(This series was originally posted in October 2011 on my personal blogsite. We thought we would share it with you all this resurrection week.)
This week we are taking a walk with two disciples and Jesus. During this walk, we will explore seven lessons from the story of the Road to Emmaus. Our text for the week is from The Message translation of Luke 24:13-32.
That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.
He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?”
They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s happened during the last few days?”
He said, “What has happened?”
They said, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn’t find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn’t see Jesus.”
Then he said to them, “So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him.
They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared.
Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?”
— Luke 24:13-32 (The Message)
They sit down to dinner.
Lesson 7: Communion is about dinner with friends
I love having dinner with friends. It is such a wonderful time to find things in common. It’s a great time to relax. It takes our minds off of ourselves and we focus on relationship.
Dinner with friends can change the outlook.
The two men viewed this as a simple meal between friends. Yet, during dinner, Jesus takes bread. He breaks it. They understand and realize who their new-Friend is.
Jesus takes bread.
He blesses it.
He breaks it.
How many dinners had these two men been at with Jesus? How many times had they seen Him take bread, bless it, break it, and pass it out? Yet, it wasn’t until this one time that they realized who Jesus really was.
These two men could have been in the room when Jesus did this same action a few days earlier – on that fateful, nay, miraculous night. We don’t know. It would be safe to bet that they would have at least known that story.
Jesus takes bread. He blesses it. He breaks it. He gives it to them.
And they saw.
Never pass up a meal with a friend – it could be life-changing.
The men then take off running back to Jerusalem to tell the rest of the disciples what has happened.
See, when Jesus becomes real – the Messiah – to us, we will get active. The revelation of who we were contrasted with who we now are spurs us to run and tell.
These men ran seven miles back to Jerusalem. They find the eleven and some others. They tell their story. These men now had a testimony. And testimonies cannot be kept quiet.
When you have dinner with Jesus, His Spirit will change you.