THE STORY OF CLEOPAS

THE  STORY  OF  CLEOPAS

In our recent series of posts we read how Peter was converted and became a changed person when he received the Holy Spirit. Now, in this new series, we shall read stories of how other people since then have had a life-changing experience through receiving Jesus as Saviour.

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It was the same day that Jesus Christ revived and rose from the dead. Two of the disciples were walking back home late in the day from Jerusalem to their village, and they were talking with each other about all that had happened. One of them, was Cleopas.

As they talked a stranger appeared and joined them. What are you talking about? he asked.

Cleopas, “Are you the only one who doesn’t know?”

The stranger, “What is it I don’t know?”

Then they spoke in a rush, first one then the other “About Jesus of Nazareth of course … how the chief priests got him crucified … we had hoped he was the Messiah Christ … and this morning some of my women friends told us the tomb was empty … and some angels told them that Jesus was alive … we didn’t believe, but two of our men went to check, and – well – the tomb was empty … “

But the stranger interrupted, “Why so slow to believe! The prophets did tell how the Messiah Christ had to suffer – be killed like a lamb – and then return to heaven.” And he went on to explain how the whole Hebrew shastra spoke of Jesus (because that is who the stranger was).

At their home they asked him in. Then at supper he thanked God for the meal in the manner in which he had always done, and they realized he was Jesus!

At once he vanished, and they were left looking at each other open-mouthed, “Didn’t great feelings of joy warm us inside as he explained the shastra?” they said.

Instead of Jesus’ death being the end of all their hopes for salvation, it was actually the final fulfilment of God’s plan which had existed from the very beginning. And they rushed back by night, and found the others too had no thought of sleeping, because Jesus had risen!

(Read the whole story as it is told in Luke 24:13-35. It is posted separately for you)

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It was by meeting the risen Jesus in person that the first believers became converted. But it could not always be like that, and it became necessary for one person to tell another as those women did; that is, whether other people will believe you and me or not (The apostles did not believe the women at first). And only rarely, as in some of the stories that we shall be reading, did Jesus show himself again to people on future occasions.

Next time : A god-fearing African meets a disciple of Jesus in the desert.

 

 

THE STORY OF THOMAS

THE  STORY  OF  THOMAS

Thomas was one of the twelve apostles who accompanied Jesus in his ministry while walking around Galilee and Judea. In this story we join the party as they walk south in their final visit to Jerusalem. Three times Jesus had told them that he would die, saying that he must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

 

Mark Ch 8 v.31

དེ་ནས་ཁོང་གིས་ཉེ་གནས་ཚོར་མིའི་རིགས་ཀྱི་བུ་ནི་ངེས་པར་དུ་སྡུག་བསྔལ་མང་པོ་མྱོང་ཞིང༌། ཡ་ཧུ་དཱ་པའི་མི་རིགས་ཀྱི་རྒན་པོ་དང་བླ་ཆེན་རྣམས། ཆོས་ཁྲིམས་ལ་མཁས་པའི་མིས་ཁོ་རང་དོར་ནས་གསོད་པར་འགྱུར་ལ། ཡང་ཉིན་གསུམ་གྱི་རྗེས་འཆི་བ་ནས་སླར་གསོན་པར་ལང་ངོ་ཞེས་གསུངས།

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

 

They didn’t understand. They believed he was Messiah; surely he would become Israel’s victorious and undying King, not be rejected by the Jewish sangha and then be killed. They walked on, then up the long rough uphill road to Jerusalem. Great crowds followed, and others came out from the city to greet him. A donkey was brought and he rode it just as the prophet Zechariah said the Messiah King would do. (What a joyous time! You can read about in Mark’s Gospel Ch 10:1-11)

In the next few days too he was popular with the listening crowds. But on his last night, when eating the supper of the Passover Festival with the twelve, he said, “I am with you a little longer, and then I am going where you cannot follow now.”

