Luke 24:35–48 NRSV – Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread. 24:36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 24:37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 24:38 He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 24:40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 24:41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 24:42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 24:43 and he took it and ate in their presence. 24:44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 24:45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 24:46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 24:48 You are witnesses of these things.
Summary – The two men that had walked with Jesus explained to the other disciples how Jesus broke bread with them and that in this Jesus was made known to them. In the midst of this explanation Jesus Himself appears! The apostles were not left with just the word of these two, but Christ came into their meeting. They were frightened that Jesus was a ghost. But Jesus was not a ghost or a mere spirit, for ghosts almost never eat broiled fish! In His resurrection Jesus made clear His message (His cross and resurrection) and their mission to proclaim that He is King (Messiah) to all nations.
Insight – On the road to Emmaus they did not recognize Jesus even though He taught them from the Word (the OT Scriptures). He could have shown Himself as resurrected while He was teaching them. But He was only revealed in “the breaking of the bread.” Jesus chose when to reveal Himself as the resurrected Messiah. This was to fulfill His prediction that the Kingdom of God would come: “for I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” They reported that “He was known to them in the breaking of bread” (v35). This means that the kingdom of God is here and all who eat and drink at the Communion Table participate in the Kingdom feast. This feast should extend to all of the lesser tables of our lives. We should have gratitude for the completed work of Christ of which we are witnesses since we meet to break bread on the First Day of the Week (24:1).
Child Catechism: How was Jesus made known to them? He was made known in the breaking of the bread.
Discussion: From this passage what are some of the reasons that we should have the Lord’s Supper in worship on Sunday? How does the Resurrection affect the feelings we should have during Communion? Should it be joyful or somber? How does this affect our ordinary meals?
Prayer – Our Lord and Savior, we thank you for the Resurrection of the Son of God and for His presence with us in the breaking of the bread. We especially thank you for bringing your Kingdom into our world through Him, especially in His resurrection. Grant us the grace to serve in your kingdom in all that we do, whether in our jobs, or school or home in Christ’s Name, Amen.