Blind Eyes & Burning Hearts
Didn’t our hearts burn within us as He talked with us on the road? (v.32).
If you want to humble me, all you need to do is hand me one of those Where’s Waldo? images—the ones where you attempt to locate the numerous places where the character Waldo blends into the scenery. I can stare at them for hours with little result. When someone finally points out Waldo’s location to me, it’s embarrassing to see him—right there in plain view! As theologian Stanley Hauerwas has said, “We do not see reality by just opening our eyes.”
On the day of Jesus’ resurrection, two of His followers walked the road to the village of Emmaus. They were filled with grief, “sadness written across their faces” (Luke 24:17). A stranger approached them, but this stranger was no stranger at all. It was Jesus, raised from the dead. The two disciples, however, didn’t recognize Him. It’s interesting that the biblical text doesn’t actually tell us if it was God or Satan or their own grief that blinded their eyes. I wonder if Luke purposefully left this detail open—allowing us to ponder the many ways we see Jesus without ever really seeing Him.
Whatever the reason for their blindness, Jesus would not leave them in the dark. To open their eyes, He explained “from all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (v.27). Then He gathered them around a table, broke and blessed bread, and offered it to them. This replicated the Last Supper, Jesus’ final meal before the cross.
In this powerful moment, the two travelers recognized their Lord! As the scales fell from their eyes, they remembered how their hearts had been aflame when Jesus conversed with them on the road. Their eyes were dim, but if they had only paid attention, their hearts would have shown them the truth. Sometimes, our blind eyes need to listen to our fire-lit hearts.
Read Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:15 (in the NIV, if possible). What connection does Paul make between our “eyes” and our “heart”? What does this mean?
Is your heart blinded or burning right now? Where do you need God to remove blindness and illumine your spiritual vision?