On the road to Emmaus reflections


#1

Luke 24: 13-35

I love the story of the disciples on the walk to Emmaus and especially during this season. I find it very interesting how the disciples eyes were “kept” from recognizing Him. What does this mean? I can’t help from taking it as a sign for us to realize Jesus’ true presents and purpose in the Eucharist. He blesses bread, breaks it, gives it to them, and their eyes were then “opened” and recognized Him! How much more confirmation do we need about the significance of the Eucharist? Even all the interpretation of the “bible” was not enough to know Jesus.

Michael


#2

It says he wasn't recognized. If he looked the same as he did before his death then he would be recognized, so he must have some way looked different.

It is the same with Mary Magdelene at the tomb on easter, she thought he was the gardner and did not recognize him. So he must have some way looked different.

I've often wondered about that difference. And also why didn't he look the same? He could have. So why did he chose to look different? What was the point?

Interesting.


#3

Yes, I see this perspective and think there is truth to it. But why the wording, "their eyes were kept from recognizing Him"?

Do you think they recognized Him only because of the style that he broke bread? Or did they eat and receive a gift to see Him more clearly?

I don't see how he can bless something and it remain unchanged.

Thanks for your thoughts,
Michael


#4

I took the blessing he did over the bread the same as the blessing he spoke at the Last Supper. I've always thought of this event as giving them his Body and Blood again. And I thought that this is what woke them up to recognize him.

It seems in the early church that the Eucharist meal was spoken of as the "blessing of bread" which in those days meant the consecration or changing the bread and wine into his Body and Blood. They didn't have the word consecration or transubstantiation then. So "blessing" was used instead.

Just some thoughts.


#5

Right. And I don't mean to say, just because the bread was blessed and changed to His body it was that which opened their eyes. But I think this was the message. I think as blunt as Luke wanted to be. There was probably some secrecy desired regarding the Eucharist too, in order to protect outsiders from abusing and inquiring irreverently...?

Michael


#6

In Luke's account of the transfiguration, Jesus' countenance was changed along with the glory which radiated from his clothing (Was this similar to the radiation that formed the image on the shroud?). Matthew and Mark mention that His face "shone." This was His glory made manifest. But, consider that Cleophas/Clopas and the other disciple, who had just spent as much as three years listening to Him, also did not recognize His voice. In glory, all aspects of Him were changed. This is also the case in John 21, when He appears to them on the shore of Lake Tiberias. Only John recognized Him, and it is not described exactly how that came about.

I note that many modern translations of Luke have translated the scriptures so as to read "they recognized Him **when* he broke the bread*" rather than "in the breaking of the bread" - which makes the Eucharist arguable. Even the Knox bible does this.

Still, the two took no offense when Jesus upbraided them (He did a lot of upbraiding) for being foolish and slow of heart (Luke 24:25). Rather, something about Him made them desire Him to remain with them.

This entire event is an example of his pursuing "that which was lost" (Matthew 18:11, Luke 19:10) inasmuch as the disciples were leaving Jerusalem, possibly en route back to their former lives.


#7

Well, the Greek used is ἐκρατοῦντο, which is quite a forceful verb, as if their eyes were held, prevented or forced so as not to recognise Jesus. I think the text definitely suggests that God somehow (and for some reason) did not want the two disciples to recognise it was Jesus...just yet.

Personally, I think it's God's Jewish sense of humour. The whole incident is hilarious, especially when Cleopas says to Jesus: "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" (Luke 24:18 RSV), which is probably the most ironic question in Scripture!


#8

their blindness might have been part of their overwhelming grief over the death of Jesus. People suffering acutely from grief don't eat, etc. and may not be totally aware of what is going on around them.

This is speculation on my part.


#9

[quote="po18guy, post:6, topic:321712"]
In Luke's account of the transfiguration, Jesus' countenance was changed along with the glory which radiated from his clothing (Was this similar to the radiation that formed the image on the shroud?). Matthew and Mark mention that His face "shone." This was His glory made manifest. But, consider that Cleophas/Clopas and the other disciple, who had just spent as much as three years listening to Him, also did not recognize His voice. In glory, all aspects of Him were changed. This is also the case in John 21, when He appears to them on the shore of Lake Tiberias. Only John recognized Him, and it is not described exactly how that came about.

