Jesus Appears to the Disciples, and Thomas Doubts

The Gospel of John

John 20:19–31

Jesus Appears to the Disciples, Jesus and Thomas

& The Purpose of This Book

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         One week after the resurrection, a Sunday evening, Jesus suddenly and miraculously appears to His disciples who out of fear, are in a locked room. He says, “Peace be with you.”

2.           He shows them His hands and side, the scars made by the nails and spear. The disciples were “glad” when they saw the Lord.

3.           Again He said, “Peace be with you” and then gave them, and us, the great commission: “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

4.           Then He “breathed on them” and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” This is the moment of the full conversion of the disciples.

5.           The sending commission is of the highest of all since it concerns whether hearers are forgiven or not, since no unforgiven sinner can enter into God’s presence.

6.           Thomas, who was not present, when told that Jesus had been there, declares he will not believe unless he sees for himself.

7.           Eight days later, again a Sunday, Jesus appears and lets Thomas touch His wounds now healed. Thomas then expresses faith by saying, “My Lord and my God!”

8.           Jesus’ reaction shows that those who have not seen yet believe are blessed.

9.           John then goes on to state the purpose for the writing of his Gospel, which is that readers will believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.

10.         We note chapter 20 is not the last chapter in the Gospel; there is a final chapter, added on later perhaps.

The Resurrection

The Gospel of John

John 20:1–18

The Resurrection & Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         All four Gospel writers record the resurrection of Jesus. A woman, Mary Magdalene, is the first to see the resurrected Jesus. (In other Gospel accounts, Mary is not alone. Also, each account has a difference when it comes to who first greeted Mary. In John there are 2 angels in white, in Matthew it is one dazzling angel, in Mark 1 young man in white, in Luke 2 dazzling men.)

2.         The men looked angelic but were identifiable as humans, there is no contradiction.

3.         Mary only is mentioned by John, but finding the tomb empty she runs to where Peter and the “other disciple” are and tells them that “they” have taken away Jesus’ body. She has no idea what happened.

4.         Peter and John (so very likely this “other disciple”) come to the tomb. The linen cloths are found there and the face cloth folded up, this indicating there had not been a stealing of Jesus’ body.

5.         As yet, the disciples did not understand what Jesus had been telling them right along, that He would rise from the dead. Then they returned home.

6.         Mary remains, weeping, outside the tomb, then stooping to look in the tomb, she sees 2 angels in white, actually sitting where Jesus’ body had been. Mary tells the angels that “they” have taken His body. Turning around now she finds Jesus standing there but she does not immediately recognize Him.

7.         Mary thought she was talking with the gardener and thinks he has taken the body away, and if so, she will take the body away.

8.         Jesus then utters “Mary” and hearing that she knows who it is who is before her. She says, “Rabboni!” In addition she touches Jesus’ body, probably His feet, falling on her knees.

9.         Jesus says to her, “Do not cling to me” since He has not yet ascended, but that she is to go to His “brothers,” that is, His disciples, and tell them “I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.”

10.       These words of comfort Mary reports to the disciples, and in Mark’s and Luke’s accounts, they do not believe her.

The Third Sex? Homosexual and Transgender Issues from a Biblical Perspective by Kent Philpott

AN INVITATION

At the book signing booth at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, February 26, six or seven people to whom I signed this book told me of members of their families who were in the process of transitioning. One wife of a pastor said their 18 year old son was nearing the time for hormones and surgery.

During the remaining days of  the convention, numbers of others approached my wife Katie and myself  relating similar stories. It was a kind of pastoral ministry for these; they had someone to talk to who might understand something of what they were going through.

You may have a story to tell also. Our intention is to compile numbers of such stories for a second, or follow-up book, to the one you are reading now.

We invite you to send us your story, your experience, in 1000 words or less. We will not publish any names, nor the city and state you are writing from.

Please send your story to: kentphilpott@comcast.net or katielcPhilpott@usa.net

Our intention is to bring some encouragement to others, knowning they are not alone in their time of sorrow and grief.

Kent and Katie Philpott

Death and Burial of Jesus

GOSPEL MEDITATION

John 19:28–42

The Death of Jesus, Jesus’ Side is Pierced, Jesus is Buried

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.           Friday late afternoon, the 14th of Nisan, the first day of Passover, and the Day of Unleavened Bread about to commence. Jesus is crucified on Passover, the Passover Lamb of God, now to be buried and with Him our sin as the yeast, representing sin, is removed from the Jewish households.

2.         Jesus then is fulfilling the intent of the first two feasts of Israel. He will fulfill the third feast also, the Feast of First Fruits, the third major feast of Israel, by His resurrection.

3.         “I thirst” said Jesus, which fulfills a Scripture; Jesus did not say it in order to fulfill it, but because He was thirsty which is typical for a crucified person.

