The status quo is the most powerful force in the world.
And sometimes it seems like Jesus’ mission is life is to break up the status quo, to challenge it, to upend it, to hit us over the head with how very un-normal life with him is.
And we kind of hate it.
Consider our stories today from the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel of Luke. They are marked with fear and astonishment at the miracles being witnessed.
In the Book of Acts, Peter and John are going to prayer, and in the name of Jesus Christ they heal a man who cannot walk.
“All the people saw him walking and praising God,” Acts says, “and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. While he clung to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them in the portico called Solomon’s Portico, utterly astonished.”
The same thing happens in our gospel story, tinged with even more intensity.
“Jesus himself stood among the disciples and their companions and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost.”
Even the very people who walked with Jesus on earth, who saw him perform miracles every day, kept getting caught off guard.
You would think after walking around with him for three years, seeing the healing and the feeding and the walking on water, they would be a little more adjusted to living among the miraculous.
Especially after Jesus had told them repeatedly that he would be raised from the dead.
Jesus wants an answer to the same question.
“Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” he says.
The truth is that we don’t want to live in a miraculous world because that would force us to give up control. Continue reading