The Gospel According to Luke – 2017.04.30
Where Can I See the Risen Christ?
The Gospel writers became confused with questions about who Jesus was, about how rank among the prophets, about his historical connection to Moses, about the proof of his ministry that was given in the scriptures/
In their confusion they began to make up stories to validate their claims, and this was all unnecessary.
Jesus did not perform miracles, to prove to anyone that he was a child of God. He stressed the fact that we are all the children of God, even the leper, and the thief, the unmarried woman and the outcast.
Jesus did not come to work magic, and give signs and wonders, because that is not the God, the creator of the universe, works in the world.
The core truth in this Gospel passage is not the long story about encountering Jesus, listening to him expound the scriptures, offering proofs and arguments.
The signal truth is this, “they recognized him in the breaking of the bread.”
They had the opportunity to see Jesus in the man they encounter on the road, but they did not see him in this stranger.
They had the opportunity to see him in the faith of the woman at the tomb, but they could not understand it.
Jesus was dead, and yet the way, which he personified remains, the way is the living witness of God’s intention for creation.
The disciples were finally able to see the way, when they broke bread with the stranger they encountered on the road.
They way is community. The way is sharing things in common. The way is love.
They Recognized Him at the Breaking of Bread
Two of the disciples of Jesus were on their way to a village called Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking together about all that had happened. Now as they talked this over, Jesus himself came up and walked by their side; but something prevented them from recognising him. He said to them, ‘What matters are you discussing as you walk along?’ They stopped short, their faces downcast.
Then one of them, called Cleopas, answered him, ‘You must be the only person staying in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have been happening there these last few days.’ ‘What things?’ he asked. ‘All about Jesus of Nazareth’ they answered ‘who proved he was a great prophet by the things he said and did in the sight of God and of the whole people; and how our chief priests and our leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and had him crucified. Our own hope had been that he would be the one to set Israel free. And this is not all: two whole days have gone by since it all happened; and some women from our group have astounded us: they went to the tomb in the early morning, and when they did not find the body, they came back to tell us they had seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive. Some of our friends went to the tomb and found everything exactly as the women had reported, but of him they saw nothing.’
Then he said to them, ‘You foolish men! So slow to believe the full message of the prophets! Was it not ordained that the Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory?’ Then, starting with Moses and going through all the prophets, he explained to them the passages throughout the scriptures that were about himself.
When they drew near to the village to which they were going, he made as if to go on; but they pressed him to stay with them. ‘It is nearly evening’ they said ‘and the day is almost over.’ So he went in to stay with them. Now while he was with them at table, he took the bread and said the blessing; then he broke it and handed it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; but he had vanished from their sight. Then they said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us as he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?’
They set out that instant and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven assembled together with their companions, who said to them, ‘Yes, it is true. The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.’ Then they told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised him at the breaking of bread.
3rd Sunday of Easter