Tag Archives: disciples

Don’t Be Frightened

What has happened?
What is happening?
So many strange rumours,
appearances,
feelings
all swirling round
inside me.

I don’t know what is happening
any more.

And then he’s here.
Or is he?

Is it Jesus,
our friend,
our Lord?
Or a vision?
Wishful thinking?
One of those things
when you feel someone who has died
is there next to you,
only to realise
of course,
they are not.

This is all playing with my emotions,
messing with my head.
Why did I get mixed up in this?

~~~

But wait,
he’s speaking –
that familiar, gentle, affirming voice.

He’s inviting me to look,
to touch,
to feel,
to know.
To no longer wonder,
but to be sure,
to experience Jesus
as he is now.

He is not dead,
he is alive.

This is what it’s all been about.

This is God,
love,
life,
presence.
And he stands here
in my life
now.

Luke 24:36-48 (CEV)

What Jesus’ Followers Must Do

36 While Jesus’ disciples were talking about what had happened, Jesus appeared and greeted them. 37 They were frightened and terrified because they thought they were seeing a ghost.

38 But Jesus said, “Why are you so frightened? Why do you doubt? 39 Look at my hands and my feet and see who I am! Touch me and find out for yourselves. Ghosts don’t have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

40 After Jesus said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 The disciples were so glad and amazed that they could not believe it. Jesus then asked them, “Do you have something to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of baked fish. 43 He took it and ate it as they watched.

44 Jesus said to them, “While I was still with you, I told you that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Books of the Prophets, and in the Psalms[a] had to happen.”

45 Then he helped them understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them:

The Scriptures say that the Messiah must suffer, then three days later he will rise from death. 47 They also say that all people of every nation must be told in my name to turn to God, in order to be forgiven. So beginning in Jerusalem, 48 you must tell everything that has happened.

Where Have You Been?

Luke 24:13-35 (CEV)

Jesus Appears to Two Disciples

13 That same day two of Jesus’ disciples were going to the village of Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they were talking and thinking about what had happened, 15 Jesus came near and started walking along beside them. 16 But they did not know who he was.

17 Jesus asked them, “What were you talking about as you walked along?”

The two of them stood there looking sad and gloomy. 18 Then the one named Cleopas asked Jesus, “Are you the only person from Jerusalem who didn’t know what was happening there these last few days?”

19 “What do you mean?” Jesus asked.

They answered:

Those things that happened to Jesus from Nazareth. By what he did and said he showed that he was a powerful prophet, who pleased God and all the people. 20 Then the chief priests and our leaders had him arrested and sentenced to die on a cross. 21 We had hoped that he would be the one to set Israel free! But it has already been three days since all this happened.

22 Some women in our group surprised us. They had gone to the tomb early in the morning, 23 but did not find the body of Jesus. They came back, saying that they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive. 24 Some men from our group went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said. But they didn’t see Jesus either.

25 Then Jesus asked the two disciples, “Why can’t you understand? How can you be so slow to believe all that the prophets said? 26 Didn’t you know that the Messiah would have to suffer before he was given his glory?” 27 Jesus then explained everything written about himself in the Scriptures, beginning with the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets.[a]

28 When the two of them came near the village where they were going, Jesus seemed to be going farther. 29 They begged him, “Stay with us! It’s already late, and the sun is going down.” So Jesus went into the house to stay with them.

30 After Jesus sat down to eat, he took some bread. He blessed it and broke it. Then he gave it to them. 31 At once they knew who he was, but he disappeared. 32 They said to each other, “When he talked with us along the road and explained the Scriptures to us, didn’t it warm our hearts?” 33 So they got right up and returned to Jerusalem.

The two disciples found the eleven apostles and the others gathered together. 34 And they learned from the group that the Lord was really alive and had appeared to Peter. 35 Then the disciples from Emmaus told what happened on the road and how they knew he was the Lord when he broke the bread.

We were walking along.  Still discussing.  Still wondering.  Still trying to work our what it was all about.  What a roller coaster few weeks, well years really I suppose, what a whole range of emotions.  We really needed to work out what this meant for the rest of our lives.

Then someone else appeared.  A fellow traveller, going the same way.  He asked us what we were discussing – seemed very interested (though I don’t know where he’d been because he didn’t seem to know anything about what had happened!).

So we told him.  All about Jesus.  What he had done and taught; what he had meant to us; how he’d been tried and sent to crucifixion; and then the tales of his resurrection.  We told him how our hopes had been dashed, how we’d hope he was the one to save Israel – from itself and it’s tyrants – but it wasn’t to be; then our surprise and our confusion.

