Have you ever had something incredible happen and nobody believed you when you told them? Very few things are as frustrating as telling the truth and not being believed. I wonder if that is how our Lord felt after the resurrection. He had a hard time convincing people that what he had been saying all along had actually happened just as he said.
We continue our post-resurrection appearances stories today as Luke records an encounter with the risen Jesus and the Eleven. They were in Jerusalem trying to figure out what has happened, and they did not believe the women’s account of an empty tomb. Meanwhile, Jesus met two men on the road to Emmaus and revealed himself to them. These men hurried back to Jerusalem to tell the disciples, when all of a sudden this happened:
Luke 24 (The Message)
36-41 While they were saying all this, Jesus appeared to them and said, “Peace be with you.” They thought they were seeing a ghost and were scared half to death. He continued with them, “Don’t be upset, and don’t let all these doubting questions take over. Look at my hands; look at my feet—it’s really me. Touch me. Look me over from head to toe. A ghost doesn’t have muscle and bone like this.” As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet. They still couldn’t believe what they were seeing. It was too much; it seemed too good to be true.
The disciples didn’t believe the women. They didn’t believe the two Emmaus witnesses. Now they couldn’t believe their own eyes. Then, something simple and earth-shattering happened: Jesus ate.
41-43 He asked, “Do you have any food here?” They gave him a piece of leftover fish they had cooked. He took it and ate it right before their eyes.
Somehow it was in this little act of asking for something to eat that the disciples started realizing that this indeed WAS Jesus…their Jesus. It was not a ghost or a fraud. It was truly him. It is interesting to note that just a few verses earlier, the two men on the road to Emmaus talked to him for quite a while, but only recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread when they sat around a table together.
There is something to be learned here. Perhaps it is in the sharing of life-giving essentials such as food and water that we come to know Jesus. Perhaps the simple act of sitting together and passing bread around the table is our best way to explain to doubters and non-believers who the Bread of Life really is. (Maybe we Methodists, with our love of potluck suppers, have been onto something for two hundred years!)
Who do you know that is hungry for Truth? Who in your family or neighborhood needs the sustenance of the Bread of Life and the Living Water?
It has probably been a while since most of us sat down to dinner around a table and shared our faith with someone. Maybe that should be job number one when the pandemic is over. Sharing our witness over a plate of home-cooked food might just be our greatest opportunity for evangelism to folks who don’t know Jesus.
You’re the Witnesses
44 Then he said, “Everything I told you while I was with you comes to this: All the things written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms have to be fulfilled.”
45-49 He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them how to read their Bibles this way. He said, “You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from Jerusalem!
You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses.
We are the witnesses! So let’s go and tell….and eat!