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Luke 24:13-35 says,

That same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. And as they talked and deliberated, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him.

He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”

They stood still, with sadness on their faces. One of them, named Cleopas, asked Him, “Are You the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in recent days?”

“What things?” He asked.

“The events involving Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered. “This man was a prophet, powerful in speech and action before God and all the people. Our chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to the sentence of death, and they crucified Him. But we were hoping He was the One who would redeem Israel. And besides all this, it is the third day since these things took place.

Furthermore, some of our women astounded us. They were at the tomb early this morning, but they did not find His body. They came and told us they had seen a vision of angels, who said that Jesus was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had described. But Him they did not see.

Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, how slow are your hearts to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then to enter His glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was written in all the Scriptures about Himself.

As they approached the village where they were headed, He seemed to be going farther. But they pleaded with Him, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening and the day is almost over.”

So He went in to stay with them. While He was reclining at the table with them, He took bread, spoke a blessing and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He disappeared from their sight.

They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us as He spoke with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem.

There they found the Eleven and those with them, gathered together and saying, “The Lord has indeed risen and has appeared to Simon!”

Then the two told what had happened on the road, and how they had recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

After his resurrection, and upon Jesus breaking bread in communion with two disciples, the disciples' eyes were opened, and they recognized Jesus.

Upon recognizing Him, Jesus disappeared from their sight.

What is the deeper meaning of this occurrence?

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    I cannot see why this has been migrated. The reason why Jesus did something would be a theological question, not an hermeneutic question. The fact is that Jesus did as he did. It is left to the reader to ponder why. And many opinions will no doubt exist . . . . . . . .
    – Nigel J
    Apr 11 at 0:23
  • @NigelJ When they physically saw Jesus, they did not recognize him. But when they finally recognized him in their hearts, then he disappeared, because Christ is with us when two or more are gathered in his name, as we are imitators of Christ by becoming one with him in baptism, believing in his name, and conforming to his teachings.
    – Joshua B
    Apr 11 at 0:41
  • So, you already knew the answer ?
    – Nigel J
    Apr 11 at 5:19
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    I was a sign so they would reason in their hearts how that was possible unless he were the son of God, Jesus Christ Himself.
    – Dong Li
    Apr 11 at 18:54
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    @DongLi That is also true insight.
    – Joshua B
    Apr 12 at 0:29

2 Answers 2

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The answer to this question, "Why did Jesus disappear when the two men recognized Him?" is found in asking the opposite question - what would have happen if Jesus did not disappear and perhaps stayed the night with the men?

I suggest the following would have occurred:

  • the two men would not have hurried back to tell the other disciples
  • the news of Jesus resurrection would not have spread as quickly
  • Jesus would not have, later that same evening, appeared to the other disciples to affirm their faith
  • etc

That is, the mission of the resurrected Jesus and that of the disciples would have been hindered if Jesus had not vanished.

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  • You're totally missing the point. Jesus disappeared so that he could reinforce the fact that one must truly know and "see" Christ in the heart, and not see him by physical sight alone. This reveals the New Covenant and the Way of the Spirit.
    – Joshua B
    Apr 11 at 3:02
  • @JoshuaB You ask a question and then criticise the answer ? ?
    – Nigel J
    Apr 11 at 5:21
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    @JoshuaB - if you know the answer then either do not ask the question, or, answer it yourself. But, do not take others to task for having a different opinion.
    – Dottard
    Apr 11 at 9:25
  • There might be more to Joshua B's question than he knows.
    – Dieter
    Apr 11 at 16:37
  • @Dieter I agree.
    – Joshua B
    Apr 11 at 17:55
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I believe caution is always warranted when one attempts to see a deeper meaning of the context of the passage. For example the text answers the question - why did they finally recognize him?

Verses 24 and 45 are the answer - V. 24 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was written in all the Scriptures about Himself.

V. 45 (this is to his disciples, but explains the previous interaction and is all in the same context in Luke) "And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

V. 24 - But Him they did not see.” Jesus answers in next verse 25: Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, how slow are your hearts to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and then to enter His glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was written in all the Scriptures about Himself.

They were slow of hearts to believe he was the Christ. Jesus opens the Scriptures to them "expounding to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

V. 32 “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” - the Scriptures and the Risen Christ reveal their heart condition.

V. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him;

A few thoughts: The Scriptures enlighten the eyes to see the Christ, V. 27 Spirit of God works in the heart (man's will, volition, and emotion) to reveal the truth of Christ & the condition of the heart. Vv. 25, 32 Christ opens theirs eyes and they knew him. This seems to be a resounding theme after the resurrection in Luke, keep reading about those who were closest to Jesus in Vv. 36-45, (disciples have a hard time believing he was resurrected from the dead, so Christ reveals himself to them, V. 40 -44). Again Christ "opens the Scriptures to them" and they believe.

Hope this helps. P. Matt

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