John 21:12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
We can’t help but wonder how Jesus’ appearance had changed with His resurrection. The two disciples on the way to Emmaus didn’t recognize Him for some time, even while He was talking to them. This incident seems even stranger, when these were His very closest disciples. Why would anyone have needed to ask who He was in the first place? I would guess that the point is that we are not to focus on externals, but on the reality that our physical eyes don’t see. Jesus manifests Himself in many ways even today, but not so that our physical eyes can see Him. Here, Jesus was tending to the physical needs of His disciples in a way that made it clear to them who He was. A story is told of a child who was afraid at night and wanted her mother to stay with her. They were a Christian family, and the mother reminded her that Jesus would never leave her, but she responded, “But sometimes I need Jesus with skin on.” God calls believers to be “Jesus with skin on” in every area of their lives. Paul called it being “ambassadors.” (2 Corinthians 5:20) This isn’t some mystical, New-Agey thing, but rather a matter of thinking, speaking, and acting in harmony and fellowship with the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ.
This is something I have been increasingly aware of over the years, but know I need to walk in much more than I have to this point. Just this week a friend gave me a book for evaluation that talks about a teacher who would “exhale himself” and be filled with Jesus in a sort of “possession” situation. That in itself set my guard up, but then glancing through the teaching in the book I saw that it was similar to the Bible but twisted just enough to lead people badly astray. It was quickly evident to me that the book was just another ploy of the liar who only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10) I am to live as an agent of Christ, but not be deceived by any sense of self-importance. I am to teach believers that they are called to be “Jesus with skin on,” but in the most practical of terms. Here, Jesus had a fire going and breakfast cooking, and wasn’t speaking in grand terms about “unity with the cosmos,” or some such. The Bible has truly transcendent things to say, but it is also the most practical of books, and we are to be the same. James stressed that in his letter, and he had grown up as Jesus’ kid brother! This fits in with a very true statement I first heard years ago: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” I am to be an expression of Jesus’ love first, and then a spokesman for His truth.
Father, thank You for all that You are doing in these days. We have seen some beautiful results, but there is much more You want to do. Help me, help each of us, be totally sensitive and obedient to You so that Your will may be done through us. Help us wait on You and allow You to replace our strength with Yours, (Isaiah 40:31, Philippians 4:13, 2 Corinthians 12:9-10) so that Your will may be accomplished through us for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!