Apr. 4, 2018

Seeing Or Perceiving?

I was just thinking about the story of "the two" on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-35. It's amazing to me how every time I read Scripture, I notice something a little different, or something I did not comprehend before in some passage I've read dozens of times before. Or it raises another question. Such is the case here.

This account seems to point to the idea that it takes the Lord to open one's eyes to some things, and that will happen when we are ready to see it. It happened to "the two". It happens to me often when reading a passage I've read dozens of times before. There is always more to see, sometimes more than meets the eye! Does that happen to you as well?

Two men were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus. It was about seven miles. Only one of these men is named - Cleopas. Who the other was the story does not say directly. That's the first thing I noticed with this reflection on the Word - that only one of them was named. 

They are joined by a third man. It is the risen Jesus Christ, but they do not recognize Him. They lament to Him of the events of the past week, how all their hopes were dashed because their Lord had been crucified. What puzzled them further was that some of the women who were followers of His had come to them and had spoken of having a vision of angels who said He was alive! Then some of them also went to the tomb to discover that He was not there, but they did not specifically see Him alive.

 So Jesus begins to open the Scriptures to them from Moses to the Prophets, as to how it all revealed Him, But still they did not recognize Him Who was walking with them. Since it was growing late, they extended hospitality and asked Him to stay with them.

During supper "... 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." (Now you see Me; now you don't!)

How much this sounded to me like that last time He and the twelve had dined together, when He blessed the bread and the wine, and said, "This is My body; this is My blood."

They were so thrilled at having had this encounter with their risen Lord, that they returned immediately to Jerusalem to find the eleven and those who were with them, to testify that the Lord was indeed alive.

For some reason I had always been under the impression that "the two" were of the number of the original twelve disciples. Since they were finding the eleven (minus Judas) (soon to be Apostles), it stands to reason that "the two" were followers of Jesus but not among the original twelve, which is also something different that I noticed with this reading.

The last verse, after they walked all the way back to Jerusalem, after Jesus vanished physically, reads, "Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when He broke the bread."

Somehow this reminds me of a line from an old hymn, "O blest communion, fellowship divine..."

Holy Spirit, Please open the eyes of our hearts and our understanding, that we - also, always, and only - may be believers, perceivers, and receivers of such comprehension as enjoyed by "the two", and may know true fellowship with our Lord Jesus Christ, in Whose precious name we ask this. Amen.