Posted by: Jo | April 2, 2016

Recognizing Jesus

“As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognising him.”

(Luke 24: 15 – 16)

image Just recently my husband received a newsletter from his graduating class from university which pictured a reunion dinner which he was unable to attend, as it was held in Australia, but in the letter, along with all the news of fellow students were their current photos taken at the dinner and as my husband studied these (now old faces) he admitted that without the names underneath he would not recognise them. I was thinking about what recognition meant when we were reading our study this morning that featured the story from Luke 24 about the disciples walking to Emmaus after the resurrection and when Jesus joins them they are unable to realise who he is. Going to the dictionary gave me a little insight into the depth of this word, “recognition.” Some of the meanings are;

  • To treat as valid or having existence
  • To take notice of a thing or person in some way
  • To perceive clearly to realise

Those two disciples were not the only ones not to recognise Jesus after the resurrection. Mary Magdalene, overcome with sorrow, fails to see her beloved Saviour standing right beside her;

“At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realise that it was Jesus.” (John 20:14)

Again those disciples closest to Jesus fail to recognise him as he stands on the beach, urging them to cast their nets once again;

“Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realise that it was Jesus.” (John 21:4)

Mary’s sorrow had so overcome her, she failed to see the very one that was to lift that sorrow from her forever and then overwhelming joy replaces the sorrow as she hears Jesus call her name;

“Jesus said to her, “Mary.” (John 20:16)

The fishermen disciples were also experiencing confusing thoughts about the astounding events that had just taken place and resort to returning to what they know best and spend a disappointing night fishing in vain. Again their own emotions of bewilderment, sorrow perhaps fear of what will happen next, prevents them from recognising Jesus when he speaks to them from the beach.

“He said. Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.” (John 21:6)

Suddenly at the sight of this amazing miracle their eyes are opened and they cry, “It is the Lord

So what prevents us from recognising Jesus in our everyday lives? Do we allow circumstances to cloud our vision? At the time when we really need to be aware of our Lord standing beside us, do our emotions run riot and block out his beautiful presence?

image In our three stories the two on the road to Emmaus, listened to the Lord speaking through his word.

“They asked each other, Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)

Mary heard the Lord call her name. She listened

The disciples obeyed the word to let the net down on the right side of the boat. They listened.

I read a beautiful prayer in a study I was reading one, that I am going to say often

Dear Lord,

When you call my name, teach me to recognise your hand at work in my daily life and teach me to listen to your voice.

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