The Wounded Healer (Third Easter)

While they were saying all this, Jesus appeared to them and said, “Peace be with you.” They thought they were seeing a ghost and were scared half to death. He continued with them, “Don’t be upset, and don’t let these doubting questions take over. Look at my hands; look at my feet – it’s really me. Touch me. Look me over from head to toe. A ghost doesn’t have muscle and bone like this.” As he said this, he showed them his hands and feet. They still couldn’t believe what they were seeing. It was too much; it seemed too good to be true. (Luke 24: 36 – 40)

When my kids were little, if they fell down and hurt themselves, they would usually run to my wife or me to show us their “boo-boo.” And we would swoop them up in hugs and kisses and tend to their bruised egos as well as their skinned knees. For a child to show his or her wound is an act of trust in a moment of vulnerability. It’s also a chance for the parent to respond with concern, love, and care. It’s a moment that captures the humanity of both the wounded and the one who cares.

Jesus showed his wounds to the uncertain disciples who had been confused since they first heard about the empty tomb. In showing his vulnerability, he reversed the usual roles. He was taking care of them, tending to their doubts and to their wounded hearts so full of fear that they had lost him. In showing his wounds, Jesus made that which had seemed incomprehensible somehow understandable. As long as he remained only a spirit, they would have no way to understand that he had risen from the dead. He used these physical ways to manifest his presence. Another way he made his presence known was by eating with them. Our God has wounds and our God eats with us. It seems as though Jesus the Christ would fit naturally into any family I know.

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