Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Breaking of Bread (Luke 24:13-35)

I wondered, how it was possible that this man leaving the Holy City did not know anything about the horrible events that had taken place in the previous days.  Cleopas and I were downhearted, the others were crushed.  I mean Peter and John had followed Jesus since the first days of his ministry.  They were fishermen, filled with hope of something better than moldy nets, leaky boats and a lifetime of paying taxes.

I can still hear the traveler asking what we were talking about in such solemn voices.  I could not believe someone could possibly have slept through the trial and crucifixion.  Still, we patiently explained about Jesus of Nazareth, asking the traveler, multiple times, if he was the only person who had been to the city who did not know.  Every time we queried him about this, he would simply smile and ask us to continue.

But he did know.
He knew everything scripture had shown us.
The lessons forgotten,
the verses taken for granted
and the promises fulfilled.

I was a little taken back when he called us foolish, but his words contained a fire I had only held in my soul when in the presence of the teacher.  But my eyes did not see him.  It was as if he were someone else, not the Lord we followed for nearly three years.

The traveler laid out the scriptures for us, a diagram weaving a journey through the words of the prophets and the writings of Moses.  He spoke with conviction, reminding us that Jesus had to suffer at the hands of the Romans and our own people.  Jesus had to be denied and betrayed.  He had to be put to death, so he could rise up in glory.

Cleopas and I both wanted to stay with him.  He comforted the ache we felt.  His words were so familiar to our hearts.  We found an available room in a small inn.  After convincing the traveler that he should stay with us, since the world outside was beginning to darken, we settled down to satisfy the day's hunger. 

A wise traveler travels in broad daylight, as to not stumble. 

My thoughts quoted the teacher and sorrow stabbed my heart again.

Pier Leone Ghezzi - Emmaus, Christ Breaking Bread

We prepared to share a meal.  The traveler took the loaf of bread we had purchased upon leaving Jerusalem earlier that morning.  He broke it and gave some to Cleopas and I.

I am not sure who's eyes were opened first, but we both saw him.  Jesus, our Lord, our teacher, our friend, was sitting before us with a beaming smile.  Then he was gone, but we knew.  Along the road our hearts had burned with uncontrollable flames.  His words were the words we had come to believe.

We knew then we had to return to Jerusalem and tell others that we'd seen the Lord in the breaking of bread.

copyright 2017 - Donald P James Jr

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