We know that the name of one of the travelers in this passage is Cleopas. Some think his companion is his wife, Mary, mentioned in John 19:25. Others believe his fellow traveler is another believer. We know the third person they meet along the way to Emmaus is Jesus. We know it, but they do not. When Jesus questions them, they are confused about how anyone who has been in Jerusalem for any amount of time would not know what they are talking about. How could anyone have missed all the things that had recently happened to Jesus of Nazareth?
Confusion plays a major part in the disciples’ story. Up until Jesus’ crucifixion, they remain unclear on what will happen. At his crucifixion, they scatter in fear. These two on the road to Emmaus express their sadness, thinking that the crucifixion meant Jesus was not the Messiah for whom they had waited. They are all the more confused by the fact that the women who went to Jesus’ tomb found it empty. They have heard that some angels say he was alive, but they have not yet considered that this means resurrection and the fulfillment of God’s plan.
We know the story. We know Jesus is resurrected from the grave, but it is still sometimes just as hard for us to recognize the living Christ as he walks along with us. We have to be intentional about living in the presence of Jesus; we need spiritual practices that help us exhibit the resurrection in our own lives.
What are some of the practices that help you stay awake to the presence of Jesus in your life? Nature walks may refresh your mind. Keeping a prayer journal might help you connect. Singing, gardening, prayer, meditation, and meeting with friends who share your faith all have their ways of helping us recognize Jesus’ presence.
Lord God, teach me about myself. Show me what I can do to respond to your grace. Show me what practices I might develop to live into the resurrection and become more sensitive to you, Immanuel, “God with us.” Amen.
As we consider further the power of Jesus’ resurrection, how should we respond? This is the question posed to Peter in the reading in Acts. Peter’s first instruction is to repent, to change course in our thinking and our living to align more with God’s way. The psalmist proclaims his gratitude to God because God has heard his cry, but the process began with the psalmist turning to the Lord. First Peter states that because we have turned and have faith and hope in God, we ought to love one another deeply from the heart. Luke tells the story of two men who meet Jesus on the road to Emmaus. They recognize him only as he breaks the bread, symbolizing that Christian fellowship is also part of a changed life.
Read Acts 2:14a, 36-41. How might you allow Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection to disrupt your life or your faith? How would such a disruption change you?
Read Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19. When have you learned of God’s great joy for you? How do the Psalms remind you that you are beloved?
Read 1 Peter 1:17-23. How can you take the author’s advice to “act like someone who knows [you are] loved”?
Read Luke 24:13-35. Recall times throughout your life when Jesus has been revealed to you. Which of these encounters have been logical? Which have been supernatural?
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