December 18 - Luke 24:9-12

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Luke 24:9-12 – The Women Tell the Others

Luke often emphasized the fact that there were women who were active participants in Jesus’ ministry. In Luke 8:1-3, we meet some of the women who not only supported Jesus in his ministry, but also accompanied the disciples as they traveled. In Acts 1:14, we find that the women were there when the disciples were in prayer. They were quite active.

Within Judaism at the time, women were not acceptable witnesses, but Luke tells us that they took the story of their experience to the other disciples.

Notice that in Luke 24:9, the women told the eleven and the rest. Luke has removed Judas from the story. A replacement had not yet been assigned. The ‘others’ mentioned in this verse is probably the one hundred and twenty that Luke describes in Acts 1:15: “In those days Peter stood up among the brothers (the company of persons was in all about 120) …”

The apostles didn't believe the women. This is more than understandable. In their hearts, they were beginning to deal with their grief. For Jesus’ resurrection to be true meant that they had to open themselves to the possibility of joy again, only to have it dashed if it were to be untrue.

The women had gone to the tomb, not expecting Jesus to be resurrected, but planning to ensure that the body was properly prepared for burial. There wasn't a single disciple who expected Jesus to have conquered death, no matter how many might try to state that they had surreptitiously stolen the body. Their unbelief, in fact, ensures that our belief is made real. By making their disbelief so great, Luke ensured that the miracle was understood to be even greater.

Peter took this unbelief a step further and rather than accepting the words of the women or the disbelief filling the group, ran to the tomb. He bent over to look in and when he saw for himself that it was empty, that the linen cloths were lying by themselves, he went home in wonder at what had happened.