Questions about Luke 24: Why did Jesus vanish?


#1

I’d like to ask you about today’s Gospel, Luke 24:13-35.

Why does Jesus suddenly vanish?

Why has He marked this new era – this New Covenant – with uncertainty about His presence?

Why did He appear to only a select few individuals in a rural area and then require everyone else to believe on faith in their testimony?

(Regarding that matter, why do we have no other historical record of the ‘more than 500 people’ Paul says He appeared to? I mean another historical mention of that event, or their own testimony in writing or other archeological evidence. Are there letters from the Church Fathers regarding their testimony? Is it one reason Christianity spread rapidly throughout the Roman Empire?)

Ultimately, I am tempted to resentment: It appears as if Jesus prefers to play games and make us suffer with uncertainty rather than be clear and direct. This reminds me of another question I’ve had for years: Why is the physical realm so obvious but the spiritual realm apparently non-existent? If we’re spiritual-corporal hybrid beings, why don’t we experience both evenly?


#2

I can see at least two things: A foreshadowing of His ascension, in which He also disappeared from sight, as well as evidence that He was present in the Holy Eucharist.

Rather than uncertainty, He was certainly present to Cleopas and his companion, as well as to Simon Peter and later, the eleven in the upper room. After that, there were the 500 as well as His appearance to Saul on the road to Damascus. Bear in mind that He taught that it was an evil generation that asked for signs, i.e. proof. “Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed.”

It is good to recall also that Jewish law required the testimony of two or three witnesses to establish the truth of a matter. Thus, we have Peter, James and John present to witness the Transfiguration, the raising of the daughter of Jairus and at His agony in the garden. Further, when the Gospel was committed to writing, we have the three synoptic Gospels - three parallel testimonies which agree to the message of Christ.

Even those He appeared to had their doubts, as they were shocked to find that it was actually Him once their eyes were opened. In that culture, no one would believe any such claims without eyewitnesses. For that very reason, eyewitnesses were needed, but “Blessed are those who have not seen, and have believed.”

As to playing games, God is our Creator and can test us at will. To man, whose knowledge and intellect are limited, it may appear foolish - but not to God. if you mist have proof before you believe, then you lack the first theological virtue: faith. Yet, faith is not blind - it must proceed hand-in-hand with reason. Thus the eyewitnesses and the later written record. Read the prologue to Luke (Luke 1:1-4).

As to the spiritual realm, the spirit is immaterial and must be sensed outside of our normal sensory perception. Our five senses relate specifically to our material bodies and the material world we live in. Yet, God appeals to our spirits via the material world: Via healing our bodies, via our physical consumption of the Holy Eucharist, via the laying on of hands at our confirmation, and via the answered prayers which we can readily observe.

As you age, you will notice that your spirit does not age while your body clearly does. Saint Paul addresses those believers who are still carnal rather than spiritual, and your current crisis of faith reveals that a renewed focus on the spiritual realm would be of great advantage to you. The spirit is recognized and experienced best in silence.

One prayer that is never refused is “Come, Holy Spirit!” The caveat is that your heart must be disposed to receive the Spirit. If you are still in communion with the Church, you might ask someone to lay hands on you and pray over you. A priest first, and possibly the leaders of any Catholic charismatic movement in the area.

Be warned that an open heart that is vulnerable to conversion by the Holy Spirit can experience an amazing, even shocking spiritual transformation. Immediately, or over time.


#3

Jesus manifested the mission and it came to actual practicality, as Romans says, “Not those who hear the Law, but those who do it will be justified.” And Pope Gregory the Great, “The truth is better understood by deeds done than by words heard.” (Homily 23, n. 1, 2) The practical aspect of the perception of deeds was displayed by Jesus in both the blessing of the bread and his statement blessed are those who see and believe. Also, it was soon time to give the Holy Spirit his role in regeneration, who is not incarnate.

The reason may be found in what Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” (Jn 13:35)

Humility

This is good question for Fr. Spitzer magiscenter.org/?s=History+of+Jesus The subject of Jesus, Bible, and Christianity is one of the most certain aspects of the entire history based on honest methods. For it brought the most attention to a huge amount of people outside of scholars. This provided the background and incentive to study Jesus.

Tertullian said, “the blood of martyrs is the seed of the Church”. It grew rapidly because the supernatural Church was sought after by the Romans for execution. They called us atheists and criminalized our practices. God made a huge statement saying “Why are you persecuting me?” the only God, do you know that I have risen and gone to my Father? When you persecute a Catholic, you persecute Jesus. He proved with our presence in that past circumstance.

“Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just?" (Ez 18:25)
Without self-knowledge, we perceive further to the arbitrary than from the truth. I agree with what po18guy said about spirits. But that is not the focus of salvation, the incarnation and resurrection, and ascension of the person of Jesus is the focus contained in the Creed. Also, how it is celebrated at Mass, and how it lived in the commandments, and from which a personal vital relationship through authentic prayer. Spirits are often works of the enemy because it is potent way to distract people.


#4

Sorry. He said, “blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed.” (Jn 20:29) St. Luke said, “And taking bread, he gave thanks, and brake; and gave to them, saying: This is my body, which is given for you. Do this for a commemoration of me.” The practical act of the Mass is the complete and entire memorial of the Word. He vanished, in my opinion, to give a transition to the practical role (in deeds of the Church) of the Holy Spirit. For he does not truly leave us due to the breaking of the Bread, but yet the Holy Spirit cannot be seen - and they, ie. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one and yet distinct.


#5

He vanished because it was a duplicate.

He was ALREADY present in the Eucharist, why have him bilocate for no good reason?


#6

:coffeeread: Struggling.


#7

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