The Road to Emmaus, Journey of Disappointment and Enlightenment – My Daily Bread!
Our Bread of Heaven is taken from Psalm 119:18 which read: “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law”. This passage speaks to obtaining spiritual enlightenment to enable us to grasp and understand the meaning of God. Today we are going to discuss this passage in light of the story in the Bible about the time Jesus gave a personal bible study to two of his disciples who He encountered on the road to a town called Emmaus, on the day of Jesus’ foretold resurrection. Before their encounter was over with Jesus: they learned something incredible about Jesus that would change their prospective about his Kingdom and their role in it; they were convinced that He was the risen Savior; and immediately ran back to tell others.
The phrase Emmaus has since been synonymous with the Christians journey to enlightenment or path of spiritual wakening to Christ. Here are the things we know about these two disciples’ Emmaus – their journey with God (Follow along in Luke 24 :13-43):
- One’s name was Cleopas; the other’s name was never mentioned: (vs. 18)
- ‘They were talking about everything that had happened’ in Jerusalem concerning Jesus on their way to Emmaus’ (vs. 13-14) when Jesus met them
- The truth of who Jesus was was initially veiled from them by the will of God, not because they lacked human vision: ‘but they were kept from recognizing him’. (vs. 16)
- They had left the fellowship of believers in Jerusalem and headed perhaps to their home since this was the time of the Passover when many Jews would have come to the celebration in Jerusalem;
- Emmaus may have been their home since they convinced Jesus to ‘stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is nearly over’; (vs. 20)
- With the death of Jesus they were profoundly disappointed because what they expected to happen did not occur, namely Jesus overthrowing Roman military rule: ‘but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel’ (vs.21)
- Their hope of believing in Jesus as the promised Savior had diminished since Jesus had not show himself in a spectacular way in their opinion: ‘and what is more, it is the third day since all this took place’ (vs.21)
- They likely did not believe the story of the women who reported they had met the Risen Savior, if so they might not have left the city in the hope that they would see him also
- Jesus rebuked them for what they believed and proceeded to give them a road side bible study on what had been prophesied in the Old Testament about the life of Christ: “He said to them, ‘How foolish, you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets had spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning himself.” (vs. 25-27)
- ‘Their eyes were opened and they recognized him’ (vs.30) when Jesus began to break bread with them. When He revealed himself to them; their spiritual eye of discernment allowed them to see who He was. Once again, they could not see him with their human eyes and human perspective even though he stood right before them.
- They realized that the encounter with Jesus had stirred something in them; for they said ’Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and he opened the Scriptures to us?’ (vs. 32)
- They hurried back to Jerusalem to tell the others that he was alive and about the moment they recognized him for who he was. ‘Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when He broke the bread.’ (vs. 35)
What are the key truths we learn in this story? The obvious thing is that Jesus opened their eyes. Although there are many others, my heart is drawn to God’s truths about failed expectations in our lives.
When things in our lives do not go how we expect and we focus on our disappointments and problems, we may miss out on the Greatness of God. When God does not do what we expect, it does not mean that God is not doing anything. Focusing on our expectations, failed or fulfilled can blind us to seeing God in action or his true purpose. They expected Jesus to overthrow the Romans and when he was killed, their hope became faint. They missed the greatest thing – his kingdom was not to be established at that time on earth in the manner they expected, but his Kingdom had descended from the Heavenly realm to earth.
When we do not see things mature the way we expect, usually the first thing that occurs is our hope in God becomes diminished; then we began to doubt other truths about God even to the point of not believing his very word. The two men struggled to see Jesus as the Savior, or believe the testimony of others who said that he had risen. Jesus had to go over Scripture with them to reiterate what was written about him, something they could have already known.
Failed expectations can lead us to turn away from God. These two men had left Jerusalem on the very day the Christ said he would return! Not getting what they wanted caused them to return away from God and back to their life affairs. They could have benefited from asking God for increased faith when they could not see his hand in the matter.
Has God veiled your eyes because you have let your failed expectations grow bigger than him? Do you have the right perspective on God’s Kingdom? God can open our eyes to see him, even when our hearts and minds are viewing things in the natural. When Jesus revealed himself to the two disciples; he gave them a spiritual eye of discernment that allowed them to see who He was. Only then were they able to respond to him and see the wonderful truth in the law which pointed to him as the Christ.
Saints, pray that the Lord open your eyes to see him when you are in the midst of your trials; disappointments; desires and failed expectations. Ask him to line your perspective up with his so that you see his Kingdom and wait for him to act! “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him”. (Psalm 62:5)
Copyright© 2011 Colleen Holton All Rights Reserved.