13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened.15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them;16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them,“What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast.18 One of them, named Cleopas,asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?”he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him;21 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.22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive.24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther.29 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. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
There are several amazing things about this story.
1. Jesus was interested in what was the prevailing story circulating about what had happened to him and its significance. He played dumb and they summarized all that happened, but were apparently still wondering if it is all true. Was Jesus really the Messiah? They mentioned "they had told us", indicating that they were some of the disciples reported the news to.
2. Jesus rebukes them for being so slow to believe. All they had all the information necessary they still did not see Jesus. They were spiritually blind.
3. They were hungry and plead for Jesus to stay. Jesus accepts their invitation and eats dinner with them. When he breaks the bread and gives thanks, they finally recognize him. In the breaking of the bread, they see he is the one which their hearts were burning for when he read the scriptures to him about himself.
What can we learn from this story? Information will not necessarily bring us to see or know who Jesus is. But as we seek him and invite him into our lives, he will come in and eat with us. The breaking of the bread is similar to what we do in communion, where we say, "This is His body given for you. Do this in remembrance of me!" We meet Jesus in the meal and by faith experience his presence and our hearts burn!
Is Jesus mainly a story to you or a personal relationship with the One who was broken for you?