How Did the Disciples Experience the Risen Jesus in Luke?

The Gospel of Luke provides a detailed account of how the disciples experienced the risen Jesus. Luke’s narrative presents Jesus as the Son of God who was crucified, buried, and resurrected on the third day. In this article, we will explore how the disciples encountered Jesus after his resurrection according to Luke.

The Empty Tomb

Luke begins his account with the discovery of an empty tomb by Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and other women who had come with them to anoint Jesus’ body. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb and that Jesus’ body was not inside.

Two men in dazzling robes appeared to them and said, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:5-6).

The Road to Emmaus

Later that same day, two disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus when a stranger joined them. The stranger turned out to be Jesus himself, but they did not recognize him.

He explained to them how all of Scripture pointed towards his death and resurrection (Luke 24:13-27). It wasn’t until they sat down for dinner and he broke bread that their eyes were opened and they realized it was Jesus.

Appearances in Jerusalem

After these events, Jesus appeared to his disciples in Jerusalem. When they saw him, they were startled and frightened because they thought they were seeing a ghost (Luke 24:36-37).

However, Jesus showed them his hands and feet which still bore the marks of crucifixion. He ate with them to prove that he was not a ghost but was physically present with them.

Commissioning His Disciples

Jesus then commissioned his disciples to go out into all nations and proclaim repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47). He told them that they were witnesses to all that had happened and that he would send the Holy Spirit to empower them for this mission. This commissioning marked the beginning of the Church’s mission to spread the Gospel message throughout the world.


In conclusion, Luke’s Gospel provides a detailed account of how the disciples experienced the risen Jesus. They encountered him through an empty tomb, on the road to Emmaus, and in Jerusalem.

His appearances to them gave them confidence that he was truly alive and had conquered death. This led them to boldly proclaim the Gospel message and establish the Church as we know it today.