13 Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 Together they were discussing everything that had taken place. 15 And while they were discussing and arguing, Jesus himself came near and began to walk along with them. 16 But they were prevented from recognizing him. 17 Then he asked them, “What is this dispute that you’re having with each other as you are walking?” And they stopped walking and looked discouraged. 18 The one named Cleopas answered him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked them. So they said to him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that he was the one who was about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, it’s the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women from our group astounded us. They arrived early at the tomb, 23 and when they didn’t find his body, they came and reported that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they didn’t see him.” 25 He said to them, “How foolish and slow you are to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures. 28 They came near the village where they were going, and he gave the impression that he was going farther. 29 But they urged him, “Stay with us, because it’s almost evening, and now the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 It was as he reclined at the table with them that he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 That very hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those with them gathered together, 34 who said, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they began to describe what had happened on the road and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread. — Luke 24:13-35
Seeing and Believing
by J. Rodney Taylor, Ed.D.
Have you ever seen a stereogram? It is a picture which produces two images through depth perception. Only by staring at it with both eyes can one see the “hidden” image. The image is simply not seen upon casual observation. So it was with the two disciples that day.
It had been an overwhelming week, from Jesus’ triumphal entry into the city, to the rather unusual celebration of the Passover, to Jesus’ betrayal and arrest, finally culminating in His crucifixion and burial. All of this was too much for anyone to sort out. So it was with two of Jesus’ followers as they traveled the road to Emmaus.
Jesus joins them, and they do not recognize Him. It does not appear that there was anything supernatural or miraculous in it; they simply were not “expecting” to see Him. They assumed He was dead, and only the strongest evidence could convince them He was really risen. Indeed, had Jesus revealed His identity to them on the road, they would have been so excited they would not have comprehended anything He said.
How often do we not recognize Jesus in our midst? Are there times when we are so caught up in our own concerns and external influences in our lives that we do not acknowledge the very presence of the Lord Himself? Sometimes the unbelievable fogs our minds, keeping us from the reality of the present.
These men were hurting and were questioning, “Why?” We naturally ask, “Surely Jesus could see they were hurting. Why couldn’t He have done something to relieve their pain sooner?”
We feel for these travelers, because we too have journeyed on our personal roads to Emmaus. Most of us have found ourselves in circumstances where we had more questions than answers. During those times that shake us to the core, we aren’t even sure what questions we should be asking. Very little makes sense, and even our limited understanding only seems to cause more hurt and confusion. All the while, we strive to make some sense of order out of the apparent chaos of our lives. We feel bad for these disciples because we feel bad for ourselves.
Ultimately, they learned who He was, but it was on His timetable. So just as Jesus revealed Himself to His followers in the breaking of the bread—when He knew they were ready—so, too, we must trust that Christ will reveal Himself and His ways to us in the midst of our circumstances when He and we are ready.
- Take some quiet time to read this Scripture several times. Ponder its message and make that message a principle in your life.
- Promise yourself and God that you will faithfully depend totally upon Him and never doubt His timing in your life.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.