Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about 7 miles from Jerusalem. They were talking 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.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied.
“He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”
And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning himself. As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, Jesus took break, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
These disciples do not recognize the risen Jesus because he is not what they are expecting. All that Jesus can offer them in and through his resurrection is beyond their imagining. In this encounter, Jesus continues to care for his community – teaching them, breaking bread with them. He shows them that the Word of God is alive – it breathes life into us and allows us to move forward in our witness. He takes them back to the beginning of scripture and all that he taught them during his life. They do not understand the fulfillment of God’s Word so their eyes are kept from recognizing him.
It is in the midst of fellowship and communion that their eyes are opened. Each time our church shares in the breaking of bread together, Jesus is made known to us. We see Jesus for who he is: his body broken that our broken lives and broken world may be made whole again.