Luke 24:44-53

Commentary Excerpt by Tom Boomershine

The setting of the story of Jesus' final appearance to the disciples in the Gospel of Luke takes place on Sunday evening immediately after the two who had met Jesus on the road to Emmaus had told their story and had heard how Jesus had appeared to Simon. While they were talking about all this Jesus appeared in the midst of them. He stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."

Now as a reminder of the basic storytelling dynamics of this story, the storyteller here becomes Jesus and is addressing the audience as the disciples. So when you're telling this story you, as Jesus, are addressing the audience as the disciples gathered with the two who were on the road to Emmaus. The audience is invited to identify with the disciples.The dynamic of the story is then that you are speaking to the audience as the thirteen disciples who were gathered together there in that room talking about the appearances of Jesus on the road to Emmaus and to Simon Peter.

When Jesus appears, their response, with which you are seeking to lead the audience to identify, is "fear and terror." They thought they were seeing a ghost; that is, they did not understand who was in their midst. Now there's a basic difference between your audience and the disciples. Because the audience has heard the story of Jesus appearing on the road to Emmaus, they know that it's quite likely that this really is Jesus. The disciples don't know. The characteristic move in these resurrection stories is that the audience knows something that the disciples don't know. That is part of the delight of this story. On the one hand, we are able to identify with and understand the disciples' response of fear, and, on the other hand, we know that in fact the one they're talking to is really Jesus, not a ghost.

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