The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Phil Hoyle

Luke 24:36-49

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."

37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.

44 He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, "This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

Reflection

"Did Jesus actually rise from the dead?" is the central question to the Christian faith.

So here, in Luke's account of the resurrection, he wants us to know that Jesus really did.
And it's the details of it that I love.
It's these little things that give us a glimpse of how human and normal everyone's response was that make us believe that what the author of Luke is writing about is true.

For example - If you were about to surprise your closest friends with the fact that you had come back from the dead and had developed the ability to appear out of nowhere, what would you choose as your opening line?

'Peace be with you,' is comedy genius, isn't it?
(‘Boo!' Could've been a less creative option.)

Then it's the truth of the disciples reaction:
They didn't receive Jesus' appearance with knowing nods and considered beard stroking,( as I'm sure they have in many a TV movie of the story) - They were, of course, startled and frightened - you can imagine the absolute scenes!

Think about this for a moment - In the bible, they admit they thought Jesus was a ghost - I mean, haven't you heard people say this today?

'Well, maybe Jesus came back from the dead, but only as a spirit or a ghost, or something.'

The writer of the gospel is saying, "Yes, a ghost! That's what they thought too!"

It's just so raw and honest.

Jesus shows them his hands and feet, he encourages them to touch him.
He's flesh and bones, not a phantom. He's even given a bit of fish and eats it while they all watched.

The gospel writer is reporting the scandalous fact that, as terrifying, exciting, and ridiculous as it sounds - Jesus, who had been crucified, died, and then was buried, had actually, physically, come back from death.

That meant Jesus was who he said he was and that changes everything.

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