“When He had taken His place at the table with them, He took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. At this point their eyes were opened and they recognized Him” (Luke 24:30-31).
This post resurrection story illustrates for us once again the heart of Jesus for His followers. These two individuals were losing their grip on hope and were filled with discouragement and despair based upon the events that took place in and around Jerusalem concerning Jesus Christ. Jesus appeared to them, “but their eyes were kept from recognizing him” (Luke 24:16). Think of it, we could have Jesus in our midst and yet fail to truly appreciate and acknowledge who He is. This was true of these two disciples and it could also be true of us. How can we come to a place where we know our Jesus more accurately and intimately? How do we get to a position as a follower of Jesus Christ where we truly appreciate Him and acknowledge Him for who He really is?
Well, we see the solution in the way Jesus came alongside these individuals in order to strengthen their hearts and restore their hope. Jesus started with His very presence in approaching and accompanying them (Luke 24:15). Then He turned their attention to the scriptures and began explaining how all that happened was a fulfilling of God’s Word (Luke 24:27). But we know that a more accurate thorough understanding doesn’t come instantaneously, so another key component of recognizing Christ is in abiding with Him. Note the word “stay” is used twice in verse 29. This concept of abiding, remaining, or staying with Jesus is what He taught His followers all along (see John 15:4-6).
The picture of these disciples breaking bread with Jesus in verse 30 speaks to more than the satisfying of hunger or even the sharing of a meal. This illustrates for us the intimate fellowship between followers of Jesus and Jesus Himself. It is as they fellowship with Him that the Bible states in verse 31 that the eyes which failed to recognize Him earlier (Luke 24:16) were opened. The word “open” here means to open completely or fully through the completion of a process necessary to do so. This is an important reminder to us as disciples. We only will truly appreciate, perceive, discern, recognize, and become aware of who Jesus really is as we keep going through the process of discipleship. A process that is illustrated for us here in this passage of scripture (see Luke 24:13-35). Their attention to and further instruction in the scriptures along with their continued and intimate fellowship with Christ opened their eyes to fully appreciate and acknowledge who Jesus was. Many people know of Jesus but only disciples who are willing to spend time with Jesus and His Word truly know who He is.
God, may we have a desire to truly and fully know You (Philippians 3:8-11).