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What Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 2.9 from Isaiah 64.4 is unfortunately a very accurate way to describe what happened in Galilee on resurrection morning… No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.

Indeed there was no one there from the men to see or hear what God had prepared for them… but then according to Paul, it is only those who love God, agape God, who get to see and hear what no eye has seen or ear has heard… much less conceived in any mind.  So what held back the men?  Was it only doubt and unbelief that held them back, or was there something else, something that would not even cause them to wait around the tomb as Mary did, something that would only have two of them go to the tomb?

The clue, the key, to understand what really held them back, what caused Peter to go home, and even what caused John who by his own admission saw and believed, but obviously not enough to go as the word had said, is love, or rather, the lack of love, the lack of agape love.  And if Peter, if we can take Peter as an example of the love the eleven had for Jesus in the days after the resurrection, you only need to go to John 21.15-17:  Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love (agape) Me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord,” he said, “You know that I love (phileo) You.”  Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.”  Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love (agape) Me?”  He answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love (phileo) You.”  Jesus said, “Take care of My sheep.”  The third time He said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love (phileo) Me?”  Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love Me?”  He said, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love (phileo) You.”  Jesus said, “Feed My sheep.”  In case anyone thinks that this is pedantic… the translators are the ones who have agape (26) by Jesus and phileo (5797) by Christ once and Peter every time.

Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him three times.  What about Jesus who had to ask him three times and at the third time downgraded it to ‘phileo’ because Peter would not come up from ‘phileo’ to ‘agape’?  No wonder Jesus literally did not entrust him (Peter) with any Family members, but merely the flocks of the household.  Many would say Jesus meant His brothers and sisters when He used the words ‘lambs’ and ‘sheep’, for after all He is the Good Shepherd.  The term ‘Good Shepherd’ was used by Jesus to describe Himself to the Pharisees who did not believe Him, and Jesus used that term… “I am the Good Shepherd; I know My sheep and My sheep know Me— just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father…” as an insult and a derogatory remark to the Pharisees who could not be trusted with a family relationship with God, but at best a servant relationship with God who would look after the flocks, not the Family of God… and even then, as shepherds they were not good.  That is why Jesus said to the Pharisees, “I am the Good Shepherd…” meaning when it comes to looking after even just the flocks… He was more trustworthy, diligent and better than they were.

But now, to the man whom He had called a friend just before He died and whom He called brother after the resurrection, He can now only treat as a servant again.  You see, Peter could only phileo Him and as such, Jesus could only use the terms ‘lambs’ and ‘sheep’ to denote the level of trust that would be given  him.  Jesus, who defined His brothers and sisters as those who do “… the will of My Father in Heaven…”, those who do “… God’s will…” and those “…who hear God’s word and put it into practice,” would not say to the one who only phileod Him… to feed His brothers and sisters and take care of them.  The figure of speech used by Jesus for Peter’s replies was to distance him in his responsibilities.  He would feed those who are lambs and sheep, the flocks… but the term of family, not possession of goods and chattels, was withheld from Peter.  As such, the relationship he (Peter) would have with the others from the beginning would not have been of the intensity of agape… not until later in his ministry.

Even in his first letter he could only write:  Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care…  And when the Chief Shepherd appears… which is the language of a servant looking after the goods and chattels of a master, not the language of an older brother caring for members of the family.  Remember it was Peter who asked John to ask Jesus who was the betrayer, and that Peter was not present at the crucifixion so it was not to him that Jesus said these words… “Dear woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”

We do not know why they did not believe and did not go… and we do not know how the others loved Jesus… with phileo like Peter or with agape.  If we assumed John had agape for Jesus and know that he saw and believed, that is an even greater mystery why he (John) did not go.  John who requested with his brother, James, to sit at the right hand of Jesus Christ, who placed his head on Jesus’ chest, who had been entrusted with the mother, who entered the tomb, saw and believed… and still did not go.  So truly sadly, what Paul wrote decades later aptly described what happened that resurrection morning… No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him… or rather, no other eyes saw or ears heard nor mind imagined what God had prepared in Galilee for His Son who loved Him.  No one… because no one went.

So what right do we have to say that now, 2000 years later?  We can see what they did not see, hear what they did not hear and even begin to conceive in our minds what God had prepared for those who love (agape) Him, because of what Paul then wrote:  but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit.  But do not just listen to Paul… listen to Jesus, for He said, “He will bring glory to Me by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you.”  What the Father had prepared for Jesus belongs to Jesus and so the Spirit can make it known to us as Paul correctly wrote.  And what is the proof of this, for anyone can make verbal claims that he has heard and seen great things in visions and dreams or even in the flesh… then what is the proof of that which they say is true?  The power of the Holy Spirit is the first proof, for it was that same power that declared Jesus to be the Son of God by raising Him from the dead, and so it will be the same power that will authenticate the testimony of those who claim that they have seen and heard what God had prepared for the eleven in Galilee on resurrection morning.

For the preparation on the mountain in those 40 days was not about the preparation of servants of God or friends of God who would work for Him for a wage or who would help Him as a favour, but rather, the journey to Galilee was for those who are His brothers, for the message was, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see Me.”  It was not a command to tell My servants or disciples, nor an invitation to tell My friends, but good news to Family members to let them know He is safe, He is alive!  He was telling His sister, Mary, and His mother to tell His brothers, the rest of the family, He was alive, He was safe!  Had the eleven learnt by resurrection morning to be His brothers who agaped Him, they would have rushed to Galilee even if they thought Mary was mad, in the vain hope of seeing their Brother alive! 

