Summary: Our eyes are opened in the breaking of the bread
Open My Eyes
We get so wrapped up in our conversations and we’re so focused on what we’re going to say that we aren’t listening. I have been in conversations like that myself. I can recall road trips with friends where we would talk back and forth constantly. Of course, we did solve all the world’s problems. But you probably know people for whom the saying holds true: “couldn’t get a word in edgewise.” Sometimes we are talking so much that God can’t “get a word in edgewise”, especially if He comes in a gentle whisper.
There is a time for talking and there is a time for listening. Granted it’s not always easy to know when it is time to, as the Psalmist tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.” Our story today is about two friends who were talking when they should have been listening.
Now, Jesus’ appearance has changed. And this story tells us that having been there, back then, was no guarantee of "seeing" the resurrected Jesus. Those closest to him did not or were slow to believe. Something more was needed for sight and so Jesus, as usual, comes to help us and lead us to seeing. The story calls for a radical change in us. It calls for us to experience the story, not just hear it.
We don’t know much about them. There were two of them, but we’re not sure of much more than that. All we know is that one of them was named "Cleopas."
Whoever they are, they’re completely disillusioned. That week they had been with Jesus. It had been a great week – at least until Jesus had been arrested, tried, & crucified. Now all their hopes & dreams were shattered. Poof. Gone. Slowly, dejectedly, they were making their way home.
Oh, they had hung around for a while after hearing the rumors about an empty tomb. Peter & John went to the tomb & confirmed that it was empty.
So at about 5 pm they are on the road to Emmaus, having one of those “can’t get a word in edgewise” conversations.
"Can you believe how they turned on Jesus?" “Did you see the tears in the eyes of the centurion whose servant Jesus healed?” “Did you see the way Peter denied ever knowing him?" “Did you hear His words as He hung on the cross?”
And as they are walking along, a stranger enters into their conversation and asks what they’re talking about. Amazed at the thought that this stranger had no idea of what had happened over the past 3 days, they told him. To which the stranger replies with yet another question, “What things?”
Through all this they did not recognize Jesus. They were so wrapped up in their own thoughts that they just didn’t see him. Why not? Let’s look at QUESTION #1.
What is your final answer? Correct answer is “D”. There was a supernatural force was at work. God was at work. Jesus was right in front of them and the 2 failed to see. There are times that God is at work and we don’t even know it. Our eyes don’t recognize it at the time.
Verse 17 said that these two travelers were downcast. Let’s look at QUESTION #2.
Verse 21 gives us the correct answer. Verse 21 says –“But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.” “But we had hoped...” Problem was, they were hoping for a political Messiah, a Messiah who would deliver their nation from the oppression of Roman rule. And now this Messiah was dead. And so was their hope. In the matter of just a few hours on Friday, their hope was shattered.
Maybe some of your hopes have been shattered.
*A marriage that ended in divorce?
You had hoped when you said ‘til death do us part…
*Anyone have a serious dating relationship come to an end?
You had hoped this person might be the one…
*Maybe your adult children haven’t embraced your faith in Jesus.
We had hoped…
ILLUS - (Hold up a light bulb)
I think hope could be represented by a light bulb.
Hope is bright and promising. Full of potential. But it is also fragile.
Then something unexpected happens and hope is shattered.
(put bulb into bowl, break it, show broken bulb)
That’s these two travelers on the road. Their hope was shattered.
They get home & Jesus is ready to leave them, but they stop Him from going. Our passage says,". . .they urged Him strongly. `Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So He went in to stay with them."