We are told the trip is some seven miles, so we may assume the trip took a good two hours, and probably a bit more. Moreover, Jesus stayed and had dinner with the two.
It was in the “breaking of the bread” that the eyes of the disciples was opened, and they realized it had been Jesus who had been with them.
Always a strange story. Yet, the post resurrection stories seem to reflect this kind of mystery again and again. We are forced to conclude that Jesus in his risen state is somehow different. Even Mary does not recognize him at first, thinking him the gardener.
We ask ourselves why is the glorified Jesus so very different from the earthly one? And I am forced to conclude that this is really not the case. What is going on here, in my opinion, is the author’s attempt to present the Christ as something quite different from what was imagined or thought of as Jesus the Nazarene.
What do I mean by this?
No more than what Jesus preached again and again–those who were caught up in old ways of thinking cannot “see” what he is talking about. They were limited by their “world view” in deciphering his message.
We see this in the rather amusing aside of the disciples telling Jesus what happened to Him in Jerusalem. At one point they say: “Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free.”
These two saw Jesus as the traditional Messiah, predicted to one day come and defeat the powers of Rome.
And we have seen, that to some degree, all the disciples for some period of time, minutes or hours, also did not “see” the risen Christ.
They were looking for Jesus, and were blind to the Christ before them.
We too can fail to “see”.
We too have our own worldview. Our own conceptions of who this man Jesus was and is. We have expectations of how and when he will “return”, as if he is somehow not yet here.
Some of us spend altogether too much time reading and studying, attempting to define Him, attempting to discover the definitive Jesus, the definitive sayings of Jesus. We seek to “know” Him perfectly.
More and more, I am convinced that we never will by this method. Not that it is not a laudable thing to do, for it certainly is. But it will only take us so far.
The Jesus who lives today is not discernible through a book or even through scripture. He is known only within us and in others. He lives forever in our hearts and souls and awaits us there. If we are to know him, we must become silent and then we must wait.
We must wait, even when nothing at all seems to be happening. We must trust that it is happening. We must let the healing and the teaching go on within, in a mind quieted of all the noise of everyday affairs.
We most assuredly must seek him in the depths of every being we encounter, for he is there, perhaps buried deep, but still there.
We must seek him in events, awful and wondrous.
We must seek him in the birds of the sky, and the chipmunk on the stump.
We must seek him in the storm and in the clouds.
In the oceans, streams and vast sands of the desert.
In the rocks and canyons, in vistas breathtaking.
In the dandelion and in the ditch lily.
Will you know Him?