Pastor John has prepared brief devotions for the newsletter during each week of his sabbatical (July 1-September 30). Each passage is a favorite of Pastor John.
This week: Luke 24:13-35
My favorite moment in the gospels after the resurrection of Jesus is known as the “Emmaus Road” incident described in detail in Luke 24. It is mere days after the death and resurrection of Jesus. A couple of the disciples, probably two who were not part of the Twelve, but of the larger group of disciples, are on their way to Emmaus, which is about seven miles from Jerusalem. Jesus decides to disguise himself and walk with these two disciples.
While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him (24:15,16).
It is unclear why Jesus doesn’t just come right out and say, “Hey, it’s me!” but instead, he learns what they are thinking. He asks what has them so excited, and the two disciples tell Jesus that in recent days a man they thought was the Messiah had come to Jerusalem, and that all signs seemed to point to him being the One. But then, they tell Jesus, he was arrested and put to death. They go on and tell Jesus that the most unbelievable part of all of this is the way some of the women they knew were telling others that Jesus wasn’t in the tomb. At that point, Jesus, whose identity was still hidden from them, decides to walk with them and starts teaching them what the scriptures said about God’s Messiah.
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself (24:27).
When the two men and Jesus get to Emmaus, it’s time to eat, and they implore Jesus (still in disguise) to stay and dine with them. And that’s when the story takes in interesting turn.
When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight (24:30,31)
What I love about this passage is that it teaches us about how God reveals his gospel to us: through the scriptures and through the sacraments. This is one of the reasons the scriptures are so important. This is why frequent celebration of the Lord’s Supper is encouraged – that we would be always learning about and becoming reacquainted with the good news about Jesus Christ.
Friends, may you always find Christ in the Word and at the Table.