How clearly are you seeing Jesus these days?
You and I have never had the opportunity to stand face to face with Jesus; but even when his disciples met him after his resurrection, but they were unable to recognize him. In fact, Luke tells us that as Jesus joined 2 of his disciples on the road they were “prevented from recognizing him” (Luke 24:16). What was it that was preventing them from seeing what should have been the fulfillment of their deepest hope?
In the story, the disciples reveal their disappointment with what they thought was the end of Jesus’ ministry. With his crucifixion, so they thought, Jesus failed to make good on their hopes that he “would be the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). In fact, Jesus’ death and resurrection was the exact means of fulfilling that hope–but they could not see this because it did not match their expectations. Though Jesus made his plan clear over and over again, they could not accept that the savior who would rescue Israel from her enemies would do so on a cross. The story shows they did not have a knowledge problem, but a trust problem. And so, Jesus takes his time with these disciples, helping complete their story by putting himself back at the center, rather than their expectations. As he spends time with them on their journey, walks them through scripture, and finally shares a meal with them, their eyes are opened as their trust in Jesus is restored.
Read Luke 24:13-35
- Early in Luke’s gospel, Jesus reveals that he will be crucified to his disciples. They do not understand him and “were afraid to ask him about it” (Luke 9:45). Have you ever felt that Jesus called you to a certain way of life or a decision that made you afraid? What did you do about it?
- The disciple’s expectations of Jesus continually hindered their ability to see Jesus for who he really was and what he had to do. Do you think this is something we need to be wary of? Have you ever experienced Jesus in a way that did not match your expectations?
- Re-read verse 30-32. What strikes you about this scene? How does it relate to your own experiences of transformation or new understanding that you have experienced?
At one point in the story, Jesus chooses to stay with the disciples into the evening so they can share a meal together. Imagine that you invited Jesus to come sit with you now as you read this. What would that feel like? What words might Jesus say to you?
Speak out loud and keep in mind
Oftentimes, when we cannot see Jesus clearly it is a trust problem and not a knowledge problem. Begin each day this week, praying this prayer that the disciples prayed: “Lord, increase my faith.”