4.         At the very last then, Jesus cries out, “It is finished.” It is a cry of victory in that all that He was to do has now, with His dying, been completed.

5.         The day, Friday was ending and the law stated (Deuteronomy 21:22–23) that a body hung on a tree must be taken down before the beginning of the new day, at sundown.

6.         If a hung person was yet alive, his legs would be broken meaning this person could not hoist himself up to breath so would soon die of asphyxiation. Jesus’ legs were not broken (fulfilling yet another prophecy) since He was already dead and the spear that pierced His side clearly revealed that.

7.         Two leading members of the Council of Israel, the Sanhedrin, now play a major role in Jesus’ burial–Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus. They were secret followers of Jesus. Normally the Romans allowed the bodies to remain of the cross thus letting the birds and other animals consume the body. But Joseph secures Jesus’ body and Nicodemus has prepared what was necessary for a proper Jewish burial.

8.         Jesus’ body is placed in a tomb in a nearby garden.                   

The Crucifixion

GOSPEL MEDITATION

John 19:17–27

The Crucifixion

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.         Sometime before 9am that Passover Day (our Good Friday), Jesus is lead away from the Fortress of Antonio to be crucified on the hill of the skull, supposedly where Adam was buried, known as Golgotha, to be lifted up on a cross.

2.         Sometimes the two separate parts of the cross, the vertical and horizontal pieces, only the horizontal piece was carried by the condemned. Sometimes both. Here the Gospels make it clear that Jesus carried the horizontal piece due to the savage scourging He has just received. Still, He stumbled, and another finished that work. (Simon of Cyrene–Matthew 27:32)

3.         Are we reminded of Isaac carrying the wood for the fire that would burn His body? (Genesis 22, known as the Akida)

3.         The inscription, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews” Pilate ordered fixed to the cross in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek, and was perhaps Pilate’s last jab at the Jewish leaders. These leaders protested but Pilate remained resolute.

4.         Jesus was crucified between two criminals, thus linking Him with such deplorable people. Did Pilate arrange for this?

5.         The death squad of Roman soldiers, usually four in number, were rewarded by receiving what clothes the condemned was wearing. Interesting enough, some 1000 years before King David mentions this as found in Psalm 22:18. Historians tell us crucifixion was not invented some several hundred years after the days of King David.

6.         There at the cross were either three or four women. Scholars are divided on this, and with them young John the Apostle and the author of the Gospel. They had the courage to stand close to the cross so that Jesus could speak directly to them.

7.         Jesus utters one of the seven sayings from the cross now:  He said to His mother: “Woman, behold your son!” and to John, the son, “Behold your mother!” John then did what the oldest son, by custom, was supposed to do upon the death of the mother’s husband. Jesus had been acting that part now John.

8.         Fairly reliable history says that John lived in Ephesus until Mary died.

An invitation to those who have family members who are transgender or who are in the process.

In January of this year we published The Third Sex? Revisited: Homosexual and Transgender Issues from a Biblical Perspective.

(It is available at Amazon.com)

Now we are deep into a second book whose focus is transgender. Katie and I invite anyone who have a story to tell to send it to us, and for possible inclusion in our new volume. Kent’s email address is: kentphilpott@comcast.net. If you would like to talk about it, please call Kent at 415.302-1199 or Katie at 415.299-2910.

A Challenge to Pro-Gay folks

  1. Are we a culture that is unable to say that there are wrong choices? 
  2. Why is the LGBTQ+ community so invested in transgender issues? 
  3. Why do the LGBTQ+ folks reject the designation homosexual? 
  4. If being homosexual is only natural, why oppose the usage of the term? 
  5. Do they think there is something wrong with the term heterosexual? 
  6. Shouldn’t the gay community be opposing transgenderism? Is the connection rooted in the struggle with same-sex attraction? 
  7. Is it about protecting sexual freedom from the standard norms of the West, and of course, of Christianity? 
  8. Must everyone get on board? 
  9. If some people believe homosexual behavior is sinful, are they then “homophobic?” 
  10. Must everyone think alike? 

Challenging 

Need a little help from my friends

Kent Philpott, author of The Third Sex? and The Gay Theology, written in the 1970s and published by Logos International, looks back on that period which spawned an outreach to gays and lesbians who desired, as followers of Jesus, to leave that lifestyle behind. That outreach, known as Love in Action, created a great deal of controversy, which continues to this day, long after the close of the ministry.

From past to present, this book updates those concerns and focuses new attention on transgender issues, now a topic discussed by religious, social, political, and educational groups worldwide. Philpott says, “Those suffering from sexual dysphoria especially stirred me to offer some encouragement, comfort, and hope.”

Though the LGBTQ+ community attempts to discourage and disparage those of us who have differing points of view, we welcome this. The reality is that there is yet in our “accepting culture” those who will proclaim biblical moral standards regarding sexuality.

