Five Unexpected Appearances of Jesus


Often times in the Scriptures Jesus appeared to His disciples when they needed Him the most, and when they least expect Him. 


1.  Jesus appeared unexpectedly to His disciples in a time of great difficulty:


Mark 6:45-52


-The disciples had a need - they were working hard, but they just weren’t getting

anywhere; it was late (about 3 o’clock in the morning), no doubt they were tired and weary, and the wind was contrary to them…sometimes things in this world seem so contrary to us as we strive to serve the Lord.


-Jesus saw them toiling…Jesus’ eyes, beloved, are upon His people in our difficulties. 

We may wonder if He sees and knows what we are going through, but we can be

assured that His eyes are upon us at all times.


-Jesus came to them, walking on the water…Jesus might let us row and toil late into the

night, but He will come to our aid.  There is no where that we might be in life,

even in the depths of the sea, where Jesus can’t find us and come to our aid.


-The disciples did not expect Jesus…often times in our greatest of difficulties is when

our faith is the smallest, and we don’t expect Jesus to come to our aid.


-They did not recognize Him at first…we don’t expect Jesus to come, and therefore

when He does come to our aid, we don’t recognize His gracious presence and blessings.  We suppose that He is someone else, or that His blessings we are seeing are really not coming from Him.  What doubtful creatures we can be at times!


-Jesus provided their need…he calmed the stormed and saw them safely to shore.


2.  Jesus appeared unexpectedly to His disciples when they were dismayed and disillusioned: 


Luke 24:13-31


-The disciples just didn’t understand what was going on.  They just couldn’t figure out

why things were going the way they were.  Sometimes we get dismayed and disillusioned.  When we look around us, sometimes we wonder why things are the way they are…Why aren’t more people being saved and our church is not growing like we want it to.  We wonder why error is prospering and truth is not loved and obeyed.  Yes sometimes we may get dismayed and confused about things.  We wonder if we are doing things wrong-(turkey dinner paper).


-Again, these disciples did not expect Jesus, and they didn’t recognize Him at first.


-But Jesus came to them and opened their hearts to understand the Scriptures.  When we

get so dismayed and disillusioned, Jesus speaks to us through His Word, and shows us that there is going to be a falling away from the truth in the later days…that men will turn their ears away from the truth unto fables (2 Timothy 3:1-8; 2 Timothy 4:1-4).


3.  Jesus appeared unexpectedly to His disciples in a time of great discouragement:


John 21:1-19 (compare this story with Luke 5)


-These disciples were discouraged and giving up on serving Jesus.


-They were going back to their boats and their nets.  We saw Wednesday how that the

disciples left all and followed Jesus…how that Jesus told them that from now on they would catch men.  Now they are going back to their boats and nets.  This is a sad commentary, to see disciples go back…to leave following and serving Jesus to go back to their old lives.  There are few things in this life that are more discouraging to the child of God than to see those who were once faithful servants of the Lord, leave their place of service and go back to their old life.


-Thank the Lord that Jesus comes to His discouraged disciples and communes with them

and encourages them to continue on.  Oh, beloved, how encouraging is that sweet fellowship with Jesus.  What an incentive it is when Jesus comes to us by His Holy Spirit and communes with us and speaks peace to our hearts, and reminds us that He is always with us to bless us.  How we need for Jesus to come to us when we are down and discouraged and to lift up our hearts with His presence.


-Again, the disciples didn’t expect Jesus, and didn’t recognize Him.  But thank the Lord

that though we don’t expect Him, and perhaps our lives aren’t what they should

be, that He still comes to us and communes with us and makes His presence

known unto us in times of discouragement, and encourages us with the light of

His presence.


-Jesus encouraged them to get back to work in His service (feed my sheep; feed my



4.  Jesus appeared unexpectedly to Steven in the time of his death:


Acts 7:54-60


5.  One day Jesus will appear unexpectedly to His people when He comes for us in the rapture:


1 Thessalonians 4:13-18