two men on a road
The One in whom they believed for Israel’s redemption is now gone, dead, and they are left without hope. Two men, traveling a road in route to Emmaus, are downtrodden with the news that even the body of Jesus is missing.
When things look bleak, and our unseen God is apparently nowhere to be found, how do we know that we are still on the right path? How can we know for sure that it is HIS voice we hear and not some figment of our imaginations?
As the two men “talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing Him” (Luke 24: 15-16). Jesus asks them what they are talking about, and they surprisingly ask Him where He has been the past few days, because anyone in Jerusalem would understand the topic of their conversation. They recount the events for His benefit, but then He replies they should have known that these things were supposed to happen. “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself” (Luke 24: 27).
They are loving this discourse and invite “the Man” to stay with them upon arrival to their destination.
Are we surprised yet that Jesus’ identity remains hidden from the two? Can we relate? Do we also fail to see Him with our spiritual eyes?
“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” (Luke 24:30-31).
What just happened? All of a sudden, they realize it is the Lord, but they couldn’t recognize Him before that? I am convinced that these two men had been among the thousands whom Jesus miraculously fed when only a few loaves were available. And what did Jesus do at those times?
“Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and broke them. Then He gave them to the disciples to set before the people” (Luke 9:16).
You see, Jesus became familiar to the two men who had experienced Jesus in a familiar setting. They had spent time with Him in the past; they knew His ways.
Let us apply the scripture to our own lives: when God seems to be missing-in-action, and we do not recognize His voice, let us remember His ways. When we see something of His nature happening again, we can trust that He is indeed Emmanuel, God With Us.