That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. (Luke 24:13-16 ESV)
“That very day” was the day of the resurrection. These disciples of Jesus had entered Jerusalem a few days earlier excited about following him. Now they left disillusioned and feeling abandoned. This Jesus they had followed was dead and they did not know what to make of it. They had not heard that Jesus was alive.
They were engrossed in a conversation when Jesus approached them. But something interesting happened. Their eyes were kept from recognizing him. Have you ever wondered why? Here’s why I think this happened. (This is my opinion…and we’ll explore it throughout the rest of the week). Jesus had some things to teach them. If they had recognized him, they never would have listened to him. They would have been so excited to see him that his physical presence would have overcome their ability to listen.
And this makes me wonder. When it seems that God is silent, that Jesus is distant, could it be that he’s closer than we think? Is it possible that he’s teaching us in his very own words and our “eyes are kept from recognizing him?” Don’t be thrown off by Jesus’s apparent silence. After all he promised “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b)