Two men travelled to the village of Emmaus, seven miles distance from Jerusalem. The most momentous events in human history had just occurred. For three years, Jesus, a carpenter’s son, had healed the sick, raised the dead, taught the multitudes and gathered a group of disciples to carry on his mission. Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, the Messiah. He drew massive crowds, which filled the religious leaders of the time with anger, jealousy, and since the Jews were under Roman occupation, probably fear. They stirred up the same crowd who had laid their coats and tree branches on the ground just days before to welcome Jesus as king, to call for his death by crucifixion. He was flogged and hung on a tree, left to die as a common criminal.
Now rumours were circulating that Jesus was alive, risen from the dead!
Did the men understand what had happened, that the destiny of mankind would never be the same? It appears not. They met a man on the way whom they failed to recognize. At first, this man seemed to have no idea what had transpired in Jerusalem. Then, to their amazement, “he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself'” (Luke 24: 27b, NIV). Something stirred in their spirits but still they had no idea who the stranger was.
They stopped at a house and the man broke bread and handed it to them. Then suddenly, they recognized that the stranger was Jesus and the stories of his resurrection were true! In their confusion and disappointment, they had not realized that Jesus had been sharing with and teaching them, as they were together on the road.
We all travel the road to Emmaus. Things happen that we don’t expect, can’t comprehend or have no answer to. Jesus is always with us but do we always recognize him? Perhaps we need wisdom but don’t recognize God’s voice, even though the answer is right in front of us. We need comfort and fail to see all the little blessings God sends us each day.We are in grief or pain but don’t hear the small voice speaking words of love to our spirits. Or, someone needs our care and we walk by, not realizing that God is calling us to extend our hands and hearts.
For some reason, this story holds great appeal for me. God has answered prayers in ways that I could never have anticipated. Sometimes, when I listen, I can sense his spirit assuring me that he has the problems I face well under control, that it is only a matter of waiting.
Look for God on your own road to Emmaus. He will be there, drawing you with his love, comforting you in times of sorrow, pouring out his blessings and giving you the wisdom you seek. Ask him to reveal himself to you and he will break bread before your eyes.
Christ has risen, and because He has risen, all things are possible!