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Jesus Disappeared at the Breaking of Bread.

We are meditating on the day of Jesus’ resurrection and the Lord enjoying the company of two disciples on the road to Emmaus. The two implored Jesus to come and eat with them, and He did so. As the Lord gave the blessing over the food, the two disciples' eyes were suddenly opened to the reality that this person they thought was a stranger was actually the Lord Jesus sitting in front of them.

30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?" (Luke 24:30-32).

Why would Jesus disappear upon their recognition of Him? One answer is that now the disciples must learn to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). His disciples had been relying on His visible presence, some of them for three years, but now it was time to learn to lean on His invisible presence. The disciple Thomas was an example of one not yet ready to walk by faith. He was trusting in what he could see and experience through his senses. The disciples were entering into a new relationship with the Lord, one that would require them to walk by faith, not by sight. Thomas wanted to see and feel before he would believe that Christ had, indeed, risen. When the Lord invited Thomas to touch the nail marks in His hands, Thomas no longer needed to feel the nail prints or the spear hole, falling to his knees, he said, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28).

To Thomas' credit, once he saw Jesus, he did not hold back but immediately worshiped Him. Unlike Thomas, most believers will not have evidence given to their senses. Some will not take a step of faith because they are waiting for some supernatural sign or a prophetic word to convince them. The Lord sometimes confirms His Word in unusual ways, but we should step out in faith on the objective Word of God and the inner confirmation and peace of the Holy Spirit. We must live by faith and not by sight. Jesus said to Thomas, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed" (John 20:29). If you are a believer, Jesus was speaking about you!

The author C.S. Lewis wrote a fictional book, Screwtape Letters, to instruct believers in spiritual warfare. He describes a training session going on between a seasoned senior demon and a young demon. The young demon needs advice on his first assignment of trying to disrupt and destroy the faith of a new Christian. C.S. Lewis offers a fascinating insight into the life of a Christian learning to walk by faith and not by sight. The seasoned demon speaks:

"He [God] wants them to learn to walk and must, therefore, take away His hand, and if only the will to walk is really there, He is pleased even with the stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our enemy's will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys."[1]

Those who have not perceived by the five senses but still believed express the kind of faith God is looking to see in us. What about you? Will you believe that you are unique to God and that the Messiah, Jesus, would come alongside you this day and lift your heart to recognize Him?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I invite You to walk beside me in what I am going through. Help me to recognize that You are with me. Reveal Yourself to me and make me aware of Your master plan for my life. Amen. Keith Thomas

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Taken from the series on the Gospel of Luke, study 65. Jesus on the Emmaus Road

[1] C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Co., 1959), page 47.


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