We are continuing our meditation about Christ’s appearances to the disciples after He was raised from the dead. When the two disciples from Emmaus realized the risen Jesus had been talking with them at supper and on the road, they decided to return to Jerusalem to tell the good news to the other disciples. We can only imagine what their joy must have been like as they hastened back to Jerusalem to share with the other disciples about their encounter with the Lord Jesus. It must have been late in the evening when they finally covered the seven miles uphill to the room where the disciples were gathered and had the door “locked for fear of the Jews” (John 20:19). When they burst into the room testifying to Jesus' walking and talking with them, they found out that Peter had received a personal appearance of the Lord (Luke 24:34). How beautiful of the Lord to confront Peter apart from the other disciples. We know nothing of that conversation, and that is how it should be when a man is confronted with his failure. We can only imagine the wide eyes in the room as the two Emmaus believers shared their experience of talking with and seeing the risen Christ.
We don't know where the disciples gathered together that resurrection Sunday evening, but it was likely the same upper room where they had eaten the Passover meal. It must have been a very poignant picture. The last time they shared a meal, Christ had told them that He would be taken from them and that He would be betrayed by one of them. Now, here they were, discussing the fact that He was alive again. Mark adds that they were eating at the time (Mark 16:14). The news from the Emmaus disciples caused a stir in the room, and they were still discussing these things when Jesus Himself appeared before them in the room.
36While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." 37They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39Look 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." 40When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43and he took it and ate it in their presence (Luke 24:36-42).
It must have been a frightening experience to have somebody appear out of nowhere in the middle of the room. It sounds like something out of Star Trek or some other sci-fi series! Their first thought was that He was a ghost, perhaps due to how He arrived among them. One of the first things He said to them was: “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?” (v. 38). How did He know they were troubled and had doubts about His being raised from the dead? He was listening, of course! Where two or three are gathered together in His name, there He is, in the middle of them (Matthew 18:20). The Lord listens to our conversations. He knows exactly where each of us is in our faith walk. He knows our needs even before we ask.
Although we cannot see Him, He sees and listens to all we say and all we do. Nothing escapes His attention. He knows the pain and heartache you are going through in your life. He knows our loneliness; He sees how we are treated at work or home. He never leaves us when we have doubts and when questions arise in our hearts. Be honest with God. He listens not only to your every conversation but also to every thought.
1O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD (Psalm 139:1-4).
Just as He came among the disciples while they were having doubts, He longs to do the same for us. He is a good listener. He listened to the testimony of the two Emmaus disciples even when they did not realize who He was. Keith Thomas.
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Taken from the series on the Gospel of John, study 41: Jesus Appears to Mary and the Disciples