Author: Tim Tseng, President & Executive Director, Institute for the Study of Asian American Christianity, Castro Valley; Adjunct Professor, University of San Francisco, San Francisco
38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence. (Luke 24:38-43, NIV)
When Asian American Christians tell me how they came to faith, many say that the logic of Christianity convinced them of its truth. They point to the historical accuracy of the Bible and Jesus’ claim to be the Savior. Others come to faith because of wonderful worship experiences. They feel such joy and amazement that they just know that God has to be real. Luke’s account of Jesus’ post-resurrection appearance before his disciples reminds us that physical evidence or feelings are not enough to dispel doubt. Even after Jesus showed his nail pierced hands and feet, his disciples did not believe him. Strangely, their “joy and amazement” at seeing him prevented them from recognizing him. Apparently neither physical evidence nor feelings were proof enough that Jesus had truly risen from the dead and was present among them! To believe in the risen Savior because of logic and feelings is good. But Luke reminds us that a relationship with Jesus is more important. Most people do not eat with strangers. We prefer to share meals with people we trust. Indeed, the word “companion” means literally “one who shares bread.” The disciples, it appears, truly believed only after Jesus ate with them. Perhaps the meal with the risen Lord reminded them of the Last Supper, the meal they shared with Jesus just before his crucifixion; the meal Christians commemorate on Maundy Thursday. So when Christians celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we do so to remember Jesus’ death. But we should also remember that each time we participate in the Lord’s Supper, our relationship with the living Lord is reaffirmed. At the heart of the matter, the best evidence for our faith is a relationship, not logic or feelings.
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:20, NIV)
The ISAAC 2009 Lenten Devotional, edited by Rev. Dr. Johnson Chiu. This devotional was written by Asian American English ministry leaders and pastors in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. To purchase, click here: Road of Suffering, Road to Glory: A Lenten Adventure with the Savior