After Jesus’ crucifixion, the Bible states that he rose from the dead and appeared to many of his followers. But just how many people saw Jesus after the resurrection? Let’s explore this question in more detail.
The Biblical Accounts
The Bible provides several accounts of Jesus appearing to his followers after his resurrection. The book of Matthew tells us that Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” went to visit Jesus’ tomb and found it empty.
An angel told them that Jesus had risen from the dead and instructed them to tell the disciples. Later, on a mountain in Galilee, Jesus appeared to his disciples and gave them the Great Commission.
In Luke’s gospel, we read that two of Jesus’ followers were walking on the road to Emmaus when they encountered a stranger who turned out to be Jesus. He explained to them how all of the Old Testament scriptures pointed to him and then revealed himself to them.
In John’s gospel, we learn that Mary Magdalene went to visit Jesus’ tomb early on Sunday morning and found it empty. She ran back to tell Peter and another disciple, who then went to see for themselves. Later that day, while the disciples were gathered together, Jesus suddenly appeared among them.
In addition to these accounts, there are other places in the New Testament where it is mentioned that Jesus appeared to various people after his resurrection. For example:
- Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8 that “he appeared to Cephas [Peter], then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep.
Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. “
- In Mark 16:9-11, we read that Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene first and then to “two of them” (presumably the two men on the road to Emmaus mentioned in Luke’s gospel).
So How Many People Saw Jesus?
Based on these accounts, it’s difficult to say exactly how many people saw Jesus after his resurrection. We know that he appeared to at least 11 disciples (Judas had already died by this point) and Mary Magdalene, but beyond that, it’s hard to say. The mention of over 500 brothers seeing him at one time in 1 Corinthians is intriguing, but we don’t have any more information about this event.
While we may not have a precise number for how many people saw Jesus after his resurrection, we can be certain that his appearance to his followers was a pivotal event in the history of Christianity. It gave them hope and encouragement as they continued to spread the message of the gospel throughout the world.