On the Emmaus Road

Luke 24:13-35

What courage this pair of disciples shows on the way to Emmaus. When so many others have denied Jesus, fled, or locked themselves away, these two meet a stranger on the road outside of Jerusalem and freely declare themselves to be disciples of Jesus. Maybe it was the grief talking.

For any other traveler, I imagine their confession would have been a shock. Another traveler might have parted ways right then, just to cut off any association. Another traveler might have even joined in their grieving of a lost Messianic hope.

This traveler, however, immediately hones in on their confusion. He calls them fools and chides them for not understanding. How like Jesus. I’m surprised they didn’t recognize him right then, just by the way he starts to lecture about the prophets. They don’t recognize him, though. Not until the breaking of bread.

Why is it the meal that opens their eyes? Perhaps there was something familiar about the prayer, or the way he tore the bread and passed out the pieces, that sent them back to the Last Supper. What could be more familiar than his face, his voice, his teachings?

Perhaps it was that he fed them. I know that Emmaus Road, that walk of confusion when God’s plans seem to have failed and Jesus feels so far away. I hope, when I am on that road and mistake Jesus for another confused traveler, he will explain some things to me. More than that, I hope he feeds me so that I too can recognize how far he has already walked with me.

Life Questions

When have you walked an Emmaus Road full of confusion and disappointment? Has God given any clarity to that experience yet?


God, sometimes it seems like your plans have gone wrong and my hopes are disappointed. I have more questions than answers. Please show up on my Emmaus Road. Please teach me, feed me, and restore my joy. Amen.

This post originally appeared in Volume 26.2 of Reflections.

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