Judges 12-16; Psalm 146; Luke 24

Why aren’t Jesus’ words enough for us to truly believe in Him with all our heart?

During a recent conversation with a friend of mine, I recall saying the words “oh ye of little faith…” out loud after being challenged that I would do what I said I would do. I mean, after all… this person knows me and that when I say something, I follow through in action. Why then, when it came down to believing my words, did word and action, in their mind, not match?

Fast forward to today’s reading in Luke 24… Jesus is being doubted! This, after foretelling His own death, resurrection, and life after death. And this wasn’t the first time… in Matthew 8:26, we read of the mismatch between Jesus’ words and the disciples faith, even after the disciples just witnessed Jesus feeding 5000 men! I can imagine Jesus smiling and thinking ‘Really?? You *still* have a hard time believing who I say I am?? What do I have to do???”

Jesus must have an amazing sense of humor! Anyone who doubts this simply needs to read the progression of events in Luke 24. The reading is almost comical, in wondrous, miraculous way. In the reading, at the lowest point possible for two of Jesus’ followers who were devastated over His death, they were confused about the previous days’ events at the crucifixion, clueless about Jesus’ identity as the Messiah, and oblivious when He joined them on the road to Emmaus. So Jesus set them straight and finally the light came on in their minds… of COURSE! How could we have missed this… all the signs were there! Even our hearts burned in His presence… Jesus, the Messiah!

And the story builds… picture Jesus next appearing to a group of disciples. He showed up out of nowhere, so naturally they were shocked and I’m sure scared. Even after seeing the scars in His hands and feet, they stood there… rooted to the floor in surprise! So Jesus continues to His next order of business… food! Sharing a meal with the men He did life with up until the time of His death.

I can imagine the look on Jesus’ face in response to the disciples expressions! Then, someone, who was likely speechless, came up with a fish for Jesus. I can imagine Jesus smiling at the disciples as He enjoyed His first good meal that we read about since His resurrection.

Jesus appeared to take great delight in His time with the disciples. After their adjustment period of realizing Jesus was back, perhaps they, too, chuckled with Him over their initial reaction. We don’t know, but we do know through this passage that Jesus affected people.

From burning hearts to surprised disbelief to utter shock, people react to Jesus. Jesus didn’t leave anyone unchanged by His presence then, and He doesn’t leave anyone unchanged by His presence today to those who find surprise and delight when we meet Him where we are!

So… what do you really believe in this man we call Jesus Christ? Do you believe He is who He says He is?

Jesus… please be patient with us and help us to connect what is in our minds with what is in our hearts over who You have been, are, and continue to be! Continue to prepare us for the new adventure knowing You has in store for us… Surprise us with a fresh awareness of You and all that You are! Amen!

gstefanelli (Greg Stefanelli)

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