By Lillian Sparks
Today's Scripture: Luke 24:31
Central Thought: To believe is not a matter of evidence; it is a matter of faith.
Did you ever listen to a story and miss the moral, or a joke and miss the punch line? A common human weakness is that we miss the big picture, or we don't understand the real meaning behind the message. How well we can relate to Jesus' disciples and the two followers on the road to Emmaus. Cleopas and his friend had remained in Jerusalem after the Crucifixion until the third day when it was safe to travel home. They remembered Jesus' predictions that something would happen on the third day, yet they had seemingly given up hope.
They were talking—about the things that had happened and the news that Jesus had been resurrected. When Jesus joined them, they did not recognize Him. When Jesus asked them to tell Him what they were discussing, the men recounted the view about Jesus that most of the nation believed at that time. Along with many others these two men thought that Jesus was the One who was going to redeem Israel and establish the Kingdom of God. They even related that they had heard a report of the Resurrection directly from some women. But despite all of this, their countenances showed dismay.
Jesus scolded them for not understanding and believing. He explained from Moses and all the Prophets what had been said about Him. It was not until after Jesus had broken bread with them that their eyes were opened and they recognized Him. Their encounter with Jesus caused them to rush back to Jerusalem and confirm the Resurrection to the eleven and others who were meeting together. The two men now acknowledged the truth of the reports about Jesus' resurrection, for the scales of unbelief were removed from their spiritual eyes.
Why did these followers—privileged seers of the miracles, signs, and workings of the kingdom of God—fail to recognize Jesus on the road to Emmaus? To 'see” in this story referred to a spiritual understanding of the mission and purpose of Jesus' death and resurrection. This is an important lesson for us today. It isn't enough to belief in an empty tomb; we must believe in Jesus' mission of redemption. No amount of evidence or documentation can convince a sinful or unbelieving heart. To 'see” requires not just eyes, but eyes of faith. Now their hardened hearts were melted and their vision was restored.
Devotional Prayer: Lord, open our spiritual eyes so that we may have a fresh revelation of the living and written Word of God. Let the truth burn with new fervency in our hearts.
Today's Bible Reading: Judges 9:22-10:18; Luke 24:13-53; Psalm 100:1-5; Proverbs 14:11-12