Lord, open my eyes to recognize Your hand at work in my life.
Read Luke 24:13–35
On the Road to Emmaus
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “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. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 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. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 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.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 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?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
a Luke 24:13 Or about 11 kilometers
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectThe Victorian novelist, George Eliot, called this “the loveliest story in all the world.” Do you think so too?
Our final readings cover a single story of a round trip from Jerusalem to Emmaus and back again. We watch two travelers, Cleopas and possibly his wife Mary (John 19:25). The outward journey is marked by despondency. They were despondent because they were confused about who Jesus was: just another prophet after all. And being confused they were traveling in the wrong direction, away from Jerusalem where the risen Christ was alive and well and making himself known. But Jesus, now not confined by time and space, walks with them and teaches them what they should have known (26, 27). How frustrating for Jesus, how foolish of them. Are we still prone to frustrate Jesus by our limited vision of who he is? Do we need to search the Scriptures again and catch the wonder of a prophet who was and is the incarnate Son of God?
Feeling strangely warmed, they invite him into their home. Then the moment of disclosure as, over the meal, the penny drops. Hearts warmed, their minds now explode with the truth that Jesus is alive. Despondency gives place to delight. Then he disappears. Their turn to be frustrated! But now they are so animated that, without a thought, they make the 7-mile journey back again!
Will you allow the risen Lord Jesus to warm your heart and stretch your mind this Christmas season? Are you stressed, anxious or depressed at this time? Rest in your risen Savior.
My Jesus, my Savior, hallelujah! You are alive! May Your life flow through me.
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