Jesus Appears to the Disciples (Luke 24:36-53)
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them,“Peace be with you.” (Luke 24:36)
It was the evening of Resurrection Day. Cleopus and his companion, who had seen Jesus after the walk on the Road to Emmaus, and the other 11 disciples were excitedly talking about Jesus’ appearance. Jesus had been seen five times that day since His Resurrection: by Mary Magdalene (John 20:14), by the women at the tomb (Matthew 28:9), by Peter (Luke 24:12), by the two on the Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), and now, that same evening, by the 11 disciples.
At that moment Jesus appeared to all of them, He met them right where they were, and He brought them Peace, and how did the disciples respond?
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 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.”(Luke 24:37-39)
“They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.” The disciples knew about Jesus’ appearances, many of them had personal encounters that same day, yet when Jesus appeared again they were still “startled and frightened”. They were gathered comparing notes, trying to figure out what to do next, and Jesus shows up and changes everything (He has a way of doing that!).
Though they had very unkindly deserted him in his sufferings, yet he takes the first opportunity of seeing them together; for he deals not with us as we deserve. (Matthew Henry).
Grace showed up.
Jesus appears to the disciples in the flesh. In His flesh- marked with the scars of the crucifixion. Evidence- irrefutable evidence- and still the disciples, to many of whom Jesus had appeared earlier that very same day, doubted. Another example of the crisis of faith- the propensity to doubt rather than embrace faith. It was true in that room, by those closest to Jesus, and it is true today.
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.(Luke 24:41-43)
Jesus ate with His disciples to provide them comfort, to experience something that was familiar to them, to bring them Peace. Here is what Matthew Henry says about Luke 24:41, “He eats with them, to show that he had a real and true body, and that he was willing to converse freely and familiarly with his disciples, as one friend with another. Peter lays a great stress upon this (Acts 10:41): We did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead.”
Tomorrow we’ll read about what the disciples experienced with Jesus after dinner.
There is no guilt here
There is no shame
No pointing fingers
There is no blame
What happened yesterday has disappeared
The dirt has washed away And now it’s clear. -Lyrics from Only Grace, by Matthew West