeing Jesus wouldn’t make me a better Christian, doing Jesus does. When I recognize Him in my actions the nibbling doubts brought by the Prince of Lies disappear because there has been a fundamental change in me.

    • Henry says:

      Praise Christ! Thank you for that, Stan.

    • Wanna B Sure says:

      Stan; Thanks for that. It is fair to say that many of us that have been around rfor a while can say we have been thrust into situations where we can /have been a help to others outside of planned exercise. About forty years ago, I stopped in a bar for a beer before going home. A young girl then who had served me at a cafe came up to me, and was devestated. Her husband had just left out the back door with another woman, and she thought it was her fault. I told her it was her husbands decision, not hers, and she shouldn’t blame herself. She was unchurched. I told her that there was someone who wouldn’t desert her even if she did do wrong, and that was Jesus, and she wasn’t alone. I sugested reading the 56th psalm. if I remember right. (I had just finished a study of it, and it was fresh in my mind. I gave her a ride home, as she was now without transportation, and dropped her off with the invitation for her to call me any time she wanted to. I never heard from her afterwards. Fast forward- about 5 yr. ago, I was in a church, where unknown to me; she had recently become a new member, and we met in the hall. She came over with a big smile, and said “Thank you”. That was all, and that was all that was necessary. You see, the fruit of just being there may never be revealed, or be revealed 40 yr. later. I find the less said, can be more beneficial than saying too much. A used car salesman we are not. A good listener we should be. Many of us have had similar experiences, and we may never know the results, nor do we need to know. We are not the message, but the messenger.

      • Stanta says:

        We find out in the jail program our successes years after the retreats sometimes. The one thing we are sure of is someone, maybe not even a participant, but one of their family members or friends have been touched by the tiny ripple we create. We continue not because we see success, but because we have faith that He succeeds.

    • Avatar of realist realist says:

      Humans have an irrepressible urge to explain events. We bend over backwards to create causation. Chance events are routine and play an important place in our lives but we would rather ascribe them to a sentient force. Ask any person who wins big in the lottery and they will tell you it was a signal from god when, in fact, it was because they bought the ticket.

      • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        realist 6:05 Thanks for the first time comment. It is said we humans look for patterns, even though there are lots of chance events.

        • Henry says:

          Jon, I have yet to pitch my foot against a completed pocket watch that had by chance assembled from the basic elements of the earth. Hasn’t happened. Don’t know that it has happened to anyone else either.

      • Stanta says:

        Sorry, have had to many coincidences in the five years to believe them not God driven. But trying to convince you of them would be like describing the color blue to a blind man.

        • Brad says:

          Here is where I agree with you Stanta. I know of things that have happened in my life that would be far more of a stretch to explain it by sheer coincidence vs. the work of a higher power.

      • Brad says:

        “Ask any person who wins big in the lottery and they will tell you it was a signal from god when, in fact, it was because they bought the ticket.”

        I would argue that winning the lottery is often the exact opposite of any work of God when you look at how some people ruin their lives by becoming suddenly rich.

        • Matt says:

          interesting observation Brad….. amazing how people can be deceived. satan can manipulate the physical world just as God can(although he is far more limited in doing so)

      • Matt says:

        you are right…we just have to have an explanation…yet there are so many things out there that we just cant explain. when those things seem to consistently revolve around one god and even “on demand” to that same god…sorry logic says that is not a “chance event”

        • Stanta says:

          We have a bowl, there are 14 names on paper in that bowl. They have been well stirred. As the bowl goes around a table each person reaches in and pulls out a name. The first four all pull their own name, it skips one and the sixth pulls his own name. That means almost 1/3rd of the people drew their own name. This is how we assign speaking duties on retreat. Would anyone help me with the statistical probabilities here? Oh, I forgot to mention, prayer always starts the choosing.

          • Matt says:

            good one stanta….hey i have one! hundreds of unexplainable miracles and healings done through one man(Padre Pio) through prayer to one god(Jesus Christ) on demand! coincindence? not a chance!!!

          • Wolfy32 says:

            In college, there was a girl I liked. The brightest blue eyes I never to this day had seen. I also, felt a strong spiritual disturbance with her, like something was wrong with her, not physically, but emotionally. Maybe there were queues I picked up on or I was just sensitive to others, who knows.

