Our Gospel this week is Luke 24:36-48, taken today from the English Standard Version (ESV).
Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
In this passage Luke shares his account of the risen Christ appearing to His disciples. Jesus calms their fears and teaches them again that the things written about Him had to happen as part of God’s will. This wasn’t an accident or some disconnected series of events, but God’s plan for our salvation.
Jesus knows this is overwhelming for His followers and He reminds them they have heard it before from “the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms” (v. 44). As Luke puts it “He opened their minds to the scriptures”. Jesus wants them to understand so they are able to share the truth of the resurrection with the world.
Jesus wants us to understand in the same way for the same purpose. We too are called to continue the work, just as His followers were then. We all must open our minds to the scriptures to learn and share His blessing.
Risen Lord, You came to love and teach and save us. Help us to be the servants You call us to be, spreading the Good News to all in Your name. Amen.