Seven Miles from Seeing Jesus
Two Jesus-followers were leaving Jerusalem with the worst news possible. Jesus had been nailed to a cross and buried in a tomb. Their heads were down and their hearts even lower. Hope had been their tease. Now they tried to prop each other up without success.
Then, Jesus joined them.
These three words should have made all the difference. But they didn’t see him. They saw only their broken dreams, their grief, and their feeble attempts to figure out what it meant.
For seven miles they talked with Jesus without recognizing him. That would take about two hours at a steady clip, but their feet were dragging. They were in no hurry to get home to Emmaus. What was waiting for them there but life without Jesus?
What would we give for a seven mile walk with the resurrected Christ?
And yet, the resurrection of Jesus gives us seven miles and more. “I will be with you always,” Jesus promised his disciples. Always. From the rising of the sun through the night until day breaks again and again and again. Twenty-four-seven presence without missing a micro-second. But we are often just as blinded by our own preoccupations, fears, and busyness and do not see Jesus as our companion in our daily journey.
We are distracted disciples.
When the Emmaus men arrived home, they insisted Jesus eat with them. They put bread on the table. They brought something to drink. Jesus, the unknown guest, took the bread and broke it.
That’s when the Emmaus men saw Jesus!
Do you see what happened? They didn’t see Jesus in their why’s because they were holding on to their best understanding. They thought Jesus must be only a dead prophet, a martyr, a man cut down in his prime.
But Jesus wasn’t in their best unraveling of life gone terribly wrong. Jesus was present, with them. Unnoticed, but still present.
Is that what happens to us? On our worst days when we see only lost hope? When we keep asking why and get no answer? Is it possible that Jesus was there, and we didn’t recognize him?
In the unguarded moment of a meal to refresh travelers, Jesus picked up bread and broke it.
Broken bread. Opened eyes. Recognition. Understanding. New hope.
This needs to be our story, our resurrection story. We need to review those 7 mile journeys we made without seeing Jesus. We need to recognize where he broke bread for us, offered us himself as our answer and we didn’t see it. We need to refuse to take another seven miles without knowing the real presence and intimate companionship available to us. We need to see Jesus.
What keeps us from seeing Jesus in the routine and unexciting parts of our day? What keeps our heads down, fixed on our questions, the I-don’t-know-how’s and the how-comes’s. What blinds us from the most powerful presence on earth . . . . the resurrected Christ?
Jesus wants to open our eyes. How will he do it for you today?
Additional reading and exploration for next week: