And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Luke 24:13-35
In Bible we read many assortments of God in different contexts and for different purposes. God find something special in every individual he selects, a quality helps him or her to stand out from the crowd. When God selected a man for his Israel he was a choice young man, and a goodly, from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people. (1 Samuel 9:2). And when he chooses David he was handsome and was keeping sheep. But when it comes to life of Jesus the qualities of the selected ones becomes unclear, yet they stand out from the crowd. The two disciples travelling to Emmaus were blessed by his selection to witness a god has risen from the dead. The attributes are interesting, the scripture says only two qualities: – they are travelling and they talked and discussed about the recent happenings relate to Jesus’ death. Travelling is a conversion from one state to another through the time. Need to be brave to face the uncertainties ahead on the road. They were travelling to face a new environment. Considering the thinking that we are travellers on earth, the characteristics contrast us from these disciples are we are not discussing the happenings related to Jesus in our life. The God will be forced to walk with us if we discuss him.
A pretending God
But recognising a God who walks along us is sometimes difficult especially without the revelation from God. The teaching should be delivered from God to understand him. Finding a Jesus in the place of teacher in our life is not that much easy. We may not recognise him sometimes, simply because he is walking with us. But what is interesting is he may try to continue his journey without our company if we didn’t invite him. ‘As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther.’ Luke 24:28. The destination is to rest or to finish the purpose. If the God is continuing the journey without our company and without sharing the resting place it is the time to invite him for a dinner with us. Sharing a table to eat is the closeness of friendship and courtesy. And a Jesus, who ones taught to go an extra mile and give out the cloth to the demanding one, can’t resist an invitation to spend the night with us. (Matthew 5:10)
Second sacred supper
When he was at the table the scene change, as the disciples recognise him as God. But that grasping was a gradual building up of destination of their journey. The man walking with them by discussing and teaching the scriptures was preparing them for the destination – the supper table. But still it is not the very end of their story. These kind of togetherness and sharing with God and guiding through scriptures should be a repeating process in our life which ultimately ends up in breaking a bread with him by sunset.
And it may be an interesting fact that Jesus, by sharing the bread with them, is taking control of the entire situation as he did when he was in the boat with the disciples. Even though a God is travelling with us the entire journey, only when god starts to living with us he takes the command.
A vanishing God
When they realize it is Jesus who was eating with them, Jesus vanished. Sometimes a visible God is not necessary in our life after an experience with God, an experience which can contribute to needs of our mind ,body and soul. We can read that the disciples returned to Jerusalem the very hour, giving up their rest and peace or even without completing the final purpose of their journey. They gave up their selfish accomplishment of the journey and start a new journey to get another reward, which will finally contribute to the other ‘eleven’. There is no more confusion and discussion, now the path is familiar even there may be new difficulties to face and the target is a union with the other disciples. A state of mind as St john of the Cross defines- no need of God’s presence and no need of assurance from him – and it was night, the dark night of soul.