There is no one more sneaky than Jesus in His resurrected body. Somehow, we continue to catch glimpses of a body that is flesh and bones like our own, yet also defies material laws of nature and physics as we know them. Which in itself, this resurrected body, continues the mystery of what we’ve come to know as the God who is fully divine and fully human. Both – simultaneously. In Jesus’ resurrection, it would initially seem that the mysteriousness of God thickens… yet, even as it is inevitably explained and disclosed to us again.
Not only does Jesus’ presence have an elusiveness to it, but His words in the Gospel do as-well. Many times Jesus has explained or foretold or given nods to “what must happen.” Yet when these things finally come to pass the disciples seem as shocked as everyone else.
It truly reveals how through all of Jesus’ actions and words He stretches all who experience His presence and receive what He says. “Whoever has ears, let them hear,” becomes a common admonition. Even through these three years of ministry alongside Jesus, the disciples inevitably still find themselves in tension with their expectations of the Messiah and what Jesus actually says and does. This tension exists so much so that by the time we arrive at the cross and then the tomb, seeming despair has broken loose.
Thus when Jesus appears, in perhaps Star Trek fashion, “peace be with you” wasn’t just a friendly greeting. But as Jesus Himself is the Logos, these words must have taken on flesh in the room. Otherwise if it had been me I may have bolted for the door! He spoke and peace came.What do you do when the one who was dead is no longer dead? How do you respond?
Death is in fact so real for us, such a stark reality, that even when someone once dead now stands in front of us, we may not believe it. “Touch me and see” Jesus says.
Jesus then, to seal the deal, to drop the resurrected body gauntlet if you will, asks for some food. We cannot overlook Jesus relationship with food, particularly in Luke, and that it comes to this again as Jesus validates His realness. This especially noteworthy after the Emmaus road narrative just before this as it is with the breaking of bread that His disciples realize His identity and are now here in this room with the others.
It is a sad thing that more faith communities don’t share meals together more frequently. Eating and stuffing our faces are what mark us as human. Eating breaks down walls and barriers of all kinds and sizes, it helps us to differentiate that which is real or not. In this instance a piece of broiled fish became the bite that helped these disciples swallow a whole new kingdom!
“He opened their minds” the text says. Characteristically it was Jesus resurrected presence and reality among them that did this, rather than spiritual brain control! We can only imagine how their minds may have begun to fly as they finally connected the kingdom dots that had been there for them the entire time. It’s like all the dash lights are coming on. It’s the moment of awareness of what has been already always going on! Its every one of our spiritual journeys as we move further into the mysterious life of God… as we eat at God’s ever inviting table. “Opening” becomes a theme in this chapter as earlier there is reference to opening eyes, then opening the Scriptures, and now opening minds! Isn’t this what God is continually up to? Opening up, revealing, truth telling, uncovering, welcoming everyone in? There is something about Jesus’ resurrected presence that awakens us and calls us to point others to this awakening as-well.
Through this encounter the disciples have become the “witnesses” and simultaneously take part in seeing the fulfillment of the Law, Prophets, and Psalms… the suffering, death, and resurrection, and now they will become themselves the fulfillment of the proliferation of it all as they are the “preachers” Jesus refers to.
It’s interesting to note that the mood goes from “startled and frightened” to “joy and amazement” in the continued realization of the resurrected Jesus actually standing among them. That is what we must all go forth in as we preach this, Joy and Amazement!
 Luke 9:22, Luke 18:31, Luke 22:37
 Perhaps a callback to Luke 10:5-6
 Luke 24:31-32; 45