Around 20 years ago my parents went with their best friends to the Holy Land. The minister taking the group, and his wife, were dear family friends along with another dear friend, the youth minister. Most of the group going were all very involved in the Walk To Emmaus, a 72 hour spiritual retreat. Sam, the minister, and I had been on the steering committee together for three years to bring The Walk To Emmaus, a 72 hour spiritual retreat, to this area. When I was lay director he was the spiritual director. We had had many wonderful times with Emmaus and Emmaus was very special to our families. When my phone rang at 2:30 in the morning from Sam's number I was petrified. When I answered, it sounded loud and that scared me. I heard yelling. Finally, I realized that they were all trying to tell me they were on the road to Emmaus and wished I was there! They sounded like a bunch of drunks!
Why were they so excited? Because it was on our spiritual retreat that our eyes were opened. It is where we saw the face of Jesus. It is much like the words to Amazing Grace, "I was blind but now I see." When the eyes of our understanding are opened and we spend time His presence, our faith goes to a whole new level.
Luke 24: 13-17, "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. He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”.......
Luke 24: 28-35, "By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, 'Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.' So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared! They said to each other, 'Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?' And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, who said, 'The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.' Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread."
God, in His perfect timing, did not allow them to recognize Him at first. While He did not want them to suffer a moment longer than necessary He also could not end their discomfort too soon. Spiritual maturity takes a while. It is a process that usually requires a journey. If we look back at our trials we know that is when we grow. Not when things are comfortable!
When Cleopas and his companion were joined by the risen Jesus, they did not realize it.
The important thing is that they invited Him in to their home just as we can invite Him into our heart. Jesus had a Bible study with them explaining how the Old Testament spoke about Him. We have the Bible He left us to study. They shared a meal with Jesus just as many of us have communion at church. When Jesus became the host, He offered the prayer and broke the bread. That is when the disciples had a life changing moment. Their eyes were opened. Just like us, we could not open our own eyes but our "eyes were opened." When our eyes are opened by Jesus we see Him in all His significance as our Savior, the risen Lord, Jesus Christ, etc. Then Jesus disappeared knowing that their eyes had been opened. They were so excited over their new resurrected, hope that they walked seven miles back to Jerusalem to share the good news to others!
This is why Sam, Mom and Dad called so excited! They had met Jesus face to face on their journey and were now standing in the same area that the Bible said the disciples eyes were opened on the walk to Emmaus!
Have you invited the Lord into your life?