In that time period between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension to The Father’s right hand, Jesus was very specific in who He spent time with and appeared to. Luke writes,
"Him God raised up the third day, and shewed Him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before God, even to us, who did eat and drink with Him after he rose from the dead." [Acts 10:40-41]
Jesus also appears to some in Luke:
"And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you….And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them." [Lk 24:36; 41-43]
And in John:
"As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken. Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who art thou? knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead." [Jn 21:9-14]
Those whom Jesus appeared to, called “witnesses” in Acts, had been “chosen beforehand by God.” Each witness of Jesus has been specifically chosen beforehand! How far beforehand? Paul answers this for us, saying, “…[The Father] hath chosen us in [Jesus] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…” [Eph 1:4]
And our specific election into God’s family through Jesus Christ, through the indwelling of His Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father,” whose filling/baptizing has enabled each of us, to be, according to Acts 1:8, “witnesses unto [Jesus] both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth,” is also marked by something wonderful: intimate fellowship with Jesus Christ! Just as John writes,
"…truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." [1 Jn 1:3]
What a beautiful and simple truth: Jesus desires fellowship with us. He just wants to be with us. As the bride says, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me.” [Song 7:10] This fellowship is shown in that those whom Jesus appeared to “did eat and drink with Him after He rose from the dead.” Jesus surely could have done anything He wanted with His bride, but He chose to fellowship with her. And still today, Jesus reveals Himself to those who are desiring fellowship with Himself. This includes those who are filled with The Spirit and obedient. Jesus explains in John,
"I will not leave you orphaned: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me." [Jn 14:18-24]
We see here that
- Jesus reveals Himself via The Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Adoption.
- Jesus reveals Himself to those that love Him, which are those who obey Him. These two are mutually inclusive.
- Those whom Jesus reveals/manifests Himself to see Him
- The world does not see Jesus
Jesus describes the manifestation of Himself as The complete Godhead abiding in a man, and that man abiding in The Godhead. As Jesus prayed in John 17:21, “…that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…” and as the bride says, “my beloved is mine, and I am His…” [Song 2:16] And this wonderful fellowship with Jesus is achieved through His Holy Spirit, who continually helps us to obey and love God.
Since Jesus so desires to be with us, to have private spiritual fellowship, we ought also to desire, and seek after that with Him. That should be our one desire, “that [we] may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of [our] life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.” [Psa 27:4] For, “whom have [we] in heaven but [The LORD]? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside [The LORD].” [Psa 73:25]