Category Archives: Jesus

In the Breaking Bread

emmaus

 

We were on our way to Emmaus. There seemed little point hanging around in Jerusalem.  Jesus was dead.  All those hopes dashed, dreams failed to be realised, thinking this was it – when clearly it wasn’t. God’s not back, the promised Messiah isn’t here after all, and, frankly, we look fools.

The women had come back with tales of the tomb being empty and some angels telling them that Jesus was risen, but how can that be true?  Wishful thinking and the all too easy visions of the bereaved and heartbroken I’m sure.

So we were off. Nothing else for it really.

As we walked along we tried to make sense of it all.  What had really happened?  What had all this been about?  Who was Jesus and what was he really trying to do?

As we went along someone else joined us. I had no idea where he had been as he had no idea about what had happened in the last few days. He must have been buried somewhere to not know about all the commotion that had gone on.  How could he not have heard about Jesus and all the amazing things he had said and done?  How had he not heard about the whole trial, death and crucifixion debacle? Didn’t everyone know about the tomb now being empty?  How could we begin to explain all this to him?

Then he said something really strange. He challenged us on our understanding.  Clearly he knew more than he’d let on!  He said we were slow. Rude! That we had failed to grasp that the Messiah had to suffer these things – it was precisely that that proved he was the Messiah.  And he went right back to the beginning of the scriptures and carefully explained it all.  It was our own personal theology and Christology lesson.  What an amazing encounter on such a day from someone who we thought hadn’t got it.

We came to the village.  He seemed to be going further, but after such a conversation we couldn’t let him go.  It was late and offering hospitality was the right thing to do, so we invited him to stay with us.  The meal was on the table. He reached over and took the bread, and he broke it…

Wow!  Echoes chimed, realisation dawned.  This was Jesus – alive and with us. Without us realising he had made everything clear to us.  He had journeyed here with us and now he was in our house and breaking bread for us.

He is alive. He is risen!  He is here.
Francisco de Zurbarán La Cena de Emaús (excerpt) 1639.JPG

May we know God’s blessing,
his presence
his reassurance
and his feeding

when we recognise him
and when we don’t.

May we know that he walks with us
whether we realise it
or not.

May we be very sure
when we need to be

and know that he is with us
always

Amen

Luke 24:13-35 (GNT)

The Walk to Emmaus

13 On that same day two of Jesus’ followers were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking to each other about all the things that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed, Jesus himself drew near and walked along with them; 16 they saw him, but somehow did not recognize him. 17 Jesus said to them, “What are you talking about to each other, as you walk along?”

They stood still, with sad faces. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have been happening there these last few days?”

19 “What things?” he asked.

“The things that happened to Jesus of Nazareth,” they answered. “This man was a prophet and was considered by God and by all the people to be powerful in everything he said and did. 20 Our chief priests and rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and he was crucified. 21 And we had hoped that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free! Besides all that, this is now the third day since it happened. 22 Some of the women of our group surprised us; they went at dawn to the tomb, 23 but could not find his body. They came back saying they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive. 24 Some of our group went to the tomb and found it exactly as the women had said, but they did not see him.”

25 Then Jesus said to them, “How foolish you are, how slow you are to believe everything the prophets said! 26 Was it not necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and then to enter his glory?” 27 And Jesus explained to them what was said about himself in all the Scriptures, beginning with the books of Moses and the writings of all the prophets.

28 As they came near the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther; 29 but they held him back, saying, “Stay with us; the day is almost over and it is getting dark.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 He sat down to eat with them, took the bread, and said the blessing; then he broke the bread and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. 32 They said to each other, “Wasn’t it like a fire burning in us when he talked to us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”

33 They got up at once and went back to Jerusalem, where they found the eleven disciples gathered together with the others 34 and saying, “The Lord is risen indeed! He has appeared to Simon!”

35 The two then explained to them what had happened on the road, and how they had recognized the Lord when he broke the bread.

Good News Translation (GNT)Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

 

 

 

What is Happening?

John 20:19-31 Good News Translation (GNT)

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 It was late that Sunday evening, and the disciples were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the Jewish authorities. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 20 After saying this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so I send you.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive people’s sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus and Thomas

24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (called the Twin), was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

Thomas said to them, “Unless I see the scars of the nails in his hands and put my finger on those scars and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later the disciples were together again indoors, and Thomas was with them. The doors were locked, but Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands; then reach out your hand and put it in my side. Stop your doubting, and believe!”

28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Jesus said to him, “Do you believe because you see me? How happy are those who believe without seeing me!”

The Purpose of This Book

30 In his disciples’ presence Jesus performed many other miracles which are not written down in this book. 31 But these have been written in order that you may believea]”>[a] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through your faith in him you may have life.

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

 

We were afraid.
No longer really sure what was happening.
What we thought we knew
had shifted,
gone from our grasp.

Where were we now?
What were we to do?

What was our new reality?
What did we have to stand firm on?

And then Jesus was there,
stood among us.
Bringing his peace,
which we so desperately needed;
but bringing so much more
his scars.
The marks of his suffering.

This is not God
who has escaped pain,
conflict,
wounds.
He has been to the place of horror.
This is God
touched,
broken,
battered,
hurt
and still bearing the scars.

I can see them,
touch them,
know them.
Feel the reality.

God has not stood aside,
kept himself from harms way,
avoided the pain.

He bears it
he bears mine

and brings his peace.

He is here.

Jesus Homeless BCN 4

 

Meeting Me As I Weep – Taking Me To A New Place

John 20:11-18 The Message 

11-13 But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”

13-14 “They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.

15 Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”

She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”

16 Jesus said, “Mary.”

Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”

17 Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.

 

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

 

He called my name,
gently,
lovingly,
that tender voice I knew so well.

I knew it was him.

This was no figment of my imagination,
a hallucination in my distress.
This is him – Jesus.

Different, but still my Jesus.

Here with me.
In all that is going on,
and all that will be.
Ever present.
Knowing me.
Loving me.

He stands by me in my weeping
and takes me on.

He is here.

He’s not dead, he’s alive.
He still knows me and calls to me.

I’ve got to go and tell.
They’ve got to know.

 

I hear you Lord,
calling my name.
Into my confusion,
my despair,
my pain,
my questioning.

You stay with me
in my weeping.
You call my name.
Tenderly,
reassuringly,
filled with love
and comfort.
Bringing hope
and peace.

I hear you,
find you,
know you afresh.

And in my time
I go
and tell
that you are here.
you are not gone,
distant,
dead

you are alive

On this most poignant of Easter days, God remains with us. He has not gone, but stands with us in our weeping and leads us on. Hope dawns again.