Easter 3 :: Those crazy disciples!

Lonely path

Those crazy disciples! They didn’t know it was Jesus who had joined them on that road? Really? They’d been with him for how long? Weeks? Months? Years? How could they not recognize him?

I suppose that’s the real question here. I’ve greived the deaths of family members and friends over the years. If all-of-a-sudden one of them approached me while I was out for a walk, I’d like to think I’d know who she was. Her face is etched in my memory. Sure I’d be surprised—dumbfounded even—but I’d still recognize her. Wouldn’t I? Perhaps I’d at first think she just looked like my mother, was maybe some long-lost twin of hers. But as we talked, it would become clear to me who she really was.

Were the two just so wrapped up in the events of the past few days—so confused, upset, sad, even angry—that they were so unable to know? They referred to Jesus as a stranger, so obviously they were completely oblivious to who he really was. They shared with him what they had been talking about: all that had recently happened to their friend and master, a condemned prophet.

But did you catch what they said? “We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.” Their friend and master—the prophet put to death—was a failure. He didn’t fulfill their wishes for a renewed, redeemed, mighty Israel. Their disappointment is evident. Jesus did not meet their expectations. He failed them in their wish for Israel to become great once more.

It’s no wonder they didn’t recognize Jesus on that road, for the Jesus they followed just days before was nothing but a projection of their own desires and hopes. And that Jesus was a failure.

The Jesus on the road was anything but.

Something to ponder:

Do you see a Jesus who meets your expectations, or God’s?


Link to RCL Lectionary for Easter 3

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