6 Gifts From The Man From Outside

August 16, 2021

Yeshua of Nazareth was and remains utterly unique. He alone, of all who ever lived, is the Man from Outside. Although he was born of the womb of a woman, like all of humankind, he came from outside.

When praying at an extensive meeting with his disciples prior to his crucifixion, he alluded to this, asking, “Father, restore to me the glory I had with you before the world was made.” He came from outside, that is, outside the time space continuum, he came from the uncreated realm inhabited only by the Triune God. He came from outside the realm of space, and time, and creation.

His followers struggled with how to express this reality. One of them, Yochanan said it this way, “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us, and we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten of the Father.” “The Word, which gives life!

    He existed from the beginning.

We have heard him,

    we have seen him with our eyes,

we have contemplated him,

    we have touched him with our hands!

2 The life appeared,

    and we have seen it.

We are testifying to it

    and announcing it to you —

eternal life!

He was with the Father,

    and he appeared to us.”

In this week’s reading from the Besorah, we read of how Yeshua, the Man from Outside, met with his disciples after his resurrection bringing to them six gifts from the Outside.

19 In the evening that same day, the first day of the week, when the talmidim were gathered together behind locked doors out of fear of the Judeans, Yeshua came, stood in the middle and said, “Shalom aleikhem!” 20 Having greeted them, he showed them his hands and his side. The talmidim were overjoyed to see the Lord. 21 Shalom aleikhem!” Yeshua repeated. “Just as the Father sent me, I myself am also sending you.” 22 Having said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Ruach HaKodesh23 If you forgive someone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you hold them, they are held.”

24 Now T’oma (the name means “twin”), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Yeshua came. 25 When the other talmidim told him, “We have seen the Lord,” he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger into the place where the nails were and put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe it.”

26 A week later his talmidim were once more in the room, and this time T’oma was with them. Although the doors were locked, Yeshua came, stood among them and said, “Shalom aleikhem!” 27 Then he said to T’oma, “Put your finger here, look at my hands, take your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be lacking in trust, but have trust!” 28 T’oma answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Yeshua said to him, “Have you trusted because you have seen me? How blessed are those who do not see, but trust anyway!”

Those gifts he brought to them are ours as well. So let’s look at these six gifts, and how we might make them our own.

First, The Context

Our text describes events in the upper room on the very day of the resurrection.

The text sets the scene for us. “In the evening that same day, the first day of the week, when the talmidim were gathered together behind locked doors out of fear of the Judeans.”

This is where we live our lives, in the midst of reports of good news, simultaneous with doubts, fears, and a sense of threat. Our life condition is most often a mixture of the good and bad, the certain and the uncertain, faith and fear. This is where we find ourselves. This is also where Yeshua finds the disciples and us as well. .

And finding us in our existential mixture of echoes of good news, doubt, and our sense of all kinds of threats, Yeshua brings us gifts from the outside. He brings us gifts from the age to come. He brings us gifts that signal that everything has changed, everything is changing, everything will certainly and eternally change. He brings us tokens that assure us all things have become, are becoming, and will become everlastingly new.

But we need to notice. We need to focus. And we need to lay hold of these gifts.

What are the gifts? And how shall we lay hold of them while we await their consummation? These are pivotal and ultimate questions. Again, let’s look at the six gifts.

The First Gift: Yeshua is Among Us

The first gift Yeshua brings us is that he has come and he is in the midst of us. “Yeshua came, stood in the middle.” For us he is unseen. Unacknowledged. Unappreciated. But in accordance with his promise, and through the Presence of His Spirit, he is here. This is why, on the night in which he was betrayed, he told his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I don’t go away, the comforting Counselor will not come to you. However, if I do go, I will send him to you.”  Through the Spirit who, he sent, Yeshua is among us.

Of course God has always been omnipresent. However, due the Word becoming flesh, dwelling among us, and accomplished his saving work through living a sinless life, dying an atoning death, and ascending to the Father, God’s presence among humankind has gone through a shift. There is a deeper and more accessible relational presence. He is relationally among us.

This is the first gift. We do not experience our mixture lives, our mixture of faith and fear, alone. He is here. Always. Even until the end of the age.

The Second Gift: He Speaks Peace To Us

The second gift is that he speaks peace to us. Our text says, “Yeshua came, stood in the middle and said, “Shalom aleikhem!” Actually, in our reading he will say this not once but three times. This is no perfunctory greeting. It is his assurance that he wishes for us wholeness, wellness, fulfillment, safety, joy. He says to us “Shalom Aleichem. I bring wholeness to you. I come as your friend. I welcome you as friends. What I am leaving with you is shalom — I am giving you my shalom. I don’t give the way the world gives. Don’t let yourselves be upset or frightened.” When the Risen Lord of the Universe gives us his shalom, no matter what may happen to us, all is well.   