You see, not all brothers are brothers, for there were once another eleven so called brothers a long time ago who became jealous of their father’s favourite son and sold him to Egypt.  So it should not surprise you that the eleven did not respond to the news as brothers who had lost the One whom they loved (agaped) that the One thought to be dead had been seen alive!  No, when you are merely a servant, you would find such news ridiculous, or even when you are a friend, you would find such news troublesome and disturbing your rest.  It was not just unbelief and doubt in their hearts.  There remained the hardness that stopped agape from responding to the news and having them all jump up to run to the tomb, and seeing it empty, spreading out towards Galilee calling His Name, “Jesus, where are You?” as they ran… playing out a scene that would have poignantly reminded Someone who was watching of the time He had to say those same words, “Where are you?” but now such a joyous scene to behold that surely it would have wiped away the pain of that day when God had to look for Adam… for now it was the sons of Adam looking for the last Adam… “Jesus, where are You?”  It did not happen… it was not to be… and so God waited again for man.

So you are the first to hear this news… you who have been discipled and learnt to serve, to have even learnt to be a friend, and by your willingness to practise God’s word and do His will, might even now be a brother or sister.  But now to see what no one has seen, to hear what no one has heard, even what no mind has conceived… are you the one who agapes God for whom such things can be revealed and that by the Spirit of God? 

So there is no doubt whatever minds cannot conceive, nor eyes seen or ears heard can be revealed to us, to anyone, by the Spirit of God if they truly agape (love) the Lord.

If Jesus were to ask you, “…do you truly love (agape) Me?” can you answer, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love (agape) You”?  If that is the case, then He would have entrusted to you His Family, saying, “Feed My children.  Feed My Family.  Take care of My Family.”  And how will you know you truly agape Him?  Not by your words, for anyone can say that and lie.  Not by how great a ministry or reputation or how many demons you have driven out or how many prophecies or miracles you have performed.  No, not even by your power… as such, for without the power you are not even a contender.  No one can judge you in the matter of how much you agape the Lord and His Family.  You are your own judge here.  You judge yourself when you look at those He entrusts you with and whether you see them as fellow servants, disciples or even flocks… lambs and sheep that will enrich you and fill your stomach… or whether you see them as your own family… brothers and sisters, children of the Father you love.  It is the presence of the agape love within you for the Family that will judge you or exonerate you.  Thus, it is true… by our words we are judged and by our words we are acquitted.  For if we say, “Lord, I love You,” then that word will judge us by the responsibilities we can be entrusted with.  If we are like Peter, then the flocks are entrusted to us, but if we are like Mary, then the brothers are entrusted to us, for the Lord’s words to her were… “Go instead to My brothers and tell them, ‘I am returning to My Father and your Father, to My God and your God.’ “  You see, Jesus made Mary His sister when He said, “…My Father and your Father…” but when He said, “Go instead to My brothers and tell them…” instead of saying, “Go instead to your brothers and tell them…” He already knew they would not believe her, that they would consider her words nonsense… not exactly the way brothers would treat a sister who was bringing them the good news that the Brother who was dead is now alive!

No, there are things God has prepared for all to see, even for His enemies to see… but there are things that only the eyes and ears of those who agape Him can see and hear, and such things can only be conceived in the minds of those who do truly agape Him, for truly for such as these God has prepared this.

What we can see and hear of the unseen and unheard depends on God’s willingness to reveal them, for indeed, not all the apostles could say they knew a man who …was caught up to paradise.  He heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell.  And as Paul said, having seen them, it is not permitted for those who have seen or heard to tell.  However, what our minds can conceive does not depend on our translation, whether in spirit or in flesh, to the sacred places, but upon our minds, minds that have been opened by Christ to understand the Scriptures.  An open mind… open to understand the Scriptures, open to know and understand with God nothing is impossible, but more importantly, a mind that is open to the needs of the Family and a mind that works to conceive ideas that not only provide for the Family, but glorify the Family… a mind like Joseph’s who saw past the grievances to see the plan of God to save, and said to his brothers who sold him into Egypt, “And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.”

Likewise, our attitude to our eleven should be the same as Joseph’s to his eleven, that looking past all grievances caused by their disbelief, doubt and distrust (for agape always trusts), God has seen it fit to save the best for last so that even more lives are saved and all the more for His glory and the well being of the Family and the kingdom so that not even our enemies have grounds to complain.

So then, what has been prepared for minds that are open not only to understand Scriptures, but to also understand the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit as They are Father, Brother and Counsellor, Family, our Family?  What has been prepared for ears and eyes that agape God to hear and see?  The Holy Spirit knows and will make known to all who agape Him.

So do you truly agape Him more than all these?  If you do, you would have run to Galilee to look for Him and remain alive to greet Him with every lost brother and sister gathered from the four corners of the Heavens and the Earth to see His arrival, and then spend the millennium preparing those who are in Hades, death and the sea for that great moment of His grace when He will “…purify the lips of the peoples, that all of them may call on the Name of the Lord and serve Him shoulder to shoulder,” as He fulfills His promise… “As for you, because of the blood of My covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.”

So then it is not only power that matters, for even the false prophet will have power to call down fire from Heaven, but his reprobate mind will conceive a rebellion and his heart a treachery that would see him attempt to destroy the Mount of Olives to prevent the return of Jesus and after he has succeeded, to then destroy Satan.  That is what a mind that has power, revelations, understanding and even knowledge can conceive when it has no agape for God.

But we believe for better things for all of you.  So what can your mind conceive that has been prepared for those who agape God?  Selah.

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