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Other Articles By Gary Simpson:
Touched by an Angel
Feel like a little person? Feeling a bit left out? Neglected by God, without God or society's blessing? That does not mean you are guilty of heinous sins. Stop beating yourself up. Wait on the Lord. And serve the Lord as you wait. That is what Zacharias did. God will bless. And He will bless in ways unexpected and impressive ways.
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So be ready yourselves, for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Matthew 24:44 (Moffatt Bible)
text is usually applied to eschatology, the Lordís return, to the parousia.
But there is an element of this text than can apply to any epiphany experience,
to any time the Lord reveals Himself. For the Lord comes to us and reveals
Himself to us, when we do not expect it. One example of when the Lord
revealed Himself when that was least expected is in Luke Chapter 24.
Here is the background to Luke 24. Jesus was crucified. He died and was
buried.  The women went
to the tomb where Jesus' was buried and find Jesus is gone. 
Two men tell the women Jesus has risen. 
Now the story starts. Two disciples were walking to the town of Emmaus.
They were discussing Jesus. Christ joins them, but they do not able to
recognize Him. The Messiah asks what they are discussing. We start the
story at this point.
Luke 24:19 (Moffatt Bible): They replied, "All about Jesus
from Nazareth. To God and all the people, he was a prophet strong in action
and in utterance,
The road was not a freeway, not an Interstate Highway or the Autobahn. One
commentator describes the road to Emmaus as a rough path. 
20 the high priests and our rulers delivered him up to be sentenced to
death and had him crucified.
21 Our own hope was that he would be the redeemer of Israel; but he is
dead, and that is three days ago!
22 Though some women in our number gave us a surprise; they were at the
tomb early in the morning,
23 and could not find his body, but they came to tell us they had actually
seen a vision of angels who declared he was alive.
24 Some of our company did go to the tomb and found things exactly as
the women had said, but they did not see him."
25 He said to them, "O foolish men, with hearts so slow to believe, after
all the prophets have declared!
26 Had not the Christ to suffer thus and so enter his glory?"
27 Then he began with Moses and all the prophets and interpreted to them
the passages referring to himself throughout the scriptures.
28 Now they approached the village to which they were going. He made as
if he were going further on,
29 but they pressed him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is towards evening
and the day has now declined." So he went in to stay with them.
30 And as he lay at the table with them, he took the loaf, blessed it,
broke it and handed it to them.
31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him; but he vanished
from their sight.
32 They said to one another, "Did not our hearts glow within us when he
was talking to us on the road, opening up the scriptures for us?"
33 So they got up and returned that very hour to Jerusalem.
There is debate as to why these disciples did not recognize Jesus. Some
people agree with the respected commentator Adam Clarke, who indicates there
was no supernatural reason why the two disciples did not recognize Jesus.
 Other commentators feel
the Lord kept them from recognizing Jesus. [
I side with those who believe God prevented the disciples from recognizing
Jesus, until they understood the role of the Messiah. Had the disciples
immediately recognized Jesus, they would have been too excited to listen
to His explanation of prophecy pointing to Jesus as the Messiah.
The disciples were devastated. They hoped Jesus would save Israel (Verse
21). Now their dreams were shattered. 
The disciples were discouraged because God did not do what they wanted God
to do. 
God did not meet their expectations. These disciples thought Jesus was going
to free Israel from the Romans, to redeem Israel. They were looking for
a political Messiah, a Messiah who would set up a political kingdom. 
And the political savior is dead, his body missing! How can we blame them
for having weak faith? Who would expect the Messiah to come and pour Himself
out completely, to give up all of His power to serve humanity?
What can we learn from the story?
The Messiah did not hold the weakness of the disciples against them. In
the moment of their weakest faith, He sought them out. He personally reinforced
their faith, by explaining the Scriptures to them. Then He revealed Himself
to them in such a powerful way that they were motivated to serve Him.
Verse 31. The disciples eyes were opened. Within Greek, the meaning conveyed
is their eyes were opened literally as a new-bornís eyes. 
In other words, they saw as they had never seen before.
Verse 32. When the disciples heard the Christ explain the Scriptures, their
hearts burned. In Greek, their hears were "set on fire" or consumed. 
Before Jesus revealed Himself, the disciples were going away from Jerusalem.
After His appearance, they turn around and go back to Jerusalem. What is
the result of Jesus' visit. The disciples turn around. They forget how tired
they were,  how discouraged
they felt and return immediately to Jerusalem. In the dark, 
across the rough path, they return to Jerusalem. And once in Jerusalem,
they tell of their encounter. They tell people Jesus has risen!
The Emmaus road experience is common in life. We go through it as individuals
and as communities of faith. Not a Christian, not a church gets through
life without taking the road to Emmaus. Rich, poor, gifted, challenged,
gay, straight, rich in faith or new to the faith, we all travel the Emmaus
In the midst of our Emmaus road experiences, those times when the Lord seems
so remote, it feels like He is dead, the Lord searches for us, finds us
and gives us strength and comfort. When your longed for sexual orientation,
your career goals, your dreams for a lover, your marriage, your family or
your spiritual success feel threatened, you are not alone. The Lord walks
with us when our hopes are dashed and helps us discover the meaning of the
A character in a romantic story says, "I never knew what life meant until
I saw it in your eyes." 
During the perplexing, confusing times of life, we understand what life
means when we look in Jesusí eyes. 
When we understand the meaning of life, by looking in Jesusí eyes, our pain,
discouragement, sorrow and despair are replaced with hope. And we, like
the disciples, rush off to share the good news - Jesus is alive and He reigns!
That is why the Christian always walks into a sunrise, not a sunset. 
The New Jerome Bible Commentary makes an interesting point. The authors
said Jesus explained at the last supper that He would not share food with
the disciples until the Kingdom of God had indeed come (Luke 22:16-18).
And here we see Jesus sharing food with the disciples. This shows the Kingdom
had indeed come.  For those
disciples I think we could all agree the Kingdom had come.
The Kingdom is not way off. We do not have to wait centuries for the Kingdom.
It is here, now, at our very fingertips. And the Kingdom is at our fingertips,
even when we struggle, lose hope and feel discouraged. On the Emmaus road
of your life, be ready. For the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not
expect (Matthew 24:44).
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