Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”Luke 24:25-34
One morning during my freshman year of college, I turned on the cable weather channel from Indianapolis. I found in the upper left-hand corner a small picture showing smoke rising from a building. I gathered as much context as the rolling footage allowed and came to the conclusion that the Bank One Tower in Indy was on fire. My conclusion was inaccurate, however. The burning building was actually two buildings, the Twin Towers in New York. It was September 11, 2001.
We all gather context and make conclusions based on the data we receive. The men in our scripture today made conclusions based on their reception of data. They were walking with the resurrected Jesus. They saw him physically, they heard him audibly and yet their data reception did not correctly process who he was.
These men had a valid excuse. God kept them from recognizing Jesus (Luke 24:16). But this story is my story. Every day I feel like these two men. It’s easy for me to see sun shining on a beautiful day and not perceive God is in it. It’s easy to hear of a recovery from a broken bone and not give any thanks to the one who made our bodies mendable. It’s easy to wake up in the morning and not give credit to the one who holds our lives in His hands.
On the road to Emmaus, two men saw and heard Jesus, but they didn’t recognize him until their eyes were opened (Luke 24:31). I’ve been there. I saw smoke rising from a building and perceived what it was inaccurately. I don’t want to do that with my faith. I want to thank God for the weather patterns he put in place. I want to thank God for the healing of our broken bodies. I want to thank God for waking me up every morning. I need to perceive correctly God’s work in this world and take each moment as a gift. Let these men remind us to pray for eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to believe and love our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.