Visions of Jesus? (again)

August 5th, 2012

People from other cultures

Back in February I posted about people who claim to have seen visions of Jesus. The post was a short one, and general. I have now read some more on the subject, and I think it is worth outlining a couple of the stories.

A Muslim convert

Gulshan Esther, a wealthy Pakistani Muslim, was crippled by typhoid from the age of 6 months. When she was 14, she travelled to a specialist in Britain, who told her she could not be cured, and recommended prayer. So she went immediately on a pilgrimage to Mecca, but was not cured.

After he father died when she was 16, she had several visions of Jesus leading up to a visitation when she was 19 in which she was fully and instantly healed. She remained a Muslim, but began to read more about Jesus from within the Islamic faith. Eventually she converted to Christianity, was convicted under apostasy laws and forfeited her considerable inheritance, and went to live in England. You can check out her book or see her story on YouTube.

Visions of Jesus book cover

Philip Wiebe interviews

Philip Wiebe is a Canadian Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies who interviewed about thirty Canadians about the visions they had seen of Jesus. He has written up their stories in his book, Visions of Jesus, and analysed the possible explanations – supernatural, psychology or neurophysiology. He found no one explanation could be true for the diverse range of experiences.

Here is one story.

A vision and a healing

Barry Dyck was an 18 year old christian in British Columbia (Canada) in 1974 when he had a skiing accident that broke 3 vertebrae in his neck. In hospital, swelling caused his vision to become blurry, but the night before surgery was planned, he woke up to see Jesus at the foot of his bed. They conversed briefly, Barry touched Jesus’ hands, and Jesus said to him: Everything is going to be OK.

The next morning Barry woke up with full vision and no pain. X-rays confirmed that there was now no fracture where there had been previously, and he was allowed to return home weeks earlier than expected and with no need for a neck brace. You can read Barry’s account of this experience here.

What can we believe?

At the very least, there is something interesting and powerful going on in these cases.

  • If the experiences and the healings are imagined, they indicate an amazing and as yet untapped ability of the human mind.
  • It is hard to believe all these stories are fakes or urban myths – few of the people reporting these visions had anything to gain from them, and many knew they would likely be ostracised and threatened for reporting them and (in some cases) converting to christianity.
  • But if at least some of them were genuine visions, then many of us (both believers and unbelievers) may need to think again about God.

It is hard not to see these experiences as evidence that God might indeed be communicating very directly to some people. If we value evidence, surely we cannot say with confidence that every last one of these stories has a natural explanation, so unbelievers with open minds might need to investigate some more. And that raises a whole lot more questions!

Read more

Read more about the Muslim converts and Philip Wiebe’s interviewees at Visions of Jesus? on this website.

7 Comments

  1. So, I am looking through some old boxes and I find a page from a newspaper with an article written by Phillip with my name mentioned throughout. I decide to Google him and I find this recent blog! How cool!

    Let me add the most important part of the story. For some reason it gets left out, and I think that is because a healing from something dramatic is easier to re-tell from person to person to person. A “subjective” part is harder to re-tell.

    The most important part was that when Jesus was there, the love was so beyond anything I have ever experienced by a factor of 777, that my first and only thought was “take me with you.” (But nooooo!!) The love was truly indescribable. The next day I remember thinking of one of the worst humans to have walked this earth, I thought that I too would have died for that person, because that love was not a doctrine, it was a reality. Yes Jesus healing me. But far, far above that was that he loved me, and I FELT IT!

    The pain I had from the beginning of the accident until my blood was replaced with morphine was to either be screaming or I was passed out. That was about 4 hours. But, to go through that for those 60 seconds of knowing His love that goes beyond understanding was so worth it, so worth it.

    The feeling of this love faded over the course of about 3 or 4 weeks, like Moses’ face fading I guess. The time is coming when the reality will never fade, never. This love will be for the Lord and all that are with Him in heaven. Can’t wait. Jesus loves me this I know, for his presence told me so. And for those reading this, He loves you too with the same intense, indescribable, never ending love.

