But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
All of the disciples had such a difficult time understanding what was happening after Jesus’ death. Besides the shock of that and the grief they felt, there are all these rumors that Jesus is alive, but they’re having a hard time believing that. And so they keep having the wrong responses and reactions to Jesus. They’re afraid when they should be rejoicing. They’re confused when they should be reassured. They’re doubtful when they should have faith. But this was something that had never happened before, and it was all so hard to grasp.
But haven’t we sometimes had the wrong response to Jesus? When some fresh truth is revealed to us, sometimes it’s hard to accept it right away. We don’t always understand everything the first time it’s shown to us, and that can cause us to have the wrong reaction to what Jesus is trying to get us to see. In the midst of some trial or difficult time or when our emotions are all stirred up or things don’t happen the way we expected them to, it’s so much easier for fear and confusion and doubt to rise within us.
But Jesus gives us everything we need to know Him and to recognize Him in our midst. A careful examination will prove that Jesus is everything He said He was. We have His Word, which contains absolute truth in a world full of uncertainty. We have the proof of His death and resurrection and the hope that that produces in us for our salvation and our future in eternity. We have Jesus with us, His Spirit within to guide and direct us into truth, to help us not be fearful and afraid, to give us understanding where we lack it.
The truth is, growing in the Lord is a process. Gaining spiritual knowledge takes time. We aren’t going to understand every spiritual truth right away. So may we be understanding and gracious with others who misunderstand things and try to guide them into the truth as best we can. And may we always keep our eyes upon Jesus and look to Him for all that we lack. Let’s trust Him completely, because He’s shown us that we can. And let us continue to seek Him more and more whenever those troubling and confusing moments arise in our lives.