Recognising Jesus

Luke 24:28-35

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?”

33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

This familiar passage is a beautiful picture of Jesus coming along side to comfort and reveal himself.

At a time when his disciples were upset at his death and confused by the news of earlier that day (that he was not in the tomb and the angel’s message), Jesus drew near. He came to help them understand that suffering was part of the Messiah’s identity – suffering in our place, the public humiliation, the rejection of the people, the terrible pain of crucifixion, separation from the Father. What an amazing conversation to have been a part of.

He comes to us when we are struggling, when we are suffering and confused, when our faith is being tested. He walks along with us through the confusion and pain life brings. Jesus did not float through life without troubles – He knows what it is like to suffer. He loves us and wants to walk beside us too.

Jesus also brought hope to the disciples at a time when they had no hope. Their hopes were dashed, the last few years must have felt wasted, and I imagine their disappointment was great. Jesus brought hope by explaining that he was in fact their true hope – an eternal hope of eternal life because he had defeated death! It is a hope we can rely on because it is sealed by God raising Jesus to life.

Then finally the recognition, the elation that Jesus was not dead at all!! It is really Him!! It reminds me of the moment of recognition in my life, that Jesus is God and that he therefore has a claim over my life. This happened for me in Year 8 at school, when knowledge about Jesus was challenged by the sudden realisation that Jesus longs to be in relationship with me. That knowing about him was no way enough. He called me – come and live your life with me at the centre, to start a loving, growing never ending walk with him.

Dear Lord Jesus, I pray that you will speak powerfully through these words today. That people who are struggling, who feel hopeless or who haven’t recognised your claim over their life will pray to you. Your Holy Spirit wash over them, rest on, and bring peace and life. Amen

Written by Claire Moore

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