Their Eyes Were Opened

Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him…

Luke 24:31

It had been an incredible week.

It was the talk of the town. Nothing like this had happened in Jerusalem in quite a long time. In fact, nothing like this had ever happened. The unusual Man who had come from Nazareth and turned their town upside-down was gone. He had ridden in on a donkey only a week or so earlier, with worn sandals on his feet and the calloused hands of a carpenter, yet He spoke as a king.

And He had been killed for it. Somehow, there was a feeling in the air that the events which had unfolded in Jerusalem would have a significance which was greater than anyone could see.

They talked about it as they walked along.

“The way He was talking, I thought we were finally going to get out from underneath the thumb of the Romans.”

“No. The more I think about it, He couldn’t have been the one…”

“Why didn’t He fight the charges? He hadn’t done anything, had He?”

“And what about the women? They were going on and on about His body being gone and angels and all.”

“Yeah, but when do they ever make sense?”

“But what about that guy who was blind? He can see now…”

The two travelers were headed to a village called Emmaus. It was a seven mile walk, but it surely wouldn’t afford them enough time to figure out what had happened. They talked and talked, but it just didn’t seem to make sense. What were they to make of all this? What were they to do now?

A New Friend…

“Excuse me, would you mind if I joined you on your journey?”

The voice came from behind them. The two travelers turned to find another man coming up alongside them. “I couldn’t help hearing a little bit of your conversation,” the third traveler said, “What are you talking about as you walk along?”

One of them looked at the other and frowned. Was this guy for real?

“What are we talking about? We’re talking about all the commotion in Jerusalem last week!”, one of them answered, “What else is there to talk about? Where have you been the last few days? In a tomb?”

The third traveler smiled to Himself knowingly. “Tell me,” He asked politely, “what’s been happening?” The two travelers exchanged another glance and sighed heavily as they began to repeat the account of the confusing events which had taken place.

Little did they know how near the answers were.

Answers That Are Near…

Life is like that sometimes, isn’t it? We search and search for the answers. We think it through over and over. We analyze this, we consider that, and we try to make sense of it. The answer must be up ahead somewhere…

That opportunity you’ve been waiting for… That solution you’ve been trying to find… That person you’ve been waiting to meet… The answers. They must be up there somewhere! Why can’t you see it?

Maybe it’s not up there.

Sometimes, maybe it’s right here… Right before your eyes.

And you just haven’t seen it.

Missing the Nearby Truth…

It wouldn’t be the first time. It’s happened to quite a few people. People who had it all right in front of them, but who just couldn’t see it…

Until their eyes were opened.

As with a homeless mother and her dying son who couldn’t see the well of water which could save them. Genesis 21:14-19

As with a stubborn prophet who couldn’t see the angel of the Lord standing in front of him, despite the fact that the donkey he rode actually spoke to him. Numbers 22:21-34

Or Elisha’s servant, who couldn’t see the vast army of God all around them to protect them from the hostile army which had come to capture them. 2 Kings 6:8-23

Or a man in Bethsaida who couldn’t see anything at all–until Jesus touched him. Mark 8:22-26

The two travelers on the road to Emmaus finished giving their account of the past week’s events to the third Traveler who walked along with them. But they still weren’t able to make sense of it all.


Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba.

15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down nearby, about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there nearby, she began to sob.

17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.”

19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.

Genesis 21:14-19


Balaam got up in the morning, saddled his donkey and went with the princes of Moab. 22 But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with a drawn sword in his hand, she turned off the road into a field. Balaam beat her to get her back on the road.

24 Then the angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between two vineyards, with walls on both sides. 25 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she pressed close to the wall, crushing Balaam’s foot against it. So he beat her again.

26 Then the angel of the LORD moved on ahead and stood in a narrow place where there was no room to turn, either to the right or to the left. 27 When the donkey saw the angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam, and he was angry and beat her with his staff. 28 Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?”

29 Balaam answered the donkey, “You have made a fool of me! If I had a sword in my hand, I would kill you right now.”

30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your own donkey, which you have always ridden, to this day? Have I been in the habit of doing this to you?”

“No,” he said.

31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the angel of the LORD standing in the road with his sword drawn. So he bowed low and fell facedown.

32 The angel of the LORD asked him, “Why have you beaten your donkey these three times? I have come here to oppose you because your path is a reckless one before me. 33 The donkey saw me and turned away from me these three times. If she had not turned away, I would certainly have killed you by now, but I would have spared her.”

34 Balaam said to the angel of the LORD, “I have sinned. I did not realize you were standing in the road to oppose me. Now if you are displeased, I will go back.”

Numbers 22:21-34


Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, “I will set up my camp in such and such a place.”

9 The man of God sent word to the king of Israel: “Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.” 10 So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.

11 This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Will you not tell me which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”

12 “None of us, my lord the king ,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”

13 “Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” 14 Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.

15 When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” the servant asked.

16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

17 And Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes so he may see.” Then the LORD opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.

18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the LORD, “Strike these people with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.

19 Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria.

20 After they entered the city, Elisha said, “LORD, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the LORD opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.

21 When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, “Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?”

22 “Do not kill them,” he answered. “Would you kill men you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.” 23 So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.

2 Kings 6:8-23


They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. 23 He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?”

24 He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.”

25 Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t go into the village

Mark 8:22-26

An Amazing History Lesson

“How foolish you are!” the third Traveler replied. The two men were taken aback as the Traveler continued, “how slow of heart you are to believe all that the prophets have spoken!”

Had they had time, the two men might have taken offense. Is this Guy saying we’re dense? Didn’t He ask us to explain things? And now, He’s calling us foolish? But before the two men could object, the Stranger continued…

“Didn’t the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?”

And then, quite unexpectedly, the mysterious third Traveler gave a most amazing and insightful Bible lesson, as He explained the whole thing to them. Not just about the past week’s events, but about the entirety of all that had ever been foretold about the Messiah.

Who was this Guy?

Wanting to Hear More…

As they reached their destination in Emmaus, the two travelers didn’t want their conversation to end. There was something about this Man; something that they didn’t want to let go. It would be getting dark soon. Would He be willing to stick around and share a meal with them?

He accepted their invitation, and after some brief preparations, the three men sat down for a simple meal. But before they could give thanks for the meal, their new Friend took hold of the bread, gave a heartfelt thanks to God, and…

There was something strangely familiar… Something they had seen before… The way the mysterious Man broke the bread was just like… Jesus!

Then, their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him

Luke 24:31

It was Him! He was alive! It had been no stranger who had explained the significance of the events in Jerusalem as they traveled the road. It was, in fact, the Lord Himself! The very center of it all. Jesus was alive, and He was right before their eyes all along.

Maybe the answers aren’t up there waiting to be discovered. Just maybe, the answers we seek are right here, right before our eyes.

The travelers had opened their hearts.

But Jesus had opened their eyes.

How true also of us. There are so many questions in life. So many needs. So many fears. So many answers to seek out. And perhaps, those answers will be found on the distant horizon. But sometimes, maybe the answers aren’t up there waiting to be discovered. Just maybe, the answers we seek are right here, right before our eyes.

Maybe it’s that idea which couldn’t possibly work, or that place to which we’re absolutely unwilling to go. Maybe it’s that story which couldn’t possibly be true. We’ve glanced at all of them and quickly dismissed them, because it was just too crazy. Because it just wasn’t possible…

Or because our hearts weren’t willing.

Often times it’s not tired eyes which keep us from seeing. Sometimes, the problem with our vision lays within a closed heart. And if we’ll just open our hearts, He’ll open our eyes.

Maybe it could work… Maybe I should go there… Maybe it is true…

Perhaps the particular answers you’re waiting for will be found on the road up ahead. But while you’re searching, don’t forget to look around the place where you’re standing right now. Because whether you realize it or not, that mysterious Traveler who amazed two men one day on the road to Emmaus is also traveling alongside of you. And if you ask Him, maybe He’ll explain it to you.

And if you’ll only open your heart,

He’ll open your eyes…


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