Luke 24 gives us an account of the risen Lord Jesus walking with two men who didn't recognize Him. This account gives us several important lessons to learn about ourselves, particularly in our walk with Him.
In this article we'll take a look at these lessons with the hope of knowing how to apply them in our personal lives.
Walking with, but not recognizing, Christ
Luke 24:13-34 opens with two of Christ's followers on their way to a village called Emmaus. The two were talking about how Mary Magdalene and the other women told them that the tomb of Christ was empty.
Suddenly, Jesus joins them and converses with them. Thing is, they didn't recognize Him:
"But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him." (Luke 24:16)
There are times in our lives when we are unable to recognize God. Like the two men above, our eyes are "restrained" by many things that we are unable to recognize the face and the hand of God upon our lives.
Christ Himself joins us as we walk, but sometimes we don't take notice of Him. I pray we'll all recognize Him (see John 10:27).
Head knowledge, not heart knowledge
Luke 24:17-27 tells us how Jesus asked the two men about recent happenings. One of the two, a man named Cleopas (see verse 18), replied to Him,
"Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?" (verse 18)
Jesus asked them, "What things?"
The two then told Him about Him, not knowing it was Him they were talking to. They told Him about who they thought He was, how He suffered, and how some women believers told them that He is not dead but alive.
Still, they did not recognize Him.
Many of us are just like that: we know God by head knowledge, but not heart knowledge. We know about Him, we actually brag about Him, but in reality we don't know Him personally.
All we have about Him is the ideas and information we have received, but we don't have a personal revelation of who He really is (see Matthew 16:16). I pray we'd know Him personally.
A revelation of His resurrection
Towards the end of the passage, we read how Christ expounded the Scriptures about Him. He also broke bread with them before vanishing from their sight.
What was their response?
"And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?" So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, "The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread." (Luke 24:32-35)
After all that Christ said and done, they finally recognized Him. And what a realization they had, that He is truly alive!
Christ revealed Himself personally to these two men who were previously unknown to us. They weren't part of the twelve, had no special mention in the Gospels prior to this account, and weren't even doing something special -- they were merely walking to Emmaus.
But Christ came to them to reveal Himself.
There are times in our lives when we, like the two, are full of head knowledge and even fellowship with other believers (see Luke 24:22), but don't recognize Christ fully. We need to have a personal encounter with our Lord and Saviour who is not distant from us.
Let's seek Him. (see Matthew 16:24-25)