            Well, one day during class, the teacher put our names into a hat, and asked us to draw a name at random and to write something good about the name we drew. I was angry with God, I had a very quick, but stern conversation with him complaining that he was making me do this. You see as soon as they said we were putting our names in a hat to draw “randomly.” there was no doubt who’s name I was going to get. I didn’t want to reveal I liked her nor did I want to deal with what might be her issues. It frustrated me to no end that God was going to make me draw her name. When It came to my turn, the hat was way above my head, I just drew the paper out, and didn’t even look at it right away. I knew who’s name I had. I didn’t have to look at it.

            I proceeded to write something about her being the poet I am, it only took me 5 minutes to write a nice poem describing what I liked about her. I looked at the name absently, knowing who’s was on it eventually. It was hers. I knew it just as I knew 2+2 was 4. Just as I know water tastes like water. I knew that I had her name.

            She later revealed to me that it’s the most beautiful thing anyone has ever said about her and she kept it on her fridge. We never dated or anything, I knew that what my job was to do was done. There was nothing more expected of me or from me.

            Sometimes you just know, there’s no chance to it, there’s no coincidence to it. It just is.

  6. Joe Rutherford says:

    About 31 or 32 years ago, I did see Jesus the Christ. He has all power and his glory is so awesome that it is beyond the description of words known to me. He is very kind and is my great and awesome, wonderful friend. To God be the glory!

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Joe 11:29 Thanks for the first time comment.

      I hope you are going to expand on this experience–perhaps tell us who else was present and can verify Jesus made this visit.

  7. Joe Rutherford says:

    Hi Jon. No one else was there when the Lord appeared to me. It was Suday about midday, a few minutes after 12. I had left church and walked to a public park by the river. I don’t usually give out the exact location because some folks might think if they go there, they will recieve some sort of a spiritual blessing. There are some who make pilgrimages to places where miraculas events have been reported. It is not the place that matters, but the will of God.

    It does seem a little odd to me, however, that not one single person was there at the park than fine good weather day. Even had there been, they still might not have been able to have seen the Lord. Such things can only be revealed by God. People can not see Jesus by any common means known to man, such as the normal exercise of physical eyesight, etc. So asking for some sort of physical proof of such occurences, is asking for something no one can give. Only God can open the darkened eyes of man to see the Light. I certainly have no ability to see Christ when I want to. Otherwise I would see Him all the time. I did see Him that one time over 30 years ago.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Joe 1:49 “Such things can only be revealed by God.”

      Others who comment here have related their stories of encounters with the divine. They, also, saw it alone and no one else encountered it.

      The encounter you had, obviously, was meaningful to you as were the others people have talked about here. It seems necessary for people who have had these experiences to tell others about them. I don’t know why this is.

      Unfortunately, they are not meaningful to people like myself. For example, there are people who have seen Elvis since he died. These were meaningful experiences to those who have had them, but they mean nothing to me.

      I don’t want you to be insulted that I am comparing your visit from Jesus with others’ visits from Elvis. I am only pointing them out because the two are identical in terms of their importance to other people.

  8. Joe Rutherford says:

    Jon, if someone were visiting where my wife and I live, they could look out our kitchen window and see the mountain which houses NORAD headquarters. A short drive from there we could ride by the headquarters of the US Space command. The people who work at those places are constantly monitoring the world for any indication of major violent threats, including WW3 type senarios. My own experience in the cold war days was patrolling the ocean on guard against the threat of WW3.

    The real threat, however, is unbelief. Those who do not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ are in great danger.

    Pay no attention to those people who say they have seen Ms Mary the human mother of the Lord Jesus. That is false intel. Ms Mary is in heaven today, but there is no salvation through faith in her. Only faith in Jesus will bring salvation.

    I can’t control what other people think or do. It is my job to be a reliable witness of the Truth Jesus Christ and try and help others see the need for repentance and faith in Him. Jesus came to Earth on a mission of mercy. His mission of mercy continues in his people today.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Joe 8:41 Glad to have you here with comments.

      “Pay no attention to those people who say they have seen Ms Mary the human mother of the Lord Jesus. That is false intel.”

      There are commenters here who post they have seen Jesus, heard Jesus and/or know Jesus. The people who have seen Mary are absolutely certain. There are people who have seen Elvis. Jesus and Moses claimed to have seen God. All of these sitings are important to the people who experienced them but mean nothing to the rest of us because they cannot be repeated with others varifying.

      The Biblical accounts of seeing Jesus after his death are not reliable either. Biblical writers treated dreams and visions the same as actual varifiable events. On top of that, we don’t know who the people were who wrote the Bible.

      “Jesus came to Earth on a mission of mercy.” That may be. Or, it may be a story concocted to control peoples’ behaviors by threatening them with a nonexistant hell. In any case, we all think we know.

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