    Barry Dyck

  2. Barry, thanks so much for commenting and adding that extra detail. It is exciting and challenging that 38 years after the event, your faith and memory of the healing are still strong. I’d love to hear more.

  3. This comment is to berry dyck
    What you wrote sent chills down my spine bc something almost similar happened to me I was heave into meth to the point I was arrested for manufacturing it the last two years before being arrested my father was very sick but I was to busy getting high I loved him and he was the last of my family that I was close to and all I had left in this world that I cared about I was raised in the church but had turned away from God for over twenty years sitting in jail on Christmas day I hadn’t heard from my dad and was worried bc he was always there for me through out my addiction the day after Christmas I found out he died on Christmas day the guilt of what I had put him through the last few years of his life was unlivable I wanted to die I sat on the toilet in my single cell crying my eyes out shortly after afraid all alone and scared to dealth of what I faced prison and having no one there for me I as I cried I saw three tear drops hit the cement in a row I heard a noise behind me and turned away for a min when I looked back two of the three tear drops made a beautiful perfect heart in the cement the other tear drop was still there at the time i believed it was from my father bc I didn’t understand the vision that the three tear drops stood for the Trinity and that the two years drops making a heart that Jesus and Jehovah loved me shortly after that I had a dream in which I saw the back of my fathers head in like some type of white carriage he turned around to face me putting his hand on mine telling me everything was going to be okay then I woke knowing it was a dream from God but today I believe that it was Jesus appearing as my father to comfort me shortly after that I saw Jesus face in a vision with his eyes closed which was amazing I didn’t understand everything i was seeing so I turned to my Bible for the answers the Lord brought me back to himself and was there when I needed him the most when I had no one else bc I pushed everyone else friends away from me from drug abuse he was there I have straightened my life up but I’m still working on making changes in my self but I continued to have such guilt in my self for how I treated my father in the last few years of his life I thought I was beyond being able to be saved by the Lord plus the fact I was gay since early child hood and even though I denounced it and don’t live that life style any more I was and still am attracted to women so I thought I would burn in hell for all of it so I kept building my faith in Jesus and my Bible says faith in Jesus is believing what bible says about him and believing he is everything you hope for well I kept saying over and over Jesus is my lord Savior king teacher friend redeemer and so forth then when I stopped an amazing thing happened all of a sudden I spoke words out my mouth I didn’t think or have any control over and what came out of my mouth was HE IS EVERTHING I HOPE FOR it was amazing and I know for a fact I’m saved and that it was gods spirit speaking through me words that he heard and told me what was still going to happen but I had to share when I read your story bc when I read you touched Jesus hand and he told you everything was going to be okay it was exactly what happened to me except Jesus appeared as my father to comfort me thank you for sharing your story hope lemacks

  4. To Barry dyck And I almost forgot I’m a three time loser having been sent to prison three time already before being busted for manufacturing meth and after Jesus told me everything was going to be okay in that dream where he appeared as my father and touched my hand I ended up only serving 9 months in the county jail and I have not been back to jail since NEVER in my life have I felt more loved and I know Jesus can turn anyones storm into a testimony

  5. Hi Hope, I don’t think Barry is a regular reader of this blog, so he may not see your comment, but I have seen it. Thanks for your comment. I’m glad to hear you are now doing well.

  6. Hope! Barry here. Thank you for your post. It was a joy to read. I will paraphrase your comment, HE IS EVERYTHING Hope HAS HOPED FOR!!! I have good news for you. When you, me, and everyone who has accepted Jesus sees Him face to face, He will be FAR BEYOND everything we have hoped for!! And forever enthralled with Him, completely filled with peace, and love. I so look forward to meeting you there.

    His love for you doesn’t changed for the better when you are “good”, or get less when you are “bad”. His love is who He is, and He never changes, so His love never changes!

    May His presence clothe you with such power, and always believe this, Jesus loves Hope Lemacks!

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