Sunday, May 26, 2013

Luke 24:13-35 - A Bible Study, led by Jesus!

At that time, two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What is this conversation which you are holding with each other as you walk?" And they stood still looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" And he said to them, "What things?" And they said to him, "Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since this happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning and did not find his body; and they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb, and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see." And he said to them, "O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He appeared to be going further, but they constrained him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished out of their sight. They said to each other, "Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the scriptures?" And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven gathered together and those who were with them, who said, "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!" Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

A well studied Bible!
photo by Daniel Paixão Fontes, used under the creative commons license.
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What a thing it must be to have a Bible study, led by Jesus Himself. Yet, that is exactly what happened as Cleopas and his companion were walking to Emmaus. Jesus appeared to them yet kept His identity from them. He noticed they were downcast and asked why. Cleopas answered Jesus, telling Him things He already knew. That He had been tried and crucified. Cleopas did mention the testimony of the myrrh-bearing women but, clearly, Cleopas and his companion did not believe it. Then Jesus. slowly and methodically, went through the Torah and all the prophets and He explained how He had to suffer first.  The hearts of Cleopas and his companion burned within them as they heard the Word of God.  Later, He broke bread with them and, as He did that, they realized it was Jesus! Then He disappeared and the two disciples returned to Jerusalem to add their testimony to that of the myrrh-bearing women. Christ is Risen, they proclaimed!

O Lord, make my heart open as I read the Scriptures. May Your Holy Spirit open up the Word to me so that I can see Your Passion and Resurrection in the Law and the Prophets.  How important it is to read Your Word yet, without Your Holy Spirit's guidance, then surely I will not understand.  And reveal Yourself to me, I pray, in the breaking of the Bread, in Your Holy Eucharist in which You said, "This is my Body."

Happy is the man to whom the Lord opens His Word and Happy is the man who knows communion with Christ in the breaking of the Bread. Amen.

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