Touch Me and See

Story 10: Sharing Breakfast in Jerusalem

In this series, Every Meal is a Story, we are looking at stories in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus breaks bread with all sorts of folks where they live in order to teach simple truth. In stories 8-10, Jesus reveals his true identity through the symbol of sacrifice in the last supper, the Scriptures about the Messiah, and by showing us his human scars in his risen glory. 

Read Luke 24:36-49

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit.  And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?  See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”  And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”  They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.

Luke 24: 36-42

Every scar has a story. On long van trips with students we used to pass the time singing Disney songs and playing crazy games.  One trip, we made up a show and tell game in which each person talked about a scar, and what accident, surgery, or adventure mishap caused it. One student shared a significant scarring experience that she said shaped the way she overcame insecurity and developed leadership skills.  Some scars are visible reminders and some hidden wounds, but every story reminds us of our shared humanity.

On the very night of the Resurrection, Jesus shows his humanity in the community of his disciples. He appears as the risen Prince of Peace, but they were understandably shocked in disbelief. Yet Jesus lovingly brought them close, showing them the crucifixion scars on his hands and feet, assuring them, “Hey it’s me. Look at my hands and feet. Touch me and see.

As if that wasn’t enough to convince them, Jesus said, “Do you have anything to eat around here; I’m really hungry!” Jesus has conquered death and wants to eat fish with his friends, bringing them to the table to physically prove both his humanity and divinity.

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 and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,  and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.  You are witnesses of these things.  And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Luke 24:44-49

Jesus fulfilled what was written about him in the Scriptures, and opens the disciples minds to understand that he is the promised Savior. “The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day.” In sharing a meal together and allowing them to touch his scars, Jesus personally invites them to believe that he is the Messiah, the Risen Christ.

Jesus also reminds them once again of purpose for his followers: You have seen everything, you know the Scriptures, and more importantly you know the living, risen Christ. So go out in my name, do greater things, speak truth, and follow my example of sacrifice, sharing suffering and peace with everyone I send you to touch, so that they may be healed of their wounds and believe.

IMAGINE. Scars speak of both suffering and healing. Imagine Jesus showing up unexpectedly, listening to your fears and seeing your hurts, yet healing your wounds and helping you to move forward with new purpose.  

PRACTICE. What was the need in your life, the scar, the wound, that brought you to faith in Jesus Christ?  Think through your story and how you can share it in a few sentences to deepen your conversations about faith.  Then invite someone to dinner to share stories on a deeper level.

PRAISE. Jesus of the Scars. Poem by Edward Shillito, Music by Tom Douglas https://youtu.be/IGyGUGmwoNY

The other gods were strong, but Thou wast weak;
They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;
But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,
And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.

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