Jesus Appears to the Disciples
35 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. 36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 37 But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost! 38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt?
Dr. Luke records here the ending of the wonderful story of the two travelers on the road to Emmaus. Luke writes that on the same day ( resurrection Sunday ) these two travelers having experienced the life and loss of Jesus are turning to move on in their lives or at least be in a smaller town with less noise and commotion than has been lived in Jerusalem over the past week. They are leaving to move on but like all us of they bring the past with them and are discussing the events of Jesus life, trial, death and resurrection as they walk. Jesus joins them and Luke records the encounter that they shared along the road in Vs 13-33 where they head back to Jerusalem and in our text, relay their day to the apostles who are behind locked doors hiding in fear and doubt.
It seems that we go through life living out the paradox that is our Faith and our doubts. We have come to accept as normal our continual questioning and doubt, always looking for logical answer to satisfy our minds. Doubt is a such a normal condition for us that we fail often to look at where it comes from and what affect it has on our lives.
In our daily lives like the travelers on the road to Emmaus we encounter life and the stress of circumstances. That puts a doubt in our hearts and brings our minds to worry about our present and future under a fear of uncertainty. We long for a return to normal because it brings us the comfort of the known. Normal is less Doubt because we really don’t think about it so there is also less Fear and Worry.
We tend to really want to rely on our ability and knowledge of things to prove out everything in our lives. We value our wisdom that is built from a hands on “ show me” attitude to try to confirm even our spiritual lives and often ignore the simple yet profound nature of the Gospel Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 (NLT) The Wisdom of God
18 The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 19 As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”[a] ……………………. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God’s weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength
Reason is our logical box and has the limit of what we individually can process and understand – it is what we always try to fit life into. Faith doesn’t share that limit. The apostles had Jesus with them and had him reappear to them after his resurrection and still they doubted – They needed to fit the spiritual into their “logical box” of life that made sense to them. If it didn’t make sense (that is they could not touch or feel it like Thomas) they couldn’t believe.
The result of this leads us to physical solutions and not enough spiritual space for Faith. So many times, we think I will come to God when I get my life right. When I have things in order and life is normal and I have no worries or fears I will come and serve God.
God is looking for us where we are (like the two he joined on the road to Emmaus) – if we can’t accept him where we are then how can he use us anywhere else. We recognize that God’s plan is far removed
from ours, but it is His plan in the end that will be accomplished. We must come to God with our shortcomings of doubt, fear and worry and allow Him to lead us to a more purposeful life in his service.