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. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?"
"What things?" he asked.
"About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see."
He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them.
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. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon." Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Read that text. Read it again. It's amazing. And challenging. Here's why. I don't know if you have this version but the NLCV (New Living Chelle' Version) says-
"Two Jewish guys were walking down the street talking about recent events- crucifixion, supposed Resurrection, the hope they had that Jesus was their Messiah... when Jesus joined them on the road. They couldn't tell it was Him even when he asked them what they were talking about. They were confused and asked if he was a visitor to the city because how else would He NOT know about the events. They recapped- their disappointment apparent. He was a prophet. He was powerful. We had hoped he was the ONE... and now there is talk that He is no longer in the tomb but...
Jesus rebukes them and calls them FOOLISH. He then recaps history from Moses on... all those that foretold of Christ's arrival and demise. And then the turning point. They arrive at Emmaus and INVITE Jesus to stay. They break bread and can finally SEE Him. They return to Jerusalem to tell the disciples of the Truth of the resurrection of Jesus. And following this passage- Jesus shows himself to the disciples... and well- doubting Thomas... (which has completely intrigued me- which is another blog)
(Did you like the NLCV??)
Anyway- here are a few thoughts for today?
1. What if you found yourself talking with a friend and were CHRIST INTERRUPTED?
2.Would you RECOGNIZE HIM?
3. Would you speak of Him with faith and hope?
4. Would He call you FOOLISH?
5. Would you require a HISTORY LESSON?
6. Would you INVITE Him to stay?
7. Would your eyes only then be OPENED?
8. Would you then be motivated to TELL THE WORLD???
Because it seems to me that what happened here is that these men were so fixed and focused on their thoughts, their perspectives and themselves that they lost sight of the TRUTH. Of what the men of God before them had spoken. They lost hope. They doubted. And because they were so fixed on themselves, when Christ presented Himself... they couldn't even see Him. They couldn't see past themselves. Until they INVITED HIM IN. Invited Him to stay with them. To eat with them. To share with them. They invited Him into their lives- all parts. And it says, THEN THEIR EYES WERE OPENED. Then they could see Him. And they knew the truth. And with a hop in their step... they made the trip back to Jerusalem to find the eleven. They HAVE to tell them. It is all true. He has risen. He is alive. He is who He says He is. BELIEVE.
And I wonder- would that story have been any different if you and I were walking on that road??