Summary: Sometimes the leastlikely are most likely to catch a glimpse of the risen Christ.

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Title: Jesus Sightings

Text: Matthew 28:1-10 (11-15)

Thesis: Sometimes the least likely are most likely to catch a glimpse of the risen Christ.


On a flight to Florida, an educational psychologist was preparing her notes for a presentation to a parent-education seminar in Miami. An elderly woman was seated next to her and as she chit-chatted she explained that she was returning to Miami from Boston where she had spent two weeks visiting her six children, eighteen grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

The grandmother then asked her seat companion what she did for a living and the psychologist told her about her work and was bracing for the usual onslaught of usual questions and probing for free professional advice. Instead, the elderly woman sat back, opened her magazine and said, “If there’s anything you want to know, just ask me.” (Homiletics, April 2010, P. 68)

So much for being an expert!

On May 10, 2005 ABCNews correspondent Elizabeth Vargas hosted Resurrection, a 20/20 news special that asked: “What really happened after Jesus’ crucifixion?” She asked scholars, theologians and archeologists the questions millions of people have wondered about: “Was the tomb empty? Did Jesus physically rise from the dead and walk around on Earth after his death? Or were his followers simply highly imaginative?” (

In an interview with beliefnet, Vargas spoke of her interest in the resurrection. And she added her belief that there are many people who think the resurrection of Christ is one of the single most important events in the history of humankind.

She spoke of how she had interviewed a range of biblical scholars and leading theologians from the evangelical, Jewish and Catholic worlds. Her research included scholars with a liberal bent as well as representatives from the Jesus Seminar. She noted that while there may be vast differences between what they believe, they all agreed the tomb was empty, including non-believers. (

In her report on the resurrection, Vargas quoted many scholars and among those quoted were:

1. William Lane Craig of Talbot School of Theology who stated: “He [Jesus] probably literally got up and walked out of the tomb.”

2. Kathleen E. Corley of the Jesus Seminar stated: “I think it was visions and hallucinations.”

3. Daniel Schwartz of Hebrew University in commenting on the resurrection of Christ stated: “Something definitely happened.”

Whatever you may think of expert witnesses, there is plenty of evidence beginning to surface in the literary world that calls experts and expert studies into question. In fact David Freedman, in his book Wrong: Why Experts Keep Failing Us rattles off factoids that include statements to the effect that two-thirds of the findings published in the top medical journals are refuted within a few years. He says there is statistically a 1 in 12 chance that a medical doctor’s diagnosis will be so wrong that it causes the patient significant harm. (Kayla Webley, Experts and Studies: Not Always Trustworthy, Time Magazine, June 29, 2010)

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