 

John 13:33

ཕྲུ་གུ་རྣམས། ང་ད་དུང་ཁྱོད་ཚོ་དང་མཉམ་དུ་དུས་ཐུང་ངུ་ཞིག་ཡོད། ཁྱོད་ཚོས་ང་བཙལ་ཡང༌། སྔར་ངས་ཡ་ཧུ་དཱ་པ་རྣམས་ལ་བཤད་པ་བཞིན་དུ་ད་ཁྱོད་ཚོར་ཡང་ཟེར་རྒྱུར། ང་གང་དུ་འགྲོ་བའི་གནས་སུ་ཁྱོད་ཚོ་ཡོང་མི་སྲིད།

Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’

 

They wondered what he meant, and Peter asked, ‘Why can’t we?’ Jesus explained, ‘I am going to my Father’s house, and I will then come back and take you there. You know the way.’

 

John 14:2-4

ངའི་ཡབ་ཀྱི་ཕོ་བྲང་ལ་གནས་ཁང་མང་པོ་ཡོད། དེ་ལྟར་མ་ཡིན་ན་ངས་ཁྱེད་རྣམས་ལ་སྔ་མ་ནས་བཤད་ཡོད། ང་ཁྱེད་ཚོའི་དོན་དུ་གནས་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱེད་དུ་འགྲོ། ང་སོང་ནས་ཁྱེད་ཚོའི་དོན་དུ་གནས་གྲ་སྒྲིག་བྱས་ན། ང་ཕྱིར་ལོག་སྟེ་ཁྱེད་ཚོ་ངའི་རྩར་འདྲེན་པར་བྱ། དེ་ནས་ང་རང་གང་དུ་ཡོད་པ་དེར་ཁྱེད་ཚོའང་ཡོད་པར་འགྱུར།  ང་རང་འགྲོ་རྒྱུ་ཡིན་པའི་ལམ་དེ་ཁྱེད་ཚོས་ཤེས་” ཞེས་གསུངས་པ་དང༌།

In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going.”

 

But to Thomas a ‘way’ meant a stony, dusty path that led to a town or a house. He said, ‘We don’t know where, and so we don’t know the way.’

 

John 14:5

ཐོ་མཱས་ཁོང་ལ་ “གཙོ་བོ་ལགས། ཁྱེད་རང་གང་དུ་ཕེབས་པ་ང་ཚོས་མི་ཤེས་ཏེ་ལམ་དེ་ཇི་ལྟར་ཤེས་” ཞེས་ཞུས།

Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?”

 

Jesus said to him, “I am the way.”

 

John 14:6

ལན་དུ་ཡེ་ཤུས་ “ང་ནི་ལམ་དང༌། བདེན་པ་ཉིད། དཔག་ཏུ་མེད་པའི་ཚེའང་ཡིན། ང་མ་བརྒྱུད་པར་སུ་ཡང་ཡབ་ཀྱི་དྲུང་དུ་འགྲོ་བའི་ལམ་མེད་དོ།

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

 

And after an evening of talking the apostles finally understood that he had come from God; he was the ‘Way’ to Father God. (A full account of Jesus’s talk with them can be read in John’s Gospel Chapters 13 to 16)

What a change next evening when they saw Jesus’s bloodstained and broken corpse being taken down from the cross! They no longer understood; their hopes were destroyed.

They hid in despair and fear, until on the third morning news was brought to the apostles that Jesus had risen; but Thomas was absent. For Thomas, a corpse was a very dead person – just as, a ‘way’ was a road. So, when they told him Jesus was alive, he said, ‘I’ll never believe; that is, unless I can see and feel those nail-pierced hands.’

