The meal these two disciples shared with Jesus in Emmaus is one that Christ-followers continue to recount today.
So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, 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. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. 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?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. (Luke 24:28–33a)
A holiday reception at the general’s quarters meant a guaranteed delicacy, the legendary-secret-family-recipe: hammy whammies. The gracious host and his wife always provided a lavish spread of sweets and treats, but what defined “holiday reception” at their house were the scrumptious, can’t eat just one (or two), warm, sweet—with a savory bite!—hammy whammies. These receptions make the list of memorable military meals, along with the unit dining-in/mess night, the military ball, and in my husband’s case, the MRE with a trooper far from the kitchen table. Food can mark important life moments, as here in Luke 24.
Prior to the meal, Jesus, walking incognito with the two disciples, explained the reason for his sacrificial death from Scripture. To fully transition to truth about Jesus, we start by discovering what the Scriptures say about him. The New Testament reveals the truth about Christ clearly, and Jesus showed these disciples the same truth in the prophecies recorded by Moses and the prophets many years before his birth. He built the foundation for transformation in the hearts of these men.
When the trio reached Emmaus, Jesus acted as if he had further to travel. Moved by their conversation, the disciples pleaded with him to stay for dinner. As they gathered around the table, Jesus, the invited guest, did something out of the ordinary. He assumed the role of the host by taking the bread, blessing it, breaking it, and giving it to them.1 His action flipped on a light in their minds. Suddenly, they recognized Jesus. From Scripture, Jesus had revealed to them the truth of the plan; now he revealed to them the truth of his resurrected self.2
They responded the same way people still respond when we experience that life-changing transition—to know and accept the truth that Jesus is not only a historical figure who changed society, he is also the resurrected redeemer who can transform our life. Even though it was late and they were travel-weary, they journeyed back to Jerusalem to share their experience with Jesus with the other Christ-followers. Their personal encounter with the Lord became something shared by all the disciples.3
The meal these two disciples shared with Jesus in Emmaus is one that Christ-followers continue to recount today. The spiritual whammy they experienced in that meal is no secret recipe, but it is, without question, legendary and life-changing.
How did Jesus show his care for the disciples? Read Luke 24 and compare how they felt before and after the meeting. What before and after transitions have you experienced with Jesus?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, help me recognize your voice of truth in my life. Uncover anything that hides your presence from my view. Amen.
1 C. F. Evans, TPI New Testament Commentaries: Saint Luke (Philadelphia, PA: Trinity Press International, 1990), 912.
2 Darrell L. Bock, The IVP New Testament Commentary Series: Luke (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1994), 385.
3 Evans, 914.