This is not simply subjective peace, good feelings. That is not what it is. This is a state of peace with God. Formerly, as sinful people, we were at odds with God, even at war with him. But the Messiah has come, bringing reconciliation and the end of any enmity between us and God. We don’t have to wake up worrying how things are between us and God. Because of Yeshua, that is a settled issue.

The Third Faith: An Evidentiary Faith

The third gift he brings to us is that ours in an evidentiary faith. “Having greeted them, he showed them his hands and his side.” Our faith is not simply bundle of reassuring platitudes. As Luke will say in the Book of Acts, “After his death he showed himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.” A marvelous sentence . . . after his death . . . alive. And of this, he himself gave to them many convincing proofs. Those proofs are there for us as well. The literature about the resurrection is extensive and utterly convincing. And on YouTube you can see scholars like Gary Habermas, or John Lennox, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Oxford, for example, giving defenses of the resurrection whereby, if you are a thinking person, your faith will be affirmed and deepened. One of the gifts Yeshua brought us from the Outside is an evidentiary faith.

The Fourth Gift: We Have Work To Do

The fourth gift he brings us from the outside is a commission, that is, work to do. We read this, ““Shalom aleikhem!” Yeshua repeated. “Just as the Father sent me, I myself am also sending you.” We have work to do, a general work, and specific things to do in accord with our situation in life, our natural ability, our acquired skills, and our spiritual gifts, and the call of God. He has not called us to be passive recipients of blessing. That would be like being God’s pets. No, we are his servants and his children. He has work for us to do. We, like Yeshua, must be about our Father’s business. Yeshua said of himself, “I only do what I see the Father doing.”  We too have the privilege of attuning ourselves to what God is up to in the world, and to sometimes fearfully, but always faithfully, be about the Father’s business. It’s true for us as Yeshua told the disciples that night in the upper room,  “Just as the Father sent me, I myself am also sending you.”

 Our fourth gift then is a commission, work to do. And when God gives us work to do, we have all the dignity and status we could ever need.

The Fifth Gift: His Equipping Spirit

The fifth gift is His equipping Spirit. “22 Having said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Ruach HaKodesh!” When we become Yeshua’s people something transformative happens within us, and from time to time, His enabling Presence comes upon us with special intent. Yeshua did not send his disciples out to do God’s work without equipping them. Neither does he do that with us. Our fifth gift is his equipping Spirit. Just as for the disciples, so for us, this is something that happens at His initiative.

He not only gives us gifts, heightened abilities that bring spiritual benefit to others. He also will from time to time, and situation to situation empower us for a special moment, a special situation. The Spirit of God will come upon us in some way, empowering us situationally.

This too is a gift from the Man from Outside.

The Sixth Gift: Delegated Authority

Finally, the sixth gift is delegated authority to act in His name. In the case of the aspostles, this authority was geared to the magnitude of their specific calling as the foundational members of his Age To Come Community. They had the authority to speak to others about whether or not their sins were forgiven. “If you forgive someone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you hold them, they are held.” This is a big deal.

Our delegated authority, like theirs, will be proportional to our particular calling. But not only will we be sent to do work for God, and not only will we be equipped by His Spirit, we will also have authority to act in His Name . . . After all, what does it mean, for example, to pray in Yeshua’s Name?  Does it mean to paste these magic words onto the end of our prayers.  NO!  It means to say to the Father, “Have have come here before you with these requests because Yeshua has authorized me to do so. I mentione his Name as the One who sent me. When we pray for healing we also pray as those sent by God. When we speak to the demonized with authority, we do so as agents of Yeshua, authorized to invoke His authority in the situation. It is not in our own authority that we go, but in his. Like an old hymn put it, “We rest on thee, and in thy Name we go.”  Delegated authority.

So, how do we make these gifts our own?

How Do We Make These Gifts Our Own?

Yeshua gives us the guiding principle which I challenge us all to spend our lifetimes applying. It is a key he gives to Doubting Thomas, of all people.

We read this:

24 Now T’oma (the name means “twin”), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Yeshua came. 25 When the other talmidim told him, “We have seen the Lord,” he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger into the place where the nails were and put my hand into his side, I refuse to believe it.”

26 A week later his talmidim were once more in the room, and this time T’oma was with them. Although the doors were locked, Yeshua came, stood among them and said, “Shalom aleikhem!” 27 Then he said to T’oma, “Put your finger here, look at my hands, take your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be lacking in trust, but have trust!” 28 T’oma answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Yeshua said to him, “Have you trusted because you have seen me? How blessed are those who do not see, but trust anyway!”

The key is to actively trust in these things. We need to lay hold of them by relying upon them, and putting them to the test. This is now we make them our own. Moment by moment, situation by situation. Day in, and day out.

There is really no other way to experience these things other than to put them to the test.  Yeshua says that those who DO trust in these things will be blessed in the trusting. That’s you. That’s me. That’s us. And that’s now.

For a video version of this content, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zY44O9bam4w

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

closearrow-circle-o-downellipsis-v linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram