They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread. Jesus Appears to the Disciples While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Luke 24:33-36 NIV
Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:1-2 NIV
I love to watch news stories about a child being surprised by their deployed parent suddenly turning up at the child’s birthday party, or a special moment at school. The look of pure joy, love, amazement on the child’s face always brings tears to my eyes.
The people gathered in Jerusalem on this Sunday night have just received a similar surprise. John tells us a few more of the details. “On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you!’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord,” John 20:19-20.
This first day of the week, Sunday, had been filled with different people seeing and talking with Jesus in various places. Jesus appeared to the women at the tomb early in the morning, then to Mary Magdalene nearby. Peter also saw him and the two on the road to Emmaus had a conversation with him. But this is the largest group by far to see him at once. Luke tells us the two who went to Emmaus, “…got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread,” Luke 24:33-35. The disciples and others with them were confused, frightened, and cautiously excited by all these sightings and conversations. Perhaps their dashed hope that the kingdom of God was on the brink of being ushered into their world was beginning to be renewed. Certainly, once they saw Jesus appear and greet them – they realized Jesus had a different kind of body.
Jesus made a disruptive entrance – interrupted their discussion – in order to give them an unsettling message about their future. Has your life had a surprising detour lately? Have you had one in the past? Make yourself available to God – to share Jesus’ love with others in this disruption to your plans.
By Grace Hunter