Last week a man came to refinish our kitchen floor. While he worked, I studied Luke on the patio. As he passed by, he noticed my Bible and asked what I was doing. That question began a long gospel conversation.
Written many years ago, this record of Jesus’ life is powerful! Luke finishes his Gospel with a final resurrection appearance that adds to the body of evidence. First, while the disciples were still marveling at the reported encounters, Jesus appeared. In His gloried body, He could pass through walls and doors. He came and went supernaturally. He said, “Peace be with you” (v. 36). This offer of goodwill and comfort was more than a simple greeting. Jesus defeated sin and death, and now He offered unparalleled peace.
Despite His words, they were “startled and frightened” (v. 37). They thought this was a ghost and were slow to embrace the reality that Jesus was alive. Jesus challenged their doubt and offered additional proof. He invited them to touch His hands and feet. They were amazed and joyful, but still did not fully believe. Then, Jesus asked for food—another confirmation that He was flesh and bone.
As they once again communed around the table, eating broiled fish, Jesus reminded them of His previous teaching. The Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms must (dei) be fulfilled. There’s that providential word again. The disciples were witnessing what God’s Word had promised; He was the One they had been expecting!
Jesus gave them a final review in gospel mission. He had to suffer, die, and rise again, so repentance and forgiveness could be preached in Jerusalem and all nations. But first, they would receive the Holy Spirit. Luke closes with a summary of Jesus’ ascension, later detailed in Acts 1.
>> The gospel is such good news you cannot keep it to yourself. As you reflect on what you learned from Luke’s Gospel, ask God to give you an opportunity to share it. Do you know someone who needs to come to Christ?
Dear Jesus, You suffered immensely so that we could know You. It may be that You will call us to suffer so that others can know You. If this be so, grant us patience and unwavering trust in You. We worship You!