Seven miles from Jerusalem, they walked along the road with Jesus, and they didn’t even recognize Him (Luke 24).
Oh, we are so guilty. Are we not?
Yesterday, our 5th grade Sunday school lesson was over the Emmaus walk. It’s such a sweet story. It’ll tingle excitement through your every nerve.
As I sat there at that table, with a precious 5th grader next to me, reading through the Word, I asked myself—why? Not only the question of why did they not recognize Him as they walked along, but they were able to recognize Him at the table, as He broke the bread? But also … why did Jesus do that? Why did He keep them from recognizing Him for a bit? What was His purpose?
Lord, why did you do this?
I thought of the difference of walking vs. sitting. Could this somehow be a clue?
Walking offers distractions. We look at our own path, our own feet, trying not to stumble through our own strengths, and we often neglect to look into the face of Jesus—the very one walking alongside us.
When we come to the table, it’s personal. We are invited. We can see the person in front of us—Jesus. If we reach across the table, we can touch his nail scarred hands. If we lean back in our chair just a tad, we can see his precious nail scarred feet and touch them with our own.
We can touch and see. We can taste and see.
We dine with Him, and He with us.
And I was doubly baffled by Luke 24:41, “… they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement ….” What? Why would joy and amazement keep them from believing? This is all scratching my threadbare comprehension, while the 5th grader next to me is scratching her head over her word search.
The question was asked to the kiddos, “Why? Why do you think Jesus did this?”
God’s omniscience and omnipotence instantly flooded my mind.
I raised both my hands in utter enthusiasm, like a child … “I know! I know the answer!”
I know—I either scared those 5th graders half to death or inadvertently passed on contagious love of Jesus into the very marrow of their bones. I pray it was the latter.
I was called on to answer by my fellow teacher …
“I wrote this a while back in a response to a blog post, and the answer couldn’t be more simpler than this,” I said—
Will He harden a heart? Will He part the sea? To move His people where they need to be?
Oh, yes, He will. For He is … I am.
He knows our hearts—He knows when they need hardening and when they need softening—and knows what it takes to ensure His Word is still being discussed today as we come to the table … with the elderly, with the babies, with 5th graders, with Him.
Father, help us recognize you. Open our minds. Bring us to the table.