This man seemed to know something.  He wondered why we were surprised, why we couldn’t understand what had happened, even realised it was part of the plan…  He certainly knew all about the Law and the Prophets, he gave us an impromptu bible study on everything written about The Messiah.  Well that wasn’t the end to the day that we were expecting.

We were drawing near to our destination.  Truth be told, we’d be glad to get there, sit down and have some sleep.  All this emotion is exhausting.  But it seemed rude not to invite him in.  Somehow we had formed a bond on the road.  He seemed to be going somewhere else, but we begged him to stay with us.  He came with us and we sat down to eat.

And then the penny dropped.  As he took the bread, it all became clear.  Only one person breaks the bread like that.

IT WAS HIM.

Jesus was still here with us.  On our journey.  In our home.  With us in our conversation and our wondering.

Jesus has not gone on.  He is here with us.

Be Known to us in Breaking Bread

In The Midst

By Andrey Mironov (Own work)

John 20:19-31 (CEV)

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 The disciples were afraid of the Jewish leaders, and on the evening of that same Sunday they locked themselves in a room. Suddenly, Jesus appeared in the middle of the group. He greeted them 20 and showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they became very happy.

21 After Jesus had greeted them again, he said, “I am sending you, just as the Father has sent me.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they will be forgiven. But if you don’t forgive their sins, they will not be forgiven.”

Jesus and Thomas

24 Although Thomas the Twin was one of the twelve disciples, he wasn’t with the others when Jesus appeared to them. 25 So they told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But Thomas said, “First, I must see the nail scars in his hands and touch them with my finger. I must put my hand where the spear went into his side. I won’t believe unless I do this!”

26 A week later the disciples were together again. This time, Thomas was with them. Jesus came in while the doors were still locked and stood in the middle of the group. He greeted his disciples 27 and said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands! Put your hand into my side. Stop doubting and have faith!”

28 Thomas replied, “You are my Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus said, “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!”

Why John Wrote His Book

30 Jesus worked many other miracles for his disciples, and not all of them are written in this book. 31 But these are written so that you will put your faith in Jesus as the Messiah and the Son of God. If you have faith in him, you will have true life.

We were alone and afraid.  In the last few days we had been through just about every emotion imaginable.  Hope, as Jesus entered Jerusalem, thinking this was it, this was the time, the Messiah was here, and everything was going to be different; confusion at the meal, when he spoke of betrayal and suffering; the dawning horror of his arrest and the out of control steam roller that became his death; the pain, anguish and heartache watching his final surrender to all that humanity at its worst could throw at him; his death…

And then, as we mourned, more confusion.  He wasn’t dead after all, but was alive.  What to think, what to do?

So we did what we could.  We gathered together.  To comfort, for protection, to try to work it all out.

Of course the authorities would think it was us.  That we had somehow removed the body and were making up stories to make it seem like we weren’t fools, following a broken dream; that we hadn’t been deluded; that we weren’t wrong about Jesus.

As we sat, in shock, in wondering, in fear, suddenly there he was.  Just when we needed him, Jesus came to us and was amongst us, present in all those tumbling, whirling emotions; still there in the reality of our lives.

But he wasn’t just appearing to reassure us, though that was important.  He also came to remind us that the work was not done.  His death and resurrection are not the end, but a new beginning.  We are to now the ones to go and to show others God’s ways.  All that Jesus showed us, we are to pass on and to live out, to bring his forgiveness and hope to the world.

A hope, even for those who find it hard to believe it.

Thomas wasn’t there, he thought he’d missed out, that the resurrected Jesus wasn’t for him.  Jesus got that and came just for him.  Came so that he could touch the wounds and know their healing in his life.  God wasn’t worried by his continued doubts and ongoing worries, he came to meet them and reassure.

So, however we are left feeling after Easter, sad, happy, bemused, confused, empowered, or any combination, God comes to us, says, ‘Peace be with you’.  He invites us to know his reality in our lives today, and sends us to get on with the work – his work, before us.

Thank you Lord
That you are with me
in confusion,
pain,
bafflement,
sadness
and joy.

Thank you for being with me,
bringing your peace
and meeting me where I need it.

Thank you
that I can touch your wounds
and know the reality of your love
and hope.

Renewed,
restored
and empowered by you,
may I go
and do all you ask of me –
to take your words
of love,
hope,
peace
and forgiveness
to all who need to hear

I believe he is here now, standing in our midst