June 26, 2008

Their Eyes Were Opened

Luke 24:13-35

He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened.
Luke 24:30-31


Our reading today begins with two despondent disciples traveling to Emmaus after Jesus’ death. They had not understood the good news of his resurrection.

As they journeyed, the two were joined by the risen Jesus, but they didn’t realize it. Jesus conducted a kind of Bible study with them, explaining to them all the ways in which the Old Testament spoke about him.

After they arrived in Emmaus, they shared a meal. Jesus, their guest, became the host, offering the prayer and breaking the bread. And with that the disciples had a moment of unforgettable recognition—a life-changing moment of discovery!

Notice that these disciples did nothing in particular to come up with their insight. They didn’t open their own eyes; “their eyes were opened.”

This story tells us a lot about how Jesus still works. Jesus is present among us in all sorts of out-of-the-way places. The Bible, worthy of our careful study, still points us to him. By the power of the Holy Spirit, people all over the world come to moments of life-changing discovery—occasionally when reading devotional books, and perhaps more often when taking the bread and cup that Jesus offers.

Praise God that the story of Emmaus is a story that repeats itself again and again.

Lord God, we pray for every person we know who does not yet know Jesus as Lord. By your Spirit, open their eyes, help them to recognize you and to embrace you in faith. Amen.

About the author — John D. Witvliet

Dr. John D. Witvliet has served as a professor at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary for the past 11 years, as well as serving as Director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. He and his wife, Charlotte, have four children.

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