Answering Unanswered Questions
Matthew, Luke, and John
In yesterday’s Devo we looked at Mark’s abrupt, cryptic ending that raised more questions than it answered. Did Mary Magdalene deliver the message to the disciples and especially to Peter? Did Jesus fulfill his promise to meet them in Galilee? And did the women get over their dumbstruck fear and start sharing with others about the fact that Jesus was alive?
These questions lead us to the other three Gospels. Matthew, the first Gospel in our New Testament, tells us that before the women even made it back to the Apostles that Jesus himself met them. They grabbed his feet and worshiped him (Matthew 28:8-10). Talk about an incredible way to help them get over their fears and start testifying about the resurrection!
Matthew then goes on to tell us how the disciples did meet Jesus in Galilee (Matthew 28:16-20), but both Luke and John tell us that Jesus didn’t make them wait till the Galilean meeting.
Luke tells us about two disciples on the Emmaus road walking with Jesus and then recognizing him when he broke the bread (Luke 24:13-35). And then back in Jerusalem Jesus suddenly appears to ten of the disciples, minus Thomas (Luke 24:36-49). Then John tells us that a week later even doubting Thomas got a face-to-face meeting with the risen Jesus (John 20:24-29).
The Apostle John takes us back to Galilee in his conclusion for a one on one walk along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Peter, the disciple who denied Jesus three times, declares his love for his Master three times, and then Jesus ordains him as the first pastor-teacher in the Church (John 21:1-19).
All these answers illustrate how we need to track the Story told by each of the inspired writers in their own words. We’ve spent the last several months doing this in the Gospel of Mark. In tomorrow’s Devo I want to pick up on the fact that Joseph of Arimathea, the man who buried the body of Jesus, was also a man looking forward to the coming of God’s Kingdom. What is this kingdom of God? Who will bring it to earth and how?
LORD, thanks that you give us strong first century witnesses to the fact that after his death on Calvary, the same Jesus of Nazareth was alive. Thanks that because he is alive, I don’t need to fear death but can be confident that to be absent from the body is to be present with you.
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