Luke 24:41 International Standard Version (©2008) Even though they were still skeptical due to their joy and astonishment, Jesus asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” New American Standard Bible (©1995) While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995) The disciples were overcome with joy and amazement because this seemed too good to be true. Then Jesus asked them, “Do you have anything to eat?” King James Bible And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat American King James Version And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said to them, Have you here any meat? American Standard Version And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here anything to eat?
Bible in Basic English And because, for joy and wonder, they were still in doubt, he said to them, Have you any food here? Douay-Rheims Bible But while they yet believed not, and wondered for joy, he said: Have you any thing to eat? Darby Bible Translation But while they yet did not believe for joy, and were wondering, he said to them, Have ye anything here to eat?
“They believed not for joy.”
That phrase in Luke’s account captured my attention. I’ve printed it out above, using several different translations. Doesn’t it seem interesting to you that the earliest skeptics regarding the Resurrection were Jesus’ own disciples and other close followers? When you read all the accounts about the resurrection, it’s obvious the disciples were not expecting that. The rising of the Son came as complete surprise! As the events unfolded early on Easter, you can see everyone grim and glum at first, doing funeral things. Then things started happening and you see them scurrying around, going back and forth to the tomb, talking with angels and with each other. . . and not seeming to have a clue as to what had just happened. Mary even had a brief encounter with Christ at the tomb, but didn’t say anything to the others for fear they’d think she was nuts!
Read the accounts and you can see it for yourself. Everyone was scratching his/her head, trying to figure out what was going on.
Talk about emotional roller coasters! Talk about a sudden, unexpected turn of events! How could anyone have been prepared for this? The pendulum of human events seldom swings that widely. That dramatically and quickly. Would you and I have acted differently in those circumstances? Would we have believed? Do you really believe in the truth of the Resurrection today? What evidence is there in your life to substantiate that you do believe?
Incidentally, that isn’t a “test question.” Nor is it a “rhetorical” one. It simply seems to me that this is evident: When facts and truth are stated in the Scripture, a response is expected of us.
The Resurrection caught the early believers completely off guard. Sounds to me as if the disciples and the other followers were completely overcome by their grief, and at the same time fearful of what might happen next. To them! So that weekend they huddled together in that little room…for some reason, I had a feeling it was the place where they had their last supper together. From the time the sun sank below the horizon on “Good Friday” until it rose again that first Easter morning, the first followers of Jesus must have plummeted into darkness. Their dreams had turned to nightmares. Their hopes had been crushed. All they had invested (and, apparently, they’d invested “all” they had) was lost.
Why don’t we believe today? There is certainly ample eyewitness evidence . . . by credible witnesses. . . that some incredible explosion of reality burst upon human history that morning! Is it because we’ve conditioned ourselves to believe the old adage: “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t?” That’s what almost tripped up the little group of beaten believers. Can it be that you’ve never really believed the truth of the Resurrection? Perhaps you’ve given intellectual assent. But it lies, unused like a lot of utterly irrelevant and useless information you’ve accumulated along the way. In cold storage in some remote place in the back of your mind. That’s one of those things about which we think we really can’t be too certain. If you feel your hesitancy is new, or unique to you, take another look. THE DISCIPLES and all the others who mourned the death of Jesus. . . to the very last person . . .DID NOT BELIEVE A RESURRECTION HAD OCCURRED.
It all sounded too good to be true. Thomas (ever claim kin to him?) said: “Huh! Resurrection my foot! Are you people out of your minds!? I won’t believe it till I can stick my hand in his wounds!” Talk about a hard-crusted, hard-nosed, confirmed unbeliever. . . how does that sound? No wonder we’ve called him “Doubting Thomas.”
Jesus’ life, work, and words are hardly matters about which we can be casual or indifferent. From a believer’s point of view, the fact of the Resurrection has singular significance to the Faith we say we hold. Paul, the brilliant first century theologian and author. …take away that fundamental truth, the truth of the Resurrection, and the entire structure of Christianity would collapse like dominoes or a house of cards.
What about those three days between the crucifixion and the resurrection? What was happening? While the little band of believers were dealing with their grief and disappointment, hiding in fear for their own lives. . . what was happening out of sight? Do you think any of them had the slightest idea of what might take place in just a few hours? It seems they’d forgotten Jesus’ promise to vacate the grave. The Jewish leaders hadn’t. They wanted a guard placed on duty to be sure. Behind the scenes. Out of sight.
Could it be that God is planning something for you at this very moment? It’s happened before. It’s probably happened under much more difficult circumstances.
They believed not for joy! They thought the entire idea of the Resurrection was just too good to be true. And while they were still trying to process the information, guess what Jesus did! next!
He said, “I’m hungry. What do you have to eat?” It’s almost as if he felt the feat He’d just performed was almost routine! That struck me as extraordinary. Absolutely extraordinary!
And, considering myself one of the world’s better breakfast chefs, I couldn’t help but wonder if He walked into our house some morning and asked me “What’s on the menu?” I apologize if that strikes you the wrong way. I just cannot help but be amazed that He’d do something so incredible, and then ask for “some chow!” I reckon one of the reasons why I’ve come to love Him so is that very kind, down-to-earth way He has when dealing with us. I admit to you that if He did ask for something to eat at my place, I’d be more nervous than if Emeril, all the Iron Chefs, that cute little Rachel Ray, Julia Childs and all her protégés and all the culinary queens of Conde Nast and Good Housekeeping showed up at once expecting to be fed by me!
But you can rest assured I’d do my dead level best to be sure He didn’t go away hungry!
Be Joyful! In the Name of the Risen Christ, you are Blessed! Blessed, indeed! Through the eyes of faith, we can declare: It IS True. Christ is risen! Alleluia!
God’s servant, your brother, friend, and fellow student
(Post Script: You probably know the appreciation and respect I have for those of you who visit this blog. . . and especially when you “weigh in” and share your own observations. Some who write have their own sites, and just by “clicking” on their icons in the comment section, you’ll be whisked away to a whole new scenario. It’s “magic” that I don’t know how to perform! I’ve told you about that in order to let you know again of the work being done by our friend, Robert Sutherland, one of God’s “frozen people” up in Northern Canada. If you click the icon on the right, he’s made it possible for us to view his book on Job. It’s one of the primary references now in the textbook used in the U.S. for Bible courses in our high schools. It is a recognized and respected examination of the ancient book from the perspective of an attorney. It’s yours. Free of charge, thanks to Robert!)