I have been a Christian for more than 37 years now and I guess one of the blessings about that is you can see how things have changed. Change is inevitable; we either embrace or resist it. Some changes are good and others, well, “the Jury is out” as they say. I have sung a lot of different songs over that time, of course I am not as old as pastor Phil so he goes back further than me, don’t tell him I told you that!
We used to sing a little song called Open my eyes Lord:
OPEN MY EYES LORD
I WANT TO SEE JESUS
TO REACH OUT AND TOUCH HIM
AND SAY THAT I LOVE HIM
OPEN MY EARS LORD AND HELP ME TO LISTEN
OPEN MY EYES LORD I WANT TO SEE JESUS.
It started me thinking about those two disciples on the road to Emmaus, there they were, leaving Jerusalem, they must have been followers of Jesus, they had been to Jerusalem for the Passover feast but more than that they must have been close to Jesus for they say “some women among us”. These men were discussing all that had happened over the last few days.
Take a read of the following scriptures and then we will carry on. Luke 24:13-35 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
The Road to Emmaus
13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” 25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
28 And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. 29 But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.” So He went in to stay with them. 30 When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
I think it must have been amazing to be there walking on that road, listening to this man open up the scriptures to them in such an incredible way, starting at Moses and going through all of the Prophets just illuminating scripture after scripture. Seven miles of total revelation, no wonder they speak about their hearts pounding inside of them. Seven miles, about three or four hours, I can see them stopping every few minutes and just standing there with their mouths wide open. The interesting thing is they didn’t recognise Him and yet they had told Him all about what had been reported to them, I wonder where their faith was at? Did they truly believe He had risen?
It is clear that they were looking for the Jesus to lead the Jewish nation into victory over the tyranny of the Roman Empire, they did not expect Him to die and rise again. Their eyes were blinded to the truth, they could not perceive the risen Christ. It was only as He broke bread with them did they recognise Jesus, what was it? The way He did it, or could it be that they saw the nail prints in His hands? The bible doesn’t tell us which. Suddenly they understood.
So often we all put God in a box, this is how He will do things, I have it all planned out, because this is how it will happen. How often God chooses to do the things His way. How many times we don’t perceive Him to be working because He is not doing things the way we expected. He has not changed, He is still the God of the “suddenly”, of the unexpected. There are so many times in scripture that we see God doing the unexpected. If only we could see through eyes of faith, we would see things completely differently than we do through our natural eyes. The eyes of faith choose to believe in God, choose to believe for the miraculous. That nothing is impossible with God. You see, for these two disciples, they were looking through their natural eyes, they did not perceive that the miraculous had taken place. That the risen Saviour was the one who was walking with them. That’s why this little song came to my mind “Open my eyes Lord, I want to see Jesus”.
If only we would see through eyes of faith, how much different would we live. How different would each day be if we were to realise that the One walking with us in everyday life was the risen Saviour, Jesus Christ.