‘He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?’ Luke 24:38 (NIV)
There’s a wide divide between saying we believe something and showing we believe it by our actions. In Luke 24, we are able to listen in on the events which took place after Jesus was crucified. Imagine for a minute what it would have been like to be a disciple of Jesus Christ – to walk with him, watch him heal the sick, listen to his exhortations day after day. We know at least Peter grasped the amazing fact that he was friends with the promised Messiah:
“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “God’s Messiah.” Luke 9:20
There was a major problem though. The disciples figured that Jesus had come to earth to save them from the domination and abuse they experienced at the hand of the Romans. They were limited by a physical understanding of Jesus. They had no real concept of the spiritual significance of Jesus’ life. What they expected and what really happened were two very different things. Imagine their horror and confusion as they witnessed their Messiah, their Saviour and Deliverer, hanging on a cross between two criminals and dying.
Now what were they supposed to believe? What about all their hopes and dreams? Where was God?
Thankfully, that’s not the end of the story. As we know, three days later, God raised Jesus from the dead. In Luke 24 he makes an appearance to the disciples as they are gathered, perhaps hiding out while they try to sort out their beliefs from their reality. This is the context of the question in Luke 24:38.
Jesus asks them why they are TROUBLED and why they have DOUBTS.
Here are the definitions of trouble from Dictionary.com:
1. to disturb the mental calm and contentment of; worry; distress; agitate.2. to put to inconvenience, exertion, pains, or the like: May I trouble you to shut the door?3. to cause bodily pain, discomfort, or disorder to; afflict: to be troubled by arthritis.4. to annoy, vex, or bother: Don’t trouble her with petty complaints now.5. to disturb, agitate, or stir up so as to make turbid, as water or wine: A heavy gale troubled the ocean waters.