Posted by on Apr 18, 2021 in Pastor's Blog | Comments Off on Touch and See

The gospel lesson for this 3rd Sunday of Easter comes from John 24 verses 36-48. This section is a continuation of a story we considered a year ago, that of the people talking with Jesus on the road to Emmaus.

Jesus is appearing to various people who have been following him and who are considered some of his disciples. He is appearing to them because there is still a tendency for the people involved to consider the appearances of Jesus a vision, rather than a reality.

All the disciples are still attempting to grasp the reality and truth of the resurrection. Therefore, Jesus is appearing to them to calm their minds and to help them realize that this occurrence, the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus, was written about in many areas of the Old Testament, or as the people of Jesus time heard…the Hebrew writings read in the temples.

In this section, Jesus appears again to his disciples and finds them still startled, terrified and thinking they were seeing a ghost. Jesus asks them why they are frightened. He asked them why they still allow doubts to come into their hearts and beings. He says they can touch him to find out that he isn’t a ghost…as he has bones and skin. Then…while the disciples were still questioning what they had heard and seen, Jesus asks them if they have something to eat. The disciples gave him a piece of fish, that he ate in front of them. It appears we have another reminder that the Resurrected Christ is also the Crucified Christ.

Then, Jesus “opened their minds” to the scripture. I would expect it would have been in the similar way when Jesus was talking to the two men on the Road to Emmaus. Jesus tells these disciple that everything written about him was in the law of Moses, the prophets and the psalms and he fulfilled them all.

As a reminder, there are two verses these people may have heard. One was from psalm 22:1 that says, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mary and the disciple named, John, heard these words at the cross, didn’t they? The words are recorded in Matthew 27:46. Also, another interesting verse from Psalm 22:18, “they divide my clothes among themselves, and for my clothing they cast lot.” This occurred in Matthew 27:35.

After teaching them the significance of the Old Testament/Hebrew scriptures, Jesus commissions the disciples to tell all of the need for repentance and that forgiveness of sin is available to all people who believe in Him. He also assures them that he will be with them always, he will never leave them and they will be given power from on high.

Let’s look for a little while at the various people these disciples will be teaching and proclaiming the Good News to. I’m sure there will be a variety of people and not all will be agreeable to all they have to say. What are they going to do when they encounter some questions? What are they going to do when someone states emphatically they don’t believe?

We know that these disciples are not going to only people of their own race or background. They will be going to people of different ethnic backgrounds, different religions, etc.

Are they going to not speak the words Jesus taught them? Are they going to shun the people that aren’t totally like them?

How are they going to be able to really preach the truth of Jesus in the light of differences? What are the truths? Repentance from sin. Forgiveness of sin. They have been given the power of forgiving people. How do you think they are going to process this fact as they move out into God’s world to bring the word to others?

They are going to touch a LOT of people in their words, their thoughts and in their mission. Not everyone will be exactly like them. How are they going to realize and accept the differences in the people they minister to?

These disciples are going to be proclaiming the truth of the gospel. They are going to be human witnesses to the truth Jesus is commissioning them to do. They will be speaking to a diverse population of people.

Now…just a minute. It is not only these disciples who are commissioned to touch a lot of people with words and actions. It is not only these disciples who are to proclaim through how lives are lived the truth of the gospel. It is not only these disciples who will exhibit forgiveness of others, grant forgiveness to those who harm others. These disciples are not the only ones who will encounter diversity.

We, too, are commissioned to preach the truth. To listen for and find the truth in our world, We are commissioned to touch the people with the words of God and then see how that realization changes the people.

Not everyone in our world knows of the love of God. Some may have known, but have rejected God’s love. We can speak to them. We can listen to them. We don’t have to be the only ones talking, but we can give others a chance to tell us what formed their opinions. Then, we pray for them, treat them as equals and friends, and show them what the Love of God really is.

It’s a hard commission and hard work. But, we know God is always with us and will direct our words and actions so that God can touch the people and they will see his love in his world. We will see, also. Many people are not like us. We show the world our faith by how we choose to live it. We touch others in this way…and can see how God guides us.


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