 

John 20:24,25

འོན་ཀྱང་ཉེ་གནས་བཅུ་གཉིས་པོའི་ནང་ནས་མཚེ་མ་ཟེར་བའི་ཐོ་མཱ་ནི་ཡེ་ཤུ་ཕེབས་པའི་ཚེ་ཁོ་རྣམས་དང་མཉམ་དུ་མེད་པས། ཉེ་གནས་གཞན་པ་རྣམས་ཀྱིས་ཁོ་ལ་ “ང་ཚོས་གཙོ་བོ་མཐོང་ངོ་” ཞེས་ཟེར། འོན་ཀྱང་ཁོས་དེ་ཚོར་ “གལ་ཏེ་ངས་ཁོང་གི་ཕྱག་ལ་གཟེར་གྱི་ཤུལ་མཐོང་བ་དང༌། ངའི་མཛུག་གུ་གཟེར་གྱི་ཤུལ་ལ་འཇུག་པ། ལག་པ་ཡང་ཁོང་གི་གཞོགས་ཀྱི་མདུང་ཤུལ་ནང་དུ་བཅུག་ན་མ་གཏོགས། ངས་རྩ་བ་ནས་ཡིད་ཆེས་མི་བྱེད་” ཅེས་བཤད།

Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin,[d] was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”

 

But Jesus was kind to Thomas, and came again on another day, and said to him, ‘Thomas, look here, and feel with your fingers my nail-pierced hands, and feel here the wound in my body. Believe me.’

 

John 20:27

དེ་ནས་ཁོང་གིས་ཐོ་མཱ་ལ་ “ད་ཁྱོད་ཀྱི་མཛུག་གུ་འདི་རུ་ཞོག་ཅིག ངའི་ལག་པ་ལ་ལྟོས། ཁྱོད་ཀྱིས་ལག་པ་བརྐྱངས་སྟེ་ངའི་གཞོགས་ཀྱི་ནང་དུ་ཆུག་ཅིག དད་མེད་ཀྱི་སེམས་སྤོངས་ལ་དད་པ་བྱོས་ཤིག་” ཅེས་གསུངས།

Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

 

And Thomas believed, and worshipped.

 

John 20:28

ལན་དུ་ཐོ་མཱས་ “ངའི་གཙོ་བོ་དང་ངའི་དཀོན་མཆོག་ལགས་” ཞེས་བཤད།

Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

 

What gracious pity Jesus showed to Thomas!

 

John 20:29

ཡེ་ཤུས་ཁོང་ལ་ “ཁྱོད་ཀྱིས་ང་མཐོང་བས་དད་པ་བྱེད་པ་ཡིན་ནམ། ང་མི་མཐོང་ཡང་དད་པ་རྣམས་བདེའོ་” ཞེས་གསུངས།

“Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

 

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Thomas would never forget that evening spent with Jesus in a locked room. He went on to spend his life walking in the way of faith and obedience to Jesus.

He went to South India where he preached the Good News.

Then one day priests of the Indian Sangha killed him with spears, as the Jewish Sangha had killed Jesus his Lord.

Churches founded in South India are still there today. They give honour to Thomas.

As for believers for whom Jesus is the Way of Salvation, they were not called Christians at first, but ‘People of the Way’.

 

PETER APOSTLE OF JESUS CHRIST – The Rest of Peter’s Life Story

PETER  APOSTLE  OF  JESUS  CHRIST – The Rest of Peter’s Life Story

History and Tradition

We do not know directly from the Bible about the rest of Peter’s life. What we do know, or has come to be accepted, is what church historians wrote in later years.

Peter’s Death

Three accounts state that he died aged about 65. He was taken for execution in Rome, dressed in prison clothes, and was crucified upside down; this was by his choice, because he felt unworthy to be crucified in the manner of his Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Peter’s Gospel

There is evidence throughout the Gospel of Mark, that Mark is recording what Peter told him about those three years that he spent with Jesus. It is full of those details that only Peter and those others with him could have experienced. We can hear too, it seems to me, his words as he spoke them – the words of one who was always so quick to follow Jesus, “And immediately they left the nets, and followed him … and immediatelyand immediately … And immediately, they came into the house of Simon … immediately they tell him (that his wife’s mother lies sick) …” (Mark Chapter 1 verses 18-43). Nine times in these verses he uses the word ‘immediately’ as he tells excitedly how one thing happened after another.

