Reading: Luke 24: 28-35
Verses 30-31: He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.
Jesus walked and talked with these two men. Despite their personal time with Jesus and His amazing knowledge of the Scriptures, they did not yet recognize Him. Many of us have been Christians for a long time. We know the Scriptured pretty well and we have spent lots of time getting to know Jesus. Yet at times we too fail to recognize Jesus.
As Jesus sits at the table with these two Emmaus travelers, He takes the most common element at meals in that day: bread. Bread was both a common element and a precious one – it sustained life. It was manna in the desert; it was what the widow made for Elijah to survive; and it was what fed the thousands. Even in our world today, bread is an integral part of many people’s diets. As food, bread is a necessity for life.
At the table, Jesus “took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him”. There is something about this ritual that triggers the opening of the two men’s eyes. They recognize Jesus as He shares the bread with them. In the church we too celebrate this practice that Jesus himself initiated. Every time we break the bread of communion, we remember what Jesus did on the cross and we give thanks for His act that brings us forgiveness and redemption. In doing so, our eyes are opened. Our eyes are opened to our brokenness and this leads us to see our own need for Jesus in our lives. This draws us in and helps us to see Jesus in our midst.
The breaking and sharing of bread can also open us up to see Jesus in other ways. When we share bread with those in need, whether by inviting them in or by going to them, it allows us to invite Jesus to be there. Every time we extend welcome to the stranger, regardless of color, ethnicity, or whatever, we are opening the door for Jesus to be present. Through the bread we are able to find common ground and to meet others where they are at. In these moments, Jesus is always present. It is an opportunity to share Jesus and sometimes we are even blessed to see Jesus Christ in the face of another. May we ever have willing hearts to share our bread and the Bread of Life.