I am intrigued by the story of the Emmaus road where two friends who were feeling down were walking out from Jerusalem. Suddenly they find they have been joined by a third person. They chat during the journey, but for some reason fail to recognise their companion as the person they are discussing. That person was Jesus. Perhaps it was because the friends thought that Jesus was dead that they did not realise it was Jesus walking by their side, and participating in the conversation.
The disciples who walked the Emmaus road knew about the empty tomb, but seemed short on belief when it came to the possibility of resurrection, despite knowing Jesus to be powerful in word and deed. Even when Jesus told them that they were foolish and began to teach them, quoting prophecies recorded in Scripture their eyes and minds remained closed. They could not see Jesus. It was only when Jesus broke bread that they finally recognised Him. And then He was gone.
When we get so wrapped up in the conversations of life to the extent that our calendars become like a river in flood we usually fail to see anything clearly, let alone Jesus by our side. Perhaps some of us don’t want to see Jesus, while others would like to sort a few things out with Him given half a chance. We need to open our eyes. Jesus walks with us. He has experienced life and death in a human body. There is nothing He does not know about hardship and suffering, hunger and thirst, or criticism and persecution. He knows how we feel. And that is why He walks the road of life with us. He knows we need Him there.
More than anything when we wake each morning the deepest desire of our hearts should be to see Jesus, to hear Jesus, and to spend all our waking hours in His company. For much of an average day the many and varied distractions of life will block our vision, while the noise of the day will drown out His words. But it doesn’t have to be like that. I am encouraged by the Apostle Paul who worshipped Jesus at midnight even when chained up in the deepest of dungeons, with pain from a savage beating raging through his body. If Jesus is walking alongside us then why do we spend so much of our time looking in the wrong direction. No wonder we cannot see Him.
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. (Luke 24: 13-35 NIV)
Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” (John 21: 1-7 NIV)