Recognising Jesus (20-04-22)
Bible Reading: Luke 24:13-17, 30-33
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?" They stood still, their faces downcast.
(Later) when he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem.
The events in these verses take place on the afternoon of the first Easter Day; these two followers of Jesus, who are not two of the twelve disciples, are walking the seven miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus and arrive there, according to later verses, when it is ‘almost evening’.
We are also told that, prior to leaving Jerusalem, they had heard the report of the women who had been to the tomb and been told by the angels that Jesus was alive. They had also heard about Peter and John who had gone to the tomb and found it empty. And yet they were returning home, their faces downcast.
Clearly Thomas wasn’t the only doubter amongst Jesus’ followers.
I think there are times for all of us when we know the truths about our faith but things are happening that we don’t understand. And so we doubt. The message has not dropped from our head to our heart and so our faces are downcast.
I find it really encouraging then, that Jesus comes alongside these two in their despair and confusion, even though they don’t recognise him. Then, as they walk along and talk together, he slowly starts to unpack the situation with them.
When they arrive in Emmaus they invite Jesus to stay with them. It is then, as he takes the bread and breaks it in front of them, that the penny drops. Their eyes are opened and they recognise Jesus. And it is with this revelation of Jesus that everything else starts to fall into place and they recall, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us’.
Notice the order of events. These two heard the truths of the Christian faith but didn’t yet believe. They then teased through the facts and the scriptures. Then they invited Jesus into their home. Then they had a revelation of the presence of Jesus. Only then did they begin to understand.
Are there things in your life or in the world around you, or in the scriptures, that you don’t understand or don’t like? Are there things that cause you to doubt your faith? Be assured, Jesus is walking this road with you; share your thoughts with him. Make sure you invite him into your life for he will reveal himself to you and he will lead you to a place of understanding.
Lord Jesus, open my eyes so that I may see you, and in seeing you, live my life in the assurance of your resurrection.
Christ is risen, he is risen indeed