Recognizing Jesus

What do we have to understand to recognize who Jesus really is? Watch the featured video, reflect on some questions, and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 40.

Luke 24


Once you've watched the featured video, take time to reflect on these questions.


What is one way this video encouraged or expanded your understanding of the Gospel of Luke?


Take some time to imagine being at the empty tomb on the day of Jesus’ resurrection. How would you feel? What would you say and do?


How does the ending of Luke’s Gospel account prepare us for his next book?

Go Deeper

Three days after Jesus’ execution, some of his friends find his tomb empty and report that he is alive. But their announcement sounds like nonsense, and no one believes them. Meanwhile, just outside of Jerusalem, a couple of Jesus’ followers are leaving the city, traveling to a town called Emmaus. The risen Jesus catches up with them and asks what they are talking about. They don’t recognize him, so they explain who this Jesus was, a powerful prophet who they thought would save Israel but was crucified instead.

Jesus tells them this is what the Jewish Scriptures had been pointing to all along. Israel needed a king who would suffer and die as a rebel on behalf of those who actually were rebels. This king would be vindicated by his resurrection to give true life to those who would receive it. But the travelers still don’t get it. They are totally confused, and they urge Jesus to stay with them longer.

Jesus shares a meal with these travelers. He takes the bread, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it to them just as he did the night before his death. This is the image of his broken body, his death on the cross. And when the travelers eat the bread, their eyes are opened to see Jesus. Luke’s story is all about how difficult it is for us to see Jesus for who he really is. How could God’s royal power and love be revealed through this man’s shameful execution? How could a humble man become the King of the world through weakness and self-sacrifice? It doesn’t make sense! But this is the surprising message of Luke’s Gospel, and our minds must transform to see and embrace Jesus’ upside-down Kingdom.


To help you review today’s text and make observations, retell the story out loud in your own words. As you do, what stands out to you most?


Read Luke 22:19. What does Jesus say the broken bread represents? When he gives his disciples the bread, what does he call them to remember?


Compare Luke 22:19 with Luke 24:30-35. What do you notice? What does remembering have in common with recognizing? How does Jesus’ suffering help us to recognize who he really is and remember what he has given us?


Let’s pray for a new ability to recognize Jesus in the Scriptures and remember him in our daily lives. He’s real and he’s alive. Be encouraged to spend time talking to him.


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