He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
~ Luke 24:38-39
The question struck me as I read this same scripture in three different devotionals today. “Why did no one recognize the risen Savior?”
When Mary was at the empty tomb, she thought she was speaking to the gardener. One can understand since she may have been a distance from Jesus with tears in her eyes. When the disciples were in the boat fishing, Jesus was also from a distance from them. So, this, too, is understandable. However, on the road to Emmaus, Jesus walked and talked to two of the men, and they did not recognize him. Their excuse could not be the distance.
The turning point was when Jesus spoke directly to Mary. He called out her name, and her eyes were open. When Jesus told the fishermen to cast their nets on the right side of the boat, they caught an abundance of fish, and at that point, their eyes could see. Also, when Jesus took the bread, broke it, and told the disciples to eat, their eyes were opened.
Then it hit me. It was more than the possibility of Jesus’ face looking somewhat different, being at a distance, or eyesight obscured by tears. It was the fact that they had not yet met the risen Jesus. And then I also understood the same thing that plagues us today. Jesus is unrecognizable until we meet and receive Him.
He is calling us by our names today. He is telling us that we are looking for joy in the wrong place, and by casting our nets His way, we will receive an abundance of joy in forgiveness, acceptance, love, peace, adoption, and life everlasting. He has broken His body (the bread) for us, and He is imploring us, “Come eat.” It’s not the physical bread that saves us. It’s the acceptance of Christ in us that ultimately opens our eyes. Then we become a forgiven child of God, who sees Jesus, hears Jesus, and understands the mystery. Come and receive a recognizable Savior!
Forgive us, Father, for having blinders on our eyes. Open our eyes so that we can recognize you in all things. Through the risen Christ I pray, Amen.
~ Jenny Calvert