They were dead-eyed. The married couple walking home following the weekend crucifixion of Jesus were trudging along the Road to Emmaus. They had been to Jerusalem with hopes that Jesus would fulfill their Messianic expectations. The exact opposite happened. Everything they hoped for was shattered at the end of Roman spikes and spears. And Jesus joined them on their journey.  In the Luke 24 story, pay attention to the eyes. Their eyes were “kept from” recognizing him. We are not told how nor why.

As they walk, Jesus interprets Messiah in a different way, which includes suffering and death. Their hearts burn within them, but their eyes are apparently still closed. Which seems to suggest that the best of preaching, interpreting the scriptures, apologetics, and witnessing can leave a person with heart flutters of possibility, but dead-eyed nonetheless.

It is only when Jesus sits at table with them, breaks the bread, and blesses it (and them), that their eyes are opened.

Resurrection is not as much about great explanation as it is about vibrant dinners around tables. And we who have had our eyes opened at such gatherings still dare to believe that Jesus will show up and open more eyes.


  1. Richard Stout says

    Amazing reality! If you haven’t read the book (though I’m sure you have), check out “Thank God It’s Thursday: Encountering Jesus at the Lord’s Table as if For The Last Time” by William Willimon. Thank you for the reminder!

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