Summary: Many people have difficult in sensing Jesus. This sermon helps us identify where we can sense the presence of Jesus.
In today’s Gospel reading,
the resurrected Jesus appears to his disciples
but they do not recognise Him.
They have trouble believing what they see.
Reading from verse 36 we heard
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement.
If Jesus was to walk through this door today what would you expect Him to look like?
Neatly dressed, without a crease or blemish.
Or perhaps looking straight out of 33ad…in his rags and sandals.
We develop images of Jesus and of God.
We expect Him to look and act in a certain way.
And it was the same for the disciples.
Things hadn’t turned out for them as they expected.
Their leader was killed,
they had heard reports of his resurrection but they had not seen Him.
Throughout His ministry Jesus had attempted to reveal to His disciples that He first needed to die
for His mission to be successful.
Yet that didn’t make sense to them.
Listen to what happened as Jesus was being arrested..
From Luke 22:49
49 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.
51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
And that was not the first time…
On numerous occasions throughout His ministry Jesus attempted to tell His disciples that He must suffer and die and that he will rise again.
In Matthew 16 there is an encounter between Him and Peter,
With Peter telling Him off for even suggesting such a thing.
And now he arrives as the resurrected one
So what about you?
Does Jesus live up to your expectations?
Does God act and appear how you expect?
Many people have expectations of Jesus…
More comfortable, richer, perfect unity
But is that what Scripture says Jesus is like and will do.
But if we really want to see and understand Jesus we need to first look at scripture
This is what he told the disciples reading from Luke 24 verse 44
44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
When he said that everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law, Prophets and Psalms
He is referring to the Jewish Bible, what we know as the Old Testament.
Jesus is emphasising that in order to understand how God operates and His purposes we need to look at scripture.
And that scriptures most important purpose is to emphasise Jesus and what He will do.
In other words scripture acts as a letter to us as to how we can identify Jesus.
And so what does scripture say about Jesus.
First of all He comes in peace.
Peace be with you
This is a typical Jewish Greeting
But also a greeting used frequently by God.
At times God uses when people experiencing God are likely to be afraid
In Judges 6 verse 23 the Lord says to Gideon, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”
And in Luke 2 when the angels appeared to Jesus they said so not be afraid, he brings peace to whom His favour rests
One of the identifying marks of Jesus is that He brings peace
This doesn’t mean at times we will feel uncomfortable with Jesus
Remember he also told us he was giving us peace that was different to what this world offers.
When Jesus speaks to us, at times it is not comfortable.
He will confront us where our lives are not consistent with God and His ways.
He will highlight where we are out of alignment with God.
When I drive my car and the steering is a lit rough I know the wheels need realignment.