Scripture: Luke 24:13-35
“We had hoped that he was the one…” (Luke 24:21)
These are some of the most poignant words in all of scripture. They were spoken by two ex-disciples. It was Easter afternoon, and they were heading back to their former lives. They’d heard from the women about angels, they’d heard from the men about an empty tomb. But none of that mattered to their broken hearts. It turned out, Jesus wasn’t who they’d hoped he was.
Then, along came a stranger. A curious stranger who didn’t seem to know anything about Jesus. The ex-disciples had nothing better to do, so they filled him in on everything that had happened. Not just what they knew, but also how they felt–their sadness and shame and disappointment.
And then a second miracle happens: they listen to the stranger. They thought they were the experts, but all of a sudden, he’s teaching them, showing them how Moses and the prophets foretold things would happen in exactly this way. They are so fascinated by the stranger, so engaged by the conversation, that they invite him to join them for dinner.
And then the third miracle happens.
As they sit at table, the stranger takes bread, gives thanks, breaks it and gives it to them and their eyes are opened, and they recognized him. The stranger isn’t a stranger after all. The stranger is Jesus, the one they thought they knew so well.
I can’t tell you how much I am looking forward to being with you all again! I am incredibly grateful for the time you gave me to step away and work on my book, but I have missed being with you so much. I follow Jesus better when I walk with you.
We are living the truth of the Emmaus story at the Grove. Those who once were strangers have become treasured friends. There are vital truths about Jesus that we can never discover for ourselves, we can only receive them from one another. Now, as then, Jesus reveals himself to us in our friendships with those who once were unknown to us. No matter how mature we are, we will never outgrow our need for one another.
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