What does it say?
Luke’s account of the resurrection is in chapter 24. He adds information about Jesus appearing to two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Not recognizing him at first, Jesus reveals himself, eats with them and expounds to them the scriptures. They rush back to Jerusalem to tell the others that are gathered together in a safe place. There, Jesus appears again to them all and confirms that he is truly resurrected in physical form and not merely a spirit. Luke also tells of the global commission and adds that they were to wait in Jerusalem for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
John 20 gives the most complete account of the women that come to the tomb on Sunday morning and find it empty. In particular, John shares how Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene individually. John also adds details to Jesus’ appearance that Sunday evening to the disciples assembled in the upper room. Thomas was not present that evening, but a week later Jesus again appears to the assembled believers including Thomas. John 21 gives us the most information about Jesus’ appearance to his disciples in Galilee following the resurrection, and it is the only gospel that gives the story of Jesus’ loving encounter with Peter following his three denials on the night of the betrayal.
What does it mean?
John 20:30-31 is critically important as it gives us John’s purpose in writing this gospel and why he chose only seven of the many signs, wonders and healings that Jesus did. This same evangelistic purpose is now ours. Previously in chapter 20 Jesus tells his disciples that his mission is now theirs (20:21). Typically different than the other gospels, John’s version of the disciples’ commission is from a different appearance of the resurrected Christ and the wording is distinct. The essence of the commission, however, is the same and the fact that Jesus gives them this mission on different occasions serves to underscore its centrality to their lives and ours.
How will I respond?
Jesus’ mission is my mission. Not only has he given me the mission, he has given me the Holy Spirit of God to empower me. Yesterday I asked God to give me a natural opportunity to share the Good News with someone. Today, I will ask him to make sharing the Gospel a regular and normal part of my life.