Mark was not one of the 12 apostles, and was probably rarely present because he was just a boy at the time. But later on he was close to events. He was the son of Barnabas’s sister, and it was to her house that Peter went after the angel released him from Herod’s prison (Acts 12:1-24). And we know that he spent some time later on with Peter in Rome (1 Peter 5:13). It is tradition which tells us that Mark wrote down Peter’s memories, which was something that Peter wanted to be recorded before he died (2 Peter 1:12-18).

If it was at Rome that Mark’s Gospel was written, that could explain why at first it had no title to say who wrote it. In the city where Christians were persecuted, it was safer that way. Maybe that too is why the boy in the darkness who spied on Jesus’ arrest was not named. If that boy was Mark himself, he personally saw Peter slash out with his sword at one of Jesus’s captors, before running away to avoid being captured himself. And Peter too is not named by Mark. That boy too escaped. It was, you can read, by leaving his clothes in their hands and fleeing naked (Mark 14:43-52); a memorable night.

Heroes of the Church

Mark was no hero – he deserted Paul and Barnabas when the missionary work became difficult (Acts 13:13). And even Peter lost his courage (Mark 14:66-72).

Mark is given honor in Cyprus and in other parts of the world. The Apostle Thomas is honored in the churches of South India. And Peter is rightly given honor throughout the church; after all Jesus gave him the name ‘Peter the Rock’ because of his enthusiasm and leadership. But they were just men, and it was after they were converted that they were given strength by God.

All honor and glory belong to Jesus Christ alone, who allowed himself to be taken that night, and then suffer and die in order to liberate us from our sins. He rose again victorious over the power of sin, and sent the Holy Spirit to help weak men and prepare them – that is we who believe – for their place in his Father’s house in heaven.

 

Conclusion

Men judge Peter to have been one of the great founders of the Church, and indeed Jesus said so,

                                “I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church.”

Matthew tells us this (Ch. 16 v.18), but not Mark his friend; for Peter had denied knowing Jesus. So how did Peter fulfill Jesus’s words? After restoring him Jesus gave him a commission, “Feed my sheep” (John Ch.21), which he then humbly fulfills as apostle serving Jewish people wherever they were.

The rest of Peter’s life was spent in obedience to this calling. And that was his greatness. And like wise it should so for the least of all his followers, and that includes ourselves; that we love Jesus our Lord God and obey him.

John said so:      “For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3).

ཡོ་ཧ་ནན་༡ 5 :3 གང་ཡིན་ཞེ་ན། ཁོང་གི་བཀའ་ཁྲིམས་སྲུང་བ་དེ་ནི་དཀོན་མཆོག་ལ་གཅེས་པར་འཛིན་པའོ། ཁོང་གི་བཀའ་ཁྲིམས་སྲུང་བ་དེ་དཀའ་བ་མིན།

 

Peter said so:     “As obedient children … be holy … love one another.” (1 Peter 1:14-25).

