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.
Don’t you love that Jesus was made known to them “in the breaking of the bread”? Here we have two men who walked with Jesus for several miles. At least a two-hour journey. They arguably heard the greatest Bible study in the history of Bible studies (I mean, wouldn’t YOU like to hear Jesus walk through the Old Testament and show how it all points to Himself?? See Luke 24:27). They had the resurrected Jesus provide for them a two-hour breathtaking Bible study! Yet, remarkably, they didn’t know it was actually Jesus until He broke bread.
Why then? Why at the table? Why not when Jesus first appeared? Why not in the middle of the Bible Study (how did they not see it when Jesus walked them through Isaiah 53???)? Why was Jesus not known to them until the breaking of the bread?
Though I do not know for certain, I have a guess. We Christians believe when we eat bread during the Lord’s Supper we are remembering the body of Jesus. He gave His body for us. He gave Himself for us. When He “practiced” the Supper with the disciples He took bread; He gave thanks; He broke the bread; He gave it. According to Mark Buchanan, “This is the signature—even more than his Bible teaching – of the very Jesus they thought was dead: taking, thanking, breaking, giving. It’s Jesus.” It’s what Jesus does. It’s who He is. He, as the Bread of Life, had Himself broken in order to give Himself. In order to always be present with us.
Perhaps Jesus chose not to reveal Himself during the Bible study because it was all preparation. Perhaps He was preparing them for what it all was pointing toward: Jesus giving Himself for the life of the world. Jesus giving Himself so we would be assured of His presence. (By the way, it is not insignificant that the bread in the temple in the Old Testament was called “The Bread of the Presence.”) Jesus dying, so He could rise and be known. Be experienced. Be enjoyed. Be seen. Be felt. Be real. Perhaps what caused Cleopas and his comrade to immediately run back to Jerusalem was that it, no He, had become real for the first time.
Questions to Ask Yourself
- Has Jesus made Himself known to you, personally? How?
- How might His actual and real presence with you move you to tell someone?
- When you read the Bible, do you read for knowledge or to meet with the Jesus it reveals?
Pray for Hope for the World missions partners Cul2Vate. Please pray for bountiful crops, for the Cul2vators to have clear and guided paths from the Lord, and for wisdom in the leading of this ministry.