While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, thinking they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why are doubts arising in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, for it is I myself. Touch me and see, for a ghost doesn’t have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” After he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While they still could not believe it for joy and were full of amazement, he said to them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence. 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, the Prophets, and the Psalms had to be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds so that they might come to understand the Scriptures. He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ was to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am sending on you what my Father promised. But stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”Luke 24:36-49
- Common Material
- Matthew Only
- Mark Only
- Luke Only
- John Only
One look at the above material after it has been coloured shows us there is something different about these post resurrection passages that hasn’t been the case with other parallel passages we have investigated in harmonising the gospel accounts. Comparing these harmonised accounts makes us wonder if indeed we are dealing with the same event or not. There is very little material which has been harmonised as such. Just a glance at the yellow material above indicates to us the low degree of harmonisation taking place here. Even if it is the same event being describe each writer is commenting on the event in their own way. Why is it that these closing elements are so different and yet seemingly cover the same event? The endings of the gospels are very different despite at times dealing with the same event. I have included the long ending of Mark in the above segments. I am not intending to get into a study of the short, intermediate and long ending of Mark nor the background, discussion and theories related to it. We will reserve that for when I gem Mark, if I ever do. Our focus here will be on Luke as I have told you before. I have gemmed John already and so will not make any more specific comment on John except where it sheds light on the Luke text.
I am sure it is also clear to you that when it comes to what we know as the Great Commission it is only recorded as such in Matthew. Mark has something very different and Luke handles it in his own unique way. In fact you can see in the title Robertson has given to his harmony above he calls Luke’s version of the commission “Another Commission”. Luke’s version cannot be combined with that of Matthew and Mark. Notice too we have these elements included from Paul’s writing in 1st Corinthians 15:
:5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve.
:6 After that, He was seen by more than 500 of His followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.
:7 Then He was seen by James and later by all the apostles.1 Corinthians 15:5-7
This is a curious element in that while it seems to give us a chronological order in which things happened it is hard to harmonise with the events described in the gospels.
There is much for you to ponder on before we start picking off these closing segments one by one. Take the time to look carefully at what each of the Gospel writers record for their concluding comments to Jesus’ story. We all know the conclusion of something is important, therefore a focused look on these sections is worth the time. For the moment let’s return to the question raised by some of you which I mentioned in the last Gem. Is the story described in Luke 24:36-43 the same one described in John 20:26-31? Well now you can answer your own question at no charge. It is clear from a glance that while we have the same event described in Luke 24:36-43 and John 20:19-25 the segment covered in John 20:26-31 occurred a week later, well eight days later in fact. This was a Beatles’ week. Thomas was not present at the first event but present the second time around. We look at the details of it all in the next Gem when we will begin the process of picking this segment apart from Luke’s point of view.
In the meantime take the time to look over the above segments and using the Deeper Bible approach, read the harmonised accounts all through a number of times to let them soak in before we analyse them in the next Gem. If you don’t have time to do that but wish to do so, simply leave these portions until you have time to do the work yourself. Save the Gems I send in a folder set aside for Gems and tackle them when you have time. That is what many people who follow the Bible Gems do.
No matter where you are in life, there is always more journey ahead.Nelson Mandela
Remember that your character is the sum total of your habits.Rick Warren
Most people lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.Henry David Thoreau
The more we are exposed to the excellence of His wisdom, the more likely we are to forsake our ways for His and our mind for His own.T D Jakes
And the more likely we are to be held spellbound by the depth we see in the Word of God.Ian Vail