Scripture

Luke 24:36-48

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to
yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.

Worship:

 

Observation
Jesus often spoke the words ‘Peace be with you,’ and he did so when he appeared before his disciples in the upper room to reassure and comfort them, but their reaction was not encouraging for they were terrified when he suddenly appeared. Instead of joy at seeing him alive, there was alarm. It was important for the future of the church for Jesus to convince them that he was real and alive. So he did and said things that would help them to recognize that truth. Whilst no questions were recorded by Luke, Jesus knew his disciples had questions and he set out to put their minds at rest.

He showed them physical evidence. He invited them to touch him. He was man with flesh and bones. If he had been spirit only, there would have been no substance to touch, but he was willing to let them touch his body and so discover for themselves the physicality of who they saw in front of them. It was still difficult for their minds to accept what their eyes were seeing and their hands were feeling. It was too good to be true. So to ease their uncertainty, Jesus asked for a piece o fish and ate it in front of them. This was no dream. It is the truth! In the next days, it became evident that Jesus could appear or disappear as he wanted; and he could be recognized or remain anonymous as he wished (as he did, for his own reasons, on the road to Emmaus with the two disciples). We do not know why he allowed himself to be recognized immediately by some and not by others.

Luke goes on to sum up Jesus’ teaching during the forty days before his ascension when he spoke of the fulfillment of the Hebrew Scriptures as recorded in the Law, the Prophets and the Psalms. All of this has now been fulfilled. Jesus gave his disciples the ability to understand through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This understanding has been gifted to his church down the ages and is available to us today.

The disciples were to start preaching the Gospel in Jerusalem, the city which had committed the greatest sin of all in that it was there Jesus had been crucified. Then they were to move further afield – first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles. They were eye-witnesses to the events that had happened, they had seen, heard and touched the Lord, and their testimony was unique and valid. So in the power of the Holy Spirit they were commissioned – and the church began.

Icebreaker:
What has happened to you that has seemed too good to be true? And what, eventually,
convinced you that it was so?

Application
•Read Luke 24:36-43 slowly together out loud and imagine you are in the upper room with the disciples. What do you see? What do you smell or taste? Are you eating fish for supper? What do you hear? Who are you talking to? What are you talking about? Stretch yourselves and see yourself there. Brainstorm together. Take your time to build the scene.
•Suddenly Jesus is with you. How do you feel? What are you thinking? Look around you. How are your friends reacting?
•What convinces you that this is, in fact, Jesus? Is it the fact that you can touch him; that you can see the scars; or that he eats in front of you? Why does that make a difference?
•How do you feel now you know? In his sermon, Similo said, ‘Resurrection is our everyday, present reality. Death cannot limit the power of God. Resurrection reaffirms God’s faithfulness and revives our hope.’ What is happening in your life today that seems to be unavoidable, or unmanageable, or that you would rather not have to face? How does the fact that Jesus is alive give you hope?
•Where do you need Jesus’ resurrection power in your life today?
•How can the group help you with any struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Prayer
Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.

Service
Who can you share the good news of the resurrection power of Jesus with this week? In the power of the Holy Spirit step out in the sure knowledge that Jesus Christ lives and share the good news with them.

Bibliography
Coffman, James Burton. “Commentary on Luke 24”. “Coffman Commentaries on the Bible”. https:// www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bcc/luke-24.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Luke 24″. “Kingcomments on the Whole Bible”. https://www.studylight.org/ commentaries/eng/kng/luke-24.html. ‘Stichting Titus’ / ‘Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël’, Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.

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