Jesus’ Appearances Continue to Transform

I woke up with the early morning call to prayer and was surprised by someone dressed in white beside my bed. I didn’t feel any fear, just a sense of peace that God was watching over me.

These words came from a close Muslim friend who didn’t acknowledge the figure as Jesus. We pray that she would experience the love and presence of Jesus so that she would one day believe in her Savior.

Many of us who have lived among Muslim background brothers and sisters have heard stories of people who have come to faith in Jesus due to his appearing to them. During a recent trip to Africa, we heard of a Muslim man who had a similar experience, who now believes in Jesus as the way, the truth and the life. This man is now in a very strategic role. Praise Jesus for still appearing to people in person or visions!

We see an example in the experience of the Apostle Paul, how Jesus appears to some in order to move them into a relationship with him to further his purposes. In the book of Acts, we read that Jesus appeared to Paul and told him what purpose he had for him.

But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.

Acts 26:16-18

As you read this TIP article, we will have just celebrated Jesus’ death and resurrection and been reminded of the extreme suffering and glorious deity of Jesus.

And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:9-11

We are reminded, too, of how Jesus forgives the sins of those who repent and believe in his precious name.

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Acts 2:38

After his prophetically proclaimed death and resurrection found throughout Scripture, Jesus appeared to many of his disciples, up to 500 of them over 40 days. (See 1 Corinthians 15:3-7; Acts 1:3) In doing so, he did what no other religion can claim, yet so many have not opened their eyes or ears to believe the truth due to the cares of this world and the deception of the enemy.

As Muslims conclude their month of fasting with Eid on April 10th, depending on the sighting of the moon, let’s fervently pray that Jesus would appear to the multitudes, their eyes will be opened to who Jesus is, and that they would believe in his name, the name that is above all names.

We shouldn’t doubt that he appears to people in this present day. The testimonies of the many people whose lives have been transformed by such speak for themselves. Let’s pray with confidence and faith for more of these supernatural encounters to take place. And let’s pray that we can also reflect the love of Christ in everything we do because, as followers of Jesus in all walks of life, we can expect to be used by Jesus, like Paul, to open the eyes of others who see our faith and hear words of truth.

Just as Jesus appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, we are witnesses through sharing our faith and belief as we watch him orchestrate the details in our lives. The purpose of his appearances was the encouragement and faith they brought to those who witnessed them and also to those who believe in him today. Like Jesus, we share to encourage, strengthen, provide hope and assurance of everlasting life, and proclaim victory over sin and death by accepting the free gift of God. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) That is an honorable task, and the Holy Spirit empowers us for it.

May the Spirit of Jesus make himself known to the millions of Muslims and others who have yet to believe, whether through a direct encounter with Jesus or through our obedient witness.

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