I note that many modern translations of Luke have translated the scriptures so as to read "they recognized Him when he broke the bread" rather than "in the breaking of the bread" - which makes the Eucharist arguable. Even the Knox bible does this.

Still, the two took no offense when Jesus upbraided them (He did a lot of upbraiding) for being foolish and slow of heart (Luke 24:25). Rather, something about Him made them desire Him to remain with them.

This entire event is an example of his pursuing "that which was lost" (Matthew 18:11, Luke 19:10) inasmuch as the disciples were leaving Jerusalem, possibly en route back to their former lives.

[/quote]

Thanks for sharing po,
This is the "other" point of view that I have heard and wondered myself. It also happens to be the Protestant accepted view. But I don't neccessarily think it would contradict the meaning of the Eucharist and maybe their can be truths of both views in the meaning. For example, if Jesus was that different in appearence and only His gestures and style of breaking bread made them aware it was Him, then it was still an important statement about the Sacrament. Do you think He appeared to everyone after the resurrection the same as He did on the mountain transfiguration? I don't get that impression. But I could believe He was different enough for them to not recognize Him.

[quote="jonathan_hili, post:7, topic:321712"]
Well, the Greek used is ἐκρατοῦντο, which is quite a forceful verb, as if their eyes were held, prevented or forced so as not to recognise Jesus. I think the text definitely suggests that God somehow (and for some reason) did not want the two disciples to recognise it was Jesus...just yet.

Personally, I think it's God's Jewish sense of humour. The whole incident is hilarious, especially when Cleopas says to Jesus: "Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?" (Luke 24:18 RSV), which is probably the most ironic question in Scripture!

[/quote]

Jonathan,
This is my impression of the wording. The story of Mary M. not recognizing Him seems to be more of a grief, emotionally overwhelmed and temporary state. He only has to say her name and she focuses better. This I can understand since she was in tears and just witnessed Him in such a beat up bloody state and now He is healed, healthy and yes, probably quite a bit different in appearence.
But these disciples' eyes were "kept" from recognizing Him and then "opened". These words, as you have found with the original greek, are very specific verbs! Also, Jesus didn't just break the bread and they recognized, but blessed it, broke it and gave it to them. That, to me, suggests that they ate it first and then reacted.
And that is ironic they speak to Him that way! :D They had to of laughed at themselves for that one, later.

[quote="sirach2v4, post:8, topic:321712"]
their blindness might have been part of their overwhelming grief over the death of Jesus. People suffering acutely from grief don't eat, etc. and may not be totally aware of what is going on around them.

This is speculation on my part.

[/quote]

I do think this was the case with Mary M. She was full of tears and the time was short before Jesus only said her name. The two disciples walked miles and listened to him for a long time. But I do agree He probably had changes in His appearence and voice.


#10

[quote="rcwitness, post:9, topic:321712"]
Thanks for sharing po,
This is the "other" point of view that I have heard and wondered myself. It also happens to be the Protestant accepted view. But I don't neccessarily think it would contradict the meaning of the Eucharist and maybe their can be truths of both views in the meaning. For example, if Jesus was that different in appearence and only His gestures and style of breaking bread made them aware it was Him, then it was still an important statement about the Sacrament. Do you think He appeared to everyone after the resurrection the same as He did on the mountain transfiguration? I don't get that impression. But I could believe He was different enough for them to not recognize Him.

[/quote]

The linguistic difference may be small, but several of the protestant translations read this way. The translation gives them an "out" in which various denominations can teach either way using the same scripture, according to their preference.


#11

[quote="po18guy, post:10, topic:321712"]
The linguistic difference may be small, but several of the protestant translations read this way. The translation gives them an "out" in which various denominations can teach either way using the same scripture, according to their preference.

[/quote]

Well, I do understand that view. You are right, it definitely gives em an "out":D But you don't want out, right?;)

just messin'
Michael


#12

[quote="rcwitness, post:11, topic:321712"]
Well, I do understand that view. You are right, it definitely gives em an "out":D But you don't want out, right?;)

just messin'
Michael

[/quote]

Catholics and Orthodox don't need the "out" - sadly, the others do.


#13

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.