[Luke 24:13-16 NLT] 13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him.
Not long ago, Donna and I were having a meal together in a local restaurant. I was looking forward to spending time visiting with her in a quiet place, with good conversation and a delicious meal. Instead, it turned into a frustrating and uncomfortable time because they seated us in a place where the sun was in my eyes. It was so bright that I couldn’t even see Donna’s face. All I could see was the form of her body and the extremely bright sun behind her. Even pulling the blinds did not help remedy the problem.
In our scripture text for today, Luke reports the appearance of Jesus to two of his followers while they were walking on the Emmaus road. They were engaged in a lively conversation about the recent activities surrounding the resurrection of Jesus. Luke writes, “As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them.”
To this point, things seem pretty ordinary. But then Luke adds, “But God kept them from recognizing him.” Now, that just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me! You would think that God would want everyone to know that Jesus was alive. This wasn’t supposed to happen! People didn’t rise from the dead! But, here he was, alive and well. And God kept them from recognizing Him.
As my mom would say, “Reckon why He would do that?” Scripture doesn’t really say why God kept them from knowing Him so we must speculate as to His motive. The conversation reveals some important details. Jesus opened the conversation by asking them what they had been talking about. From this, we can know that Jesus had walked silently with them for a while, just listening as they carried on the conversation. Jesus wanted to know from them what He wants to know from us today: can we believe without seeing with our own eyes?
Sometimes we can’t see the glory of the Lord in spite of His nearness. He may be bringing blessing into our lives, but we can’t see it because we are blinded by our circumstances. Thankfully, He patiently walks with us and reveals Himself at precisely the right moment. And when He does, joy is restored to our weary souls.
PRAYER: Father, open the eyes of my heart so I may clearly see Your glory. May I daily recognize Your nearness. Amen.