My wife Katie and I presented the book at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville late February 2020. The response was beyond our wildest imagination. We could have signed a larger number of copies, but we only brought 50 copies with us.

            At the signing booth we heard story after story from people who had sons, daughters, granddaughters, grandsons, siblings, even one husband, and other assorted relations, transitioning. Tears were shed. Questions went unanswered. Frustrations boiled to the surface. And we realized we had more work to do.

Later today Katie will ask for our Print on Demand company, LSI, to alter the book now out and add two invitations. Below this paragraph is the first one:

Invitation

At the book-signing booth at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville, February 26, 2020, six or seven people for whom I signed this book told me of members of their families who were in the process of transitioning. One wife of a pastor said their 18-year-old son was nearing the time for hormones and surgery.

During the remaining days of the convention, numbers of others approached my wife Katie and me, relating similar stories. This was sorely needed pastoral ministry for them; they had someone to whom to talk who might understand what they were going through.

You may also have a story to tell. Our intention is to compile such stories for a follow-up book to the one you are reading now.

We invite you to send us your story, your personal experience, in 1,000 words or less. We will not publish any names or addresses.

Please send your story to: kentphilpott@comcast.net or katielcp@evpbooks.com.

For the stories we choose to include in this project, we will send a “release form,” which will give us permission to publish your story.

Our intention is to bring some encouragement to others to know they are not alone in their time of confusion, sorrow, and grief.

Kent and Katie Philpott

Gospel Meditation: John 19:1–16

GOSPEL MEDITATION

John 19:1–16

Jesus Delivered to be Crucified

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.

1.           Now that Pilate has determined to have Jesus crucified, to satisfy the religious authorities, he orders Jesus flogged.

2.           Soldiers, likely Romans soldiers who were used to inflicting pain, mock Jesus by placing a crown of thorns on His head and draping a purple robe over Him, thus intending to bloody Jesus and humiliate Him. All this in private.

3.           Their mocking continues as they beat Him with their fists. Pilate then escorts Jesus out into the open for all to see, perhaps hoping this treatment would satisfy the crowd. In presenting Jesus he said, “Behold the man!”

4.           This effort failed as the chief priests and officers yell out to crucify Him. Pilate says then for them to take Him away and do it themselves since he found no fault in Jesus.

5.           The Jews had no authority to crucify a criminal, but Jesus was more, since He had stated He is the Son of God. For unknown reasons, Pilate was “even more afraid.”

6.           Taking Jesus back inside his residence, Pilate began questioning Jesus about where He was from, but Jesus remained silent. This infuriated Pilate and he then retorts that he himself had the authority to release Jesus.

7.           Jesus counters that Pilate had no authority except it had been given to him from above. Therefore, the “greater sin” belongs to those who turned Him over to Pilate.

8.           Pilate tries hard to release Jesus, but the religious authorities shouted that if he did, Pilate was no friend of Caesar’s and actually opposed Caesar. So the crowd became political with the idea that a report would be made to Rome.

9.           Pilate took Jesus to the location where judgements were pronounced. Whereupon he called out, “Behold your King!” The crowd yelled to take Him away and crucify Him.

10.         Pilate continues taunting them saying, “Shall I crucify your King?” The crowds reply is one that would seemingly be impossible for a Jew to make, “We have no king but Caesar.”

11.         Pilate then released Jesus to be crucified.

The Why of my new book on transgender issues.

The WHY of this book

If a transgender person showed up at the church of which I am pastor I would welcome him or her and without qualification. If a person wished to keep her or his gender transition quiet, I would do so. This person would be every much a part of the church family as anyone else.

            If this person wished to marry someone of his or her opposite gender identity, I would conduct the ceremony. I would not do so if the result of the marriage would be two women or two men being married to each other.

            If a person who was considering transgendering came to me for counsel, I would hope to work through issues with compassion and understanding to the point there would be a change of direction. And again, if this person rejected my counsel and, after sincere and extensive professional evaluation was absolutely convinced, then I would not reject this person. If this person, however, say a male transitioning to a female, wanted to pursue a female I would object.

Am I saying that a transgender person could be an actual born again Christian? Yes, I am.

Who of us are so perfectly adjusted when it comes to matters of sexuality? There but for the grace of God go I, and we can all say amen to this.

            Life is full of pain and suffering, for all of us, but multiplied for those who go through anxiety as to their gender identity. Yes, there are those who seem to adjust fairly smoothly and go on with their lives as a trans, but this is the exception to the rule as far as I am acquainted with the dynamics. As a pastor for fifty plus years in Marin County, California, a place that accepts about every weird form of sin one could imagine, as a follower of Jesus, I must take a stand.

(note: I am still doing research for this book, perhaps the most challenging and complex book I have ever under taken.)