9 May 2014 by Adeline Lum CM-
On 4th May, Bangsar Lutheran Church began their third Sunday Easter on with speaker John Cheah sharing about how the disciples did not recognize Jesus Christ on his resurrected self, while they were walking to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)
Like the disciples, how often do we walk on familiar roads but miss recognizing the Lord in our lives? Many times, we only saw Jesus on hindsight. We realize Christ was there during the bad seasons, as well as the good seasons of our lives.
There are a few reasons why the disciples failed to recognize Jesus, John shared.
Firstly, they were so absorbed in their discussion about Christ crucifixion that they could not recognize Jesus. Both were too disappointed and sorrowful for the death of Christ, whom they hoped to redeem Israel. But when Christ was dead on the cross, they became preoccupied with what they should do with their lives after that—should they continue their Christian discipleship or should they return to their normal life?
Likewise, in our life, John shared that we too get overwhelm with disappointments and sorrows in our life that we fail to see God’s hands in the midst of our pain. And because we couldn’t see Christ in our lives, some of us have turned our backs to God, thinking He is absent. At this juncture, we also wonder whether we should remain in our Christian faith or walk away from it like how the disciples turned their backs and walked away from Jerusalem?
Secondly, although the disciples heard about Christ’s resurrection from the women who found the empty tomb, they did not have faith that Christ coming back to life is possible. In other words, they believe more on what they saw than what they heard (even though prophets before time have testified the resurrection of Christ). Indeed, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Heb 11:1). That is why Jesus said to these two disciples, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” (Lk 24:25) Had they believe in their heart of the prophecy, they would have seen Christ. But because they did not expect Jesus to be alive, they did not expect Jesus to be walking with them.
Likewise, sometimes we missed recognizing God because we do not expect His Presence at certain times and certain places. We placed God in a box.
Also, like the disciples, what we need to see Christ is perhaps a change of heart. If we believe in our heart that Christ is present in our life, we would see Him working in our lives and the lives of other’s around us. That is why when the disciples found out that the man was Christ, they said, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Lk 24:32)
This instant shows that head knowledge is not enough for us to see Jesus Christ. Had we opened our hearts to see Christ like the disciples, we would have recognized Him in our lives as well.
Because the disciples walked slowly with Christ and slowly listened to His every word, they gained insights and revelation of who He truly is. And when the disciples found out that the man they encountered was Christ, they wasted no time but returned to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples that Christ has truly risen! (Lk 24:33-34) This desire to share comes from Jesus Himself who said to His disciple during His resurrection days, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21).
Likewise, if we ‘walk’ slowly with God in our quiet time without hurrying to leave His Presence, we will too gain a deeper understanding and revelation about Him. And when we gain that, we will be empowered to share this good news with our family and friends.
The time that the disciples took to walk with Jesus Christ to Emmaus allowed them to gain a real and personal experience with God.
Likewise, we can also experience a living relationship with Jesus Christ if we walk daily with Him, besides having only our head knowledge.
Lastly, although Jesus may seem distant and silent in our troubled times, He is always with us even though we could not see Him. That is why Jesus said, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:20).
Whether we could feel God is there or not, He is with us. All we need to do is to leave our life’s distractions—be it technological devices, family, friends, work, leisure activities—and come quietly and walk slowly with Him in this journey of life.
Note: This article is written from the perspective and interpretation of the writer, to bring forth ideas in a readable way. Although it is not written precisely according to the message by the speaker, this message has been published with permission by the speaker.
References for pictures