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but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and
your Father, to my God, and your God;" and farther, that he would go before them into Galilee, and that they should see him there. How much affection was there in this. Though risen from the dead, and in a new state of being, he was mindful of those to whom he had stood in so peculiar a relation as he had done to his apostles. He calls them his brethren, and informs them, that he was going, though not immediately, to their common God and Father. In the mean time, he appeared unexpectedly to several of his disciples, and to all the apostles; but it is remarkable that Jesus does not seem to have Thewn any particular respect to his mother after his resurrection, and indeed not much during the whole of his public ministry, and there was the greatest propriety in this. A man of worldly views would naturally have distinguished his own relations, as did Mahomet, and most of the Popes. But the views of Jesus were not so confined. To him whoever did the will of God was a mother, a fifter, or a brother.
There was certainly great wisdom in this behaviour of Jesus to his mother, though he does not appear to have been at all deficient in a proper attention to her. His recommending her to the care of John as he hung on the cross shows the contrary. Though he took no more than proper notice of her, the veneration in which she was held by Christians came, in a course of time, to be excessive, and idolatrous in the extreme. What would it have been if Jesus had himself laid any foundation for it?
There is something peculiarly interesting in the account of Jesus's unexpected appearance to the two disciples who were walking to Emmaus, when they said, (Luke xxiv. 22) " he made their hearts burn within them,” while he explained to them the scriptures relating to himself, his death and resurrection, and was afterwards known to them as they were at meat, and immediately disappeared.
Having something of so much importance to communicate, these two disciples naturally hastened to return to Jerusalem, to inform the apostles of it, and while they
were telling their story, Jesus himself appeared among them, and perceiving them to be greatly terrified as supposing that it was a spirit, or apparition, he, with great calmness, and no doubt in the most encouraging manner, said to them, (verse 38) “ Why are ye troubled, and why do thoughts arise in
your hearts ? Behold my hands and my feet; handle me, and see, for a spirit has not flesh and bones, as ye see me have," and then " he shewed them his hands and his feet.” And, as the evangelist says, “ while they yet believed not through joy, and wondered, he said, Have ye any meat ; and he took and ate before them,” after which they could not have any doubt of his resurrection and identity.
There was something peculiarly condescending and pleasing in his behaviour to Thomas, who not being present at this appearance of Jesus, had said that nothing should convince him of it short of putting his finger into the holes made in his hands, and his hand into the wound in his side. For the next time that he made his
appearance, he said to Thomas, (John xx, 27) “Reach
hither thy finger, and behold my hands, and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing.”
The behaviour of Jesus to Peter, who had denied him, but had bitterly repented, was encouraging, but not without an infinuation of reproof, which affected him much. The account, as given of it by John, seemingly with great exactness, is interesting. Appearing unexpectedly to several of his disciples as they were in a thip fishing on the sea of Galilee, John, who first perceived who he was, saying, it was Jesus, Peter eagerly swam to the shore where he waited for them. After this, when they had dined together, he faith to Peter, (John xxi. 15) “ Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He faith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He faith unto him, Feed my lambs.
lambs. He saith unto him again, the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He faith unto him the third time, Simon, fon
of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me and he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things, thou kyowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep."
After this he informed Peter of some of the circumstances of his death ; but repressed his curiosity about the fate of John, saying,
If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me. This interview seems to have preceded his appearing to more than five hundred of his discia ples mentioned by Paul, after which he saw his disciples once more at least at Jerusalem. There he repressed their curiosity about the time of his restoring the kingdom to Ifrael ; and having given them a folemn charge, to preach the gospel to all the world, with an assurance of a miraculous support in so doing, he led them out of the city to the mount of Olives, and in their light ascended above the clouds; while two angels, who stood by thein, said, (Acts i. 11) “ Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, "who is taken up from