Hebrews 13:2 (KJV) “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Following is a possible “Eternal Reflection” of one who experienced Jesus Christ when He walked on earth.
After Jesus showed me His wounds and stated that the prophecy written by Isaiah was all about Him, I couldn’t help myself! I fell before Him and asked Him to forgive my sins – especially the sin of NOT fully believing that God existed, much less that He cared for Israel!
Jesus reached out and touched my head and said, “My friend, I’ve already forgiven you! My Father forgives you, and He will never forget what you and your family have done to help Me to fulfill my mission! You have blessings coming that you do not realize, YET!”
My son had returned from Bethphage and was standing with me when I encountered Jesus this time. He also was moved to cry out to Jesus for forgiveness! I observed a specific “knowing” in the look that Jesus gave my son! I shall always remember what Jesus said to him, “You have a rich heritage. You are anointed of My Father. I shall never leave you, nor forsake you. Remember, always keep your eyes on Me!”
As suddenly as Jesus appeared, He disappeared in the same manner! It seems that every encounter I’ve had with Jesus was always the same – short and sweet!
There was no small controversy swirling in Jerusalem after Jesus rose from the dead! It was seemingly impossible to go anywhere without walking into a discussion, or argument, concerning His “supposed” resurrection! My Roman friends thought I had lost my sanity when I told them I’d seen Jesus since His resurrection. While they attempted to convince me that I had been hallucinating, I would tell them that I knew Who and what I’d seen!
My testimony did not stop with my Roman friends. Evidently, their connection with Governor Pilate prompted an invitation to appear in the Governor’s Palace. My son and I went, while my wife implored me to just admit that I could possibly be mistaken, while I was convinced to tell the truth. When I informed Governor Pilate that my son and I had indeed seen, talked with, and touched Jesus of Nazareth after He had resurrected, his face became very pale! He placed his face into his hands and said something very curious, “May the gods help me! I should have listened to her!” We were dismissed from Governor Pilate’s court very quickly after our testimonies.
As we were coming down the front stairs leading up to the Governor’s Palace, my son asked, “Father, what did the Governor mean? Who is ‘her’ that he wishes he had listened to?’ Was she one of his gods?” At the time, I did not know. Later, however, I would discover that the Governor meant that he should have listened to the counsel of his wife and had nothing to do with Jesus! The turmoil that the Resurrection of Jesus caused with the Jewish leadership would bring an increased unrest into the region that may have contributed to Pilate being called back to Rome and removed as Governor.
My son and I had to give testimonies to Caiaphas as well! When the Temple guards came to our inn to “invite” us to speak with Caiaphas, we were not surprised. After our testimony, Caiaphas offered us a “blessing” of money to deny our testimony. Being Hellenistic Jews, and being “friends” of Roman influential people, made it difficult for him to do much to back-up his threats after we refused. I was struck with his parting words, “Since you are not influential in our synagogues, AND you are a friend of Rome, I don’t think you will be able to counter our statement that some of His disciples stole the body of Jesus!”
I continued to receive reports that Jesus had been sighted in various places around Jerusalem after our last encounter. With the Feast of Pentecost approaching, there were still large numbers of Jewish pilgrims in the area. I couldn’t bring myself to rent out the upper room where Jesus celebrated the Passover. It became a sacred place for me.
My son became more acquainted with some of the Disciples of Jesus. It seemed that Jesus did not spend as much time with them after His resurrection. It was reported that He visited with them at separate times; but, He seemed to be “wrapping up lose ends,” as if He was planning on leaving for good.
Peter and John took a liking to my son; for, he was most inquisitive about the teachings of Jesus – especially where prophecy spoke of Him. I knew that when he heard Jesus say, “Isaiah was speaking of Me,” it had an enormous impact on my son. I guess Peter and John enjoyed being able to rehearse their stories with him. I was also touched with the care that John gave to Mary, the mother of Jesus. I understood that Jesus left her in John’s care when He was on the Cross.
I had hoped to see Jesus again, but I did not. About 40 days after Jesus had resurrected, many of His disciples and followers showed up at my inn. Peter and John were leading the crowd. Peter asked if I would let them use the upper room where they had last celebrated the Passover. Of course, I did not hesitate!
As the group was entering, there she was! Mary, the mother of Jesus entered my inn and greeted me with the same grace and peace as in our first encounter when she gave birth to Jesus. It was interesting that she had a heightened expression of anticipation very similar to when she was about to give birth!
I asked Peter how long they anticipated they would need to use the upper room. I was curious about his response, “I’m not sure. BUT, we will need it until the Promise comes.” I didn’t care how long they would need it, I was blessed being in their presence.
John told my son and me about how Jesus returned “home.” He said that Jesus taught them some more principles of His Kingdom and commanded them to return to Jerusalem to wait “until you be endued with power from on high!” I was moved in my spirit when he said, “Jesus had no sooner said that, when suddenly He rose up in the air and disappeared in the clouds! Two men, I believe who were angels dressed in bright light, appeared and told us that Jesus would return just like He left – suddenly!”
My son and I became a part of the group that were gathered in the upper room of my inn. I didn’t have to be concerned with providing food and other comfort for them because the last 3 days everyone had agreed to fast and continue in watchful prayer. On the 10th day after Jesus had ascended, “The Promise” came!
The lives of everyone in the upper room were dramatically transformed in an instant! Suddenly, a mighty, rushing wind filled the whole inn! It was unlike any other wind I’d ever experienced. You could feel it, BUT it wasn’t moving anything or anybody! It was as if God had sent a cleansing breath out of His mouth that was also giving new life!
Then, another phenomenal thing took place! A single flame appeared in the center of the room, and it burst into about 120 additional flames that settled above each of our heads. While I was trying to take all this in, I started to cry out, “Lord, help us!” BUT, something even more strange happened – while I was trying to cry out in my language, my mouth was speaking in an unfamiliar language! AND, I wasn’t the only one in the room doing this! Everyone was!!
The next thing I knew, I was dancing to a sound of music resonating from within my spirit, and praising God for His Goodness and Faithfulness! What was most exceptional was the room was filled with the same Love, Joy, and Peace I always experienced in the Presence of Jesus! Suddenly, it “hit” me – Jesus is Alive, Jesus is Home, Jesus is Here, and Jesus is Coming Back!
Some of us were laughing, some were crying, some were having a difficulty walking, some were running, some were dancing, some were singing, some were quoting Scripture, BUT – ALL were praising God!
By the time we all went outside, a crowd had gathered to see what was happening. I looked for my son and I saw him standing near Peter. It seemed that some of the people in the crowd were accusing many of us of being drunk. Peter set the record straight and preached the most powerful sermon I’d ever heard! That day, over 3,000 people committed to becoming disciples of Jesus! My life was never the same!
We continued to offer our inn for the disciples to use as they gathered to share the teachings of Jesus. Many other homes became open and the Faith of Jesus spread. My son became one of the leaders that Peter set in place. You never met my son. The last time I saw him was when he rode off on the same colt, now grown, that Jesus rode. We had a saying that we all “picked up,” to encourage one another. We would say, “If I don’t see you tonight, I’ll see you in the Morning!” That was the last thing I told my son, Stephen, as he rode away!
I never thought that when I offered Joseph and Mary space in my special stable that I was making room for my Savior!
My father busied himself with making room for “royalty” on the third floor of our inn. I hate that he missed the reality that we had “Royalty” in our stable.
Just think, I had several opportunities to “entertain strangers,” in my life. I even had the opportunity to entertain the Son of God!
You asked me if I knew Jesus! Yes, I do! Most call Him Jesus. I call Him “Lord!” He calls me “Friend.”