He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”
Luke 24:25-26 (NIV)
As I passed a small group of worried looking children in the corridor who were talking to a colleague, I heard her laugh and say tenderly, ‘You numpties, don’t worry though, we can fix it. Come on and I’ll help you.’ Immediately the youngsters looked relieved, and they went off following their teacher down the hall. I wondered what they had done and about this term ‘numpties’. I’d never heard it before. Later when I had the chance to ask her, she told me that people from her hometown of Dundee used it to describe someone who had done something silly or stupid.
In Luke 24:13-31, two of Jesus’ followers are walking to the village of Emmaus. They were deeply troubled by what they had witnessed in Jerusalem. Jesus had been crucified and they were struggling to come to terms with what it all meant. Jesus appeared as a stranger and walked alongside them. He asked them to explain what had happened and listened patiently as they sorted through their thoughts. As humans we often need time to process significant events, to remember and find meaning.
Then Jesus called them ‘numpties!’
Of course, we know he didn’t. But he does call them foolish.
David Lyle Jeffrey, in his book Luke, suggests that this is meant as a term of endearment. It’s as if after chiding them gently for their disbelief, Jesus puts his arms around them and says ‘Don’t worry. It’s going to be okay. Remember the prophets told you this was going to happen.’
We can be numpties just like Jesus’ followers when we fail to recognise that in life, Jesus is always walking alongside us even if we don’t recognise him. The scriptures tell us what has happened and how it is all going to end. Jesus has returned to the glory he had with the Father before the world began (John 17:1-5), and he is our Saviour. We don’t need to worry, but instead be filled with joy and wonder. Jesus asks us to share this message with others as we walk along life’s road.
Our heavenly father, we thank you for always being there with us, and for the life, death and resurrection of our older brother Jesus Christ. Help us not to worry or be overly concerned but instead fill us with your joy and give us the confidence to share this good news with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Study by Jackie Mill
About the writer:
Jackie Mill is a Minister and Pastoral Worker for Grace Communion International in Scotland and Ireland and Camp Director for SEP summer camp.
Gilmerton New Church
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