April 10, 2018
Rev. Sarah TevisTownes
Bible Study Session 13: “Witness”
This week’s text comes from Luke 24:36-48. While the Disciples are still talking about all that transpired on Easter Sunday, including Jesus’ appearance to Mary at the tomb and to the other Disciples along the road to Emmaus, Jesus appears to them again and says, “Peace be with you.” He then proceeds to give them signs, like eating fish, to prove he is back in physical form. The Disciples then witness him ascending into heaven. What actually happened following the resurrection may not ever be possible to ascertain; however, from the text, it is clear that the old story about the Messiah coming in glory to overthrow Rome and liberate Jerusalem is changing. Now, the Messiah is someone who is not meant to do all the work himself; rather, it is up to his followers to continue building God’s reign on earth.
Some questions to ponder: What is the value of doubt in this story (and today)? With whom do we identify in the text? When in our lives have we redefined the “story” of who we are, what we’ve done, and what has happened to us? Are there aspects of our narrative that remain the same no matter what? Where does God fit into our story?
Bible Study Scripture
Luke 24: 36-48
New Revised Standard Version
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.