Daily Devo for 5/01 – 3rd Week of Easter

The “Daily Devos” are authored by my colleague and friend, Phil Brandt, and may contain edits and adaptations by yours truly.

Friday of the Third Week of Easter – Luke 24:13-35

                  13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem,14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad.

            18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

            19 And he said to them, “What things?”

            And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”

                  25 And he said to them“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

                  28 So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 29 but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight3

                  2 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

                  33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.  

36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!”

The Caravaggio painting included here depicts Jesus having a meal.  Notice the table and the clothes and the serving girl standing behind them. They are all in contrast with Jesus who is wearing the traditionally depicted clothes of the first century rabbi. The men and the serving girl are each dressed in the clothes of the renaissance. The glass of wine, the food, the table itself is a renaissance table. This is a contemporary event for Caravaggio. 

Caravaggio knows something we all need to hear. The resurrected Jesus does not only came into the homes of those he appeared to but he comes into our homes today. In the Emmaus account at the moment of their recognition he vanished from their sight but he did not leave.  He became invisible to them only to be visible in the blessed and broken bread.

Paul teaches the Corinthians that “now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”  (1 Corinthians 13:13).  Faith believes in things we cannot see, but after death Faith will give way to sight and we shall see God and the eternal word. Hope looks forward to things to come, but beyond death hope will give way to experiencing God in eternity.  Love (agape) will not cease but will transcend death and continue on into the eternal life to come.  Some scholars have suggested that the structure of Luke’s telling of the Emmaus story is Jesus’ way of instituting the strong connection between Word & Sacrament: teaching and meal.  Both are needed.  When we celebrate the Agape Feast, the Love Feast – Holy Communion, Lord’s Supper, Eucharist, Lord’s Table – we are participating in, the now and not yet, in the eternal banquet feast that Christ gave on Maundy Thursday.  Regardless, the text of Emmaus and Caravaggio’s painting offers us comfort in knowing that Christ is with us through all of our experiences, always present as he teaches us his word and is present at our table in the breaking of the bread.

It was encouraging for the disciples as well.  They ran back to Jerusalem and blurted out the news and heard that Jesus had also appeared to Simon. Then in the next verse there is Jesus. 

36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!”

Jesus ran all the way back to Jerusalem with them. Today He stands in your home, sits at your table, and walks with you, offering that same peace today.

Have a blessed weekend and hope to see you in Facebook Live Worship on Sunday at 10:15 am where once again Christ comes to encounter us in his Word.

Published by Padre Bryan

I am the Senior Pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church and I look forward the mutual encouragement of the stories of faith and life that we share with each other! We are the stories we tell ourselves.

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