“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. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.”
This story describes two men’s struggle with reality. They were minding their business, walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus when they were joined by what they took to be a stranger walking in the same direction. When evening came, they asked the stranger to join them for supper.
These men were disciples of Jesus but not apostles. However, they did spend hours hearing him speak and likely shared meals with him but were not at the Last Supper because they were not among the eleven remaining apostles. So why did their recognition of Christ take so long and why did it happen at the breaking of the bread?
In the New Testament, Jesus referenced blindness fifty times; in twelve of them He actually healed them of this ailment. Blindness was probably a common disorder of the times. Consider that even with modern technology, about ten percent of people over sixty are legally blind. In Jesus’ times there were no eyeglasses, no cataract surgery, and definitely no Lasik surgery. The percentage of people who were seeing impaired would, without a doubt, been very high.
In addition, Jesus’ resurrected body obviously looked different and rightly so. I also believe that the true presence of the risen Christ can’t be hidden from those well versed in the truth. As a young man, I too encountered Jesus and felt my heart burning as I sat in crippling shame and glorified wonder.
It was lunch time on a hot summer day in New Orleans. I was eating a meal with business associates when a man on the sidewalk caught my eye. He was dirty and unkept, stumbling casually through the crowd. He reached what seemed to have been his goal; a garbage container place against the building right in front of me. The only thing separating us the bin, a plate glass window, and ten feet of empty space.
With his back to the crowd, facing me, he reached into the can, lifted out a plastic cup, took off the cover, reached into the cup, removed what looked like a cigarette butt and casually drank the liquid in the vessel. At that very moment, our eyes locked. I was looking into the face of Jesus! I must have involuntarily gasped as I gazing into the eyes of my Lord and Savior. Sitting at the table, I froze; I did absolutely nothing. I didn’t run outside to offer Him a glass of clean water. I didn’t rush to see if I could buy Him a meal. I just sat there in luxury for what felt like an eternity, knowing it was only minutes, while Jesus drank water from the trash. Then, he dropped the cup back in the trash bin, lowered his gaze and disappeared in the crowd. All I could do was cry as I remembered the scripture passage; “What so ever you do for the least of your brothers, you do for Me.”
Forgive me Lord for my selfishness. I now Rejoice with the knowledge that the risen Lord walks among us every single day.
If this is my last post, I want all to know there was only one purpose for all that I have written; to have made a positive difference in the lives of others.
Anthony “Tony” Boquet, the author of “The Bloodline of Wisdom, The Awakening of a Modern Solutionary”