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§ 298. The Resurrection intended only for Believers.

The manifestation of the risen Saviour was only designed for those who had been brought to faith by his previous ministry. It was not one of the miracles by which unbelievers were to be convinced. Those whose dispositions of heart had made them unsusceptible of impression from his whole ministry would have received, for the same reason, but transient impressions from his reappearance. If the living Jesus could not lead them to repent, neither would they have been persuaded by one risen from the dead.800800   Luke, xvi., 31; cf. p. 136, 322.

The reappearance of the risen one, therefore, was designed to seal and confirm the faith of such as already believed; to form the point of transition from their sensible communion with the visible Christ to their spiritual fellowship with the invisible, but ever-present Saviour. And as this was the reason why Christ did not, in his last promises recorded by John, make express mention of his reappearance as a preparatory moment, so we shall find in his conversations with the disciples after the resurrection conspicuous allusions to the promises made before. Here, too, we find the reason why he only appeared to them occasionally, and remained among them but a short time; they were not to accustom themselves anew to cleave to his visible manifestation, but to learn that his reappearance was to mediate a higher and everlasting union.801801   I agree with De Wette, against Lücke, that John, xx., 30, does not refer to other appearances of Christ after the resurrection not mentioned by John, but that it is intended as a word of conclusion to his whole Gospel. This is supported by the whole form of the expression, and by the use of the words σημεῖα ποιεῖν, which cannot mean any thing but “to work miracles.” The phrase ἐνώπιον τῶν μαθητῶν proves nothing to the contrary; the Apostles were eye-witnesses of Christ’s whole ministry; and John wrote his Gospel as one of these eye-witnesses.


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