Walking with a Friend

Opening Prayer

Let us pray.  O God, whose blessed Son me himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread, open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him and bear witness to his love in the world.  Amen.

Walk to Emmaus

Unexpected company

While Jesus’ physical presence is made known to Cleopas and the other disciple in breaking of the bread, the reality is that Jesus begins the process of making his saving acts know to his fellow travelers long before they sit down for dinner.

All along their journey from Jerusalem, Jesus is teaching Cleopas and his fellow traveler. He is opening their eyes to the good news that Jesus was the one they had been waiting for to redeem God’s people. Now according to Luke, “their eyes were kept from recognizing Jesus” (Lk 24:16) while he was walking with them. While Luke doesn’t say specifically why they were kept in the dark, it is easy to imagine that if Jesus wanted a chance to teach them, wanted to allow them space to try and make sense of Mary’s statement that she had seen the Lord, wanted to help them process all that had happened over the previous three days, that it would be far easier to do that before they truly saw the risen Jesus with their own eyes.

Since Cleopas and the other disciple don’t recognize Jesus right away, it gives Jesus time to talk with them. It gives him time to teach them as they walked. It gives Jesus time to help them to look at the scriptures beginning with Moses and all the prophets and to interpret the scriptures, so that they would understand that Jesus was more than just a teacher or prophet who was killed. Their temporary blindness about Jesus’ identify gave Jesus the time to help them see that he was the promised one, the Messiah that the scriptures foretold.

You can read the Emmaus Story in Luke 24:13-35.

So What Does this Mean? Making Christ Known

On the road to Emmaus, Cleopas and the other disciple sense that there is something special about they man they are walking with along the way.  It is not, however, until Jesus takes the bread, blesses it and breaks it that their eyes are opened and they begin to see who Jesus was.

In today’s world, it is can be hard sometimes to see Jesus.  There are more images and ideas bombarding us on a daily basis than ever before and sometimes we, like Cleopas and the other disciple, may fail to see what is right in front of us.  The story of the walk to Emmaus is a helpful reminder of what can happen when we pause in the midst of our busy lives to listen to what God has to say, to spend time with other members of the body of Christ and to share in God’s gifts to us like communion for it is in moments such as these that Christ is made known to us.

Discussion Questions

Please answer these questions in the comments section below.

  1. Cleopas and the other disciple discover who Jesus is in the breaking of the bread.  How do you think communion makes Jesus known to God’s people today?
  2. What other ways do you see Jesus revealed to you or to the world today?
  3. Cleopas and the other disciple run back to their friends to tell them about their experience.  If you were going to tell a friend about Jesus, what are three key points you would share?

Closing Prayer

God of help and hope, thank you for sending Jesus into the world to love and to save us.  Help us to see Jesus in the stories of scripture, in the bread and wine of communion and in the acts of mercy and compassion that your people share with the world.  Help us to walk faithfully as your people in the world.  Amen.

Opening and Prayer adapted from Sundays and Seasons.com. Copyright 2018 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress Liturgies Annual License #25165.