Monday, April 28, 2014

Surprised by Jesus Luke 24:13-35

Our Gospel this week is a story that's been told for 2000 years. It's a great old story. Sadly it's often forgotten in the middle of annual Easter celebrations.

Luke wrote how 2 of Jesus' friends, Cleopas and an un-named companion, met the resurrected Jesus but didn't know it was him. I laugh reading this story. Just think, they walked and talked with Jesus for a few miles but they didn't recognize him. The suspense is real. Jesus was just waiting to reveal himself to them. They couldn't even imagine that they were walking and talking with the one who they called Lord. It was too much to even hope for as one of his followers. And this is the mystery Jesus, still unrecognized, unraveled for them Luke 24:27.

This is a genuine Easter day kind of story, you can tell. Uncertainty swirls around everybody in authentic Easter stories, except Jesus. This story is full of all the elements of real Easter stories: doubt, fear, questions, amazement, prophecy fulfilled, and finally joy. I hear this story as a gift. Jesus rising overcomes all and any doubts; Jesus is alive. And no human being started the day expecting to meet him alive and well. And they recognized him finally in the breaking of the bread Luke 24:31-32.

Once he left these traveling companions spoke of how their hearts were on fire. Jesus' explanations moved them and reignited hope in them that God could still do wonderful things even after Jesus' death. Oh the joy to see him face to face. The joy to know that Jesus had come to, once and for all, overcome death. As you read or listen to Luke 24:13-35 I hope you smile along the way. There's joy in these two discovering that Jesus was there all along the way with them. The same joy can be found in our lives when we discover how God has been with us all the way through our lives too. The day Jesus rose was full of surprises, doubts, and joy that overcomes doubts. That morning Jesus' friends heard a report that Jesus was alive or at least that His body was missing from the tomb. And that news of resurrection and power met together with human disbelief that day just like in our day.

May every heart burn bright with the recognition that Jesus is alive and well and ready to transform our lives to reveal His glory to the world.
Peace, John.