པེ་ཏྲོ་༡ 1:14-25

14 ཁ་ལ་ཉན་པའི་ཕྲུ་གུ་ལྟར་སྔར་གྱི་རྨོངས་པའི་དབང་གིས་འདོད་ཆགས་མི་བྱེད་པར། 15 ཁྱེད་ཚོ་བོས་གནང་མཁན་ནི་དམ་པ་ཡིན་པས་སྤྱོད་ལམ་ཚང་མ་དམ་པར་བྱོས་ཤིག 16 གང་ཡིན་ཞེ་ན། མདོ་ལས། ང་ནི་དམ་པ་ཡིན་པས་ཁྱོད་ཚོའང་དམ་པར་ངེས་པར་འགྱུར་དགོས་ཞེས་འཁོད།* 17 ཕྱོགས་རིས་མེད་པར་སོ་སོས་བྱ་བ་གང་བྱས་པར་གཞིགས་ནས་ཁྲིམས་གཅོད་མཛད་མཁན་ལ་ཁྱེད་ཚོས་ཡབ་ཅེས་ཞུ་བས། གནས་གཡར་བ་ལྟར་འཇིག་རྟེན་འདིར་སྡོད་རིང་དཀོན་མཆོག་ལ་བཀུར་སྟི་བྱེད་དེ་མི་ཚེ་སྐྱེལ་དགོས། 18 མེས་པོ་ལས་བྱུང་བའི་དོན་མེད་ཀྱི་ལུགས་སྲོལ་ལྟར་ཁྱེད་ཚོ་གསེར་རམ་དངུལ་ལ་སོགས་པའི་འཇིག་ཏུ་འགྲོ་བའི་རིན་གྱིས་བླུས་པ་མ་ཡིན་གྱིས། 19 སྐྱོན་དང་དྲི་མ་བྲལ་བའི་ལུག་གུ་ལྟར་གྱི་མཱ་ཤི་ཀའི་སྐུ་ཁྲག་རིན་ཐང་ཆེ་བ་དེས་བླུས་པ་ཁྱེད་ཚོས་ཤེས། 20 དཀོན་མཆོག་གིས་འཇིག་རྟེན་བཀོད་པའི་སྔོན་ལ་ཁོང་ནི་བདམས་ཀྱང༌། ད་དུས་མཐའ་མར་ཁྱེད་ཚོའི་དོན་དུ་མངོན་པར་གྱུར། 21 ཁྱེད་ཚོ་མཱ་ཤི་ཀ་བརྒྱུད་ནས་དཀོན་མཆོག་ལ་དད་པ་སྐྱེས། དཀོན་མཆོག་གིས་ཁོང་འཆི་བ་ནས་སླར་གསོན་པར་མཛད་ནས་གཟི་བརྗིད་གནང་བས། ཁྱེད་ཚོ་དཀོན་མཆོག་ལ་དད་ཅིང་རེ་བ་བྱེད། 22 བདེན་པའི་བཀའ་ལ་ཉན་པའི་སྒོ་ནས་སེམས་དག་པར་བྱས་ཏེ། སྤུན་ཟླ་རྣམས་ལ་སྙིང་ཐག་པ་ནས་བྱམས་པར་བྱེད་པས། གཅིག་གིས་གཅིག་ལ་སེམས་ཀྱི་གཏིང་ནས་བྱམས་པ་བྱེད། 23 གང་ལགས་ཟེར་ན། ཁྱེད་ཚོ་མི་རྟག་པའི་ས་བོན་མིན་ཏེ་རྒྱུན་དུ་གནས་པའི་ས་བོན་ལས་ཡང་བསྐྱར་སྐྱེས། ས་བོན་དེ་ནི་འཚོ་བའི་སྤྱོད་ལམ་སྟོན་པའི་དཀོན་མཆོག་གི་བཀའ་རྟག་ཏུ་གནས་པ་དེ་ཡིན་ནོ།

24 ཤ་ཁྲག་གདོས་བཅས་རྩྭ་དང་འདྲ།།

དཔལ་ཡོན་གཟི་བརྗིད་མེ་ཏོག་འདྲ།།

རྩྭ་སྐམ་མེ་ཏོག་རྙིད་འགྱུར་ཀྱང༌།།

25 གཙོ་བོའི་བཀའ་ནི་རྒྱུན་དུ་གནས།།

བཀའ་དེ་ནི་ཁྱེད་ཚོར་བསྒྲགས་པའི་འཕྲིན་བཟང་ཡིན་ནོ།།*

 

James said so:   “Be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only.” (James 1:22).

ཡ་ཀོབ། 1:22 རང་གིས་རང་ལ་མགོ་སྐོར་གཏོང་བའི་བཀའ་ཐོས་མཁན་འབའ་ཞིག་ཏུ་མི་འགྱུར་བར། བཀའ་སྒྲུབ་མཁན་དུ་འགྱུར་ཞིག

 

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This the last post about Peter. Please let us know what you would like us to post in future weeks.