The disciples’ world has been turned upside down. In the past days they celebrated a memorable meal with their beloved Jesus, then saw him dragged before Pilate, crucified, and buried. Deep sadness, confusion, and fear fill them. Three days after his death, some of the women discover Jesus’ empty tomb and are told he has risen. Other followers actually break bread with Jesus in the town of Emmaus.
And now, as the disciples discuss these recent events, Jesus himself joins them. They cannot believe who stands right in front of them: Jesus, very much alive. Can you imagine the looks on their faces? Can you identify with the fear in their hearts?
Jesus asks, “’Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself.” Despite Jesus’ numerous attempts to prepare them for this day and his standing in their midst, the disciples cannot set aside their doubts. This man looks like Jesus, sounds like Jesus. He seems to know them—but they are sure he is dead.
How are the disciples to understand a risen Christ? One whose presence is known in the breaking of bread? in affirmation of scripture? How do they bear witness to the witness?
When have you experienced something so wonderful that it seemed too good to be true? Did you doubt its possibility or discount God’s power because what appeared to be a miracle could be explained by coincidence or human action? This week, expect miracles. Keep your senses at the ready. Enter the week with eyes open and ears ready to experience what God might be doing in your life and in the world.
Who am I? A believer in miracles.
God, may I be open to the miracles you have in store for me and the world. Amen.
A repeating theme in scripture is our failure to recognize God’s work among us. In Acts, Peter declares that the death of Jesus happened because his fellow Israelites acted in ignorance. The psalmist decries the fact that so many people follow lies, yet God’s blessings for the faithful continue unhindered. John tells his audience to expect that the world will not recognize them as God’s children because the world did not recognize God to begin with. In Luke, Jesus appears to his doubting disciples. He proves the reality of his resurrection by allowing them to touch his body and by eating food in their presence. Only then do they feel certain that they recognize him. In what places in our lives do we not recognize God’s work?
• Read Acts 3:12-19. When have you initially bristled at someone’s remarks only to discover some truth about yourself as you reflected on your strong reaction? What did you learn about yourself?
• Read Psalm 4. How do you daily reinforce the idea that you are “more” rather than “less”?
• Read 1 John 3:1-7. When have you been an “upstander” for love on behalf of another? In what ways did that empower you to take more initiative to love?
• Read Luke 24:36b-48. To what do you look as a revelation of Christ’s presence?
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