I just can’t help but be drawn to one of the issues about which I think people today make way too big of a deal. In the earnest desire to make eating a major aspect of Christian work, folks have looked for any straw they can grasp to make eating together more important.
Don’t misunderstand, I do believe Christians should spend time together in social settings (cf. Acts 2:46). However, this story about Jesus meeting the men on the road to Emmaus is not about the Lord’s Supper and it is not intended to make eating together the central act of Christianity.
It is true that when Jesus broke the bread and blessed it, their eyes were opened, and they saw Jesus for who He really was. However, that is not trying to make the breaking of bread some significant act. That was merely the moment at which Jesus finally revealed Himself to these two disciples. This was not a re-enactment of the Lord’s Supper for these men. They were not of the 12 who had participated in that feast. In fact, when they realized they had seen Jesus, they went back to find the 11 (Luke 24:33). They had no baseline to remember the moment when Christ broke the bread and instituted the Supper, so this would not be a reminder to them of that. It is just the moment when Jesus finally opened their eyes.
Further, this is not saying that in eating together Christians meet Jesus. How can we forget what Paul said in Romans 14:17, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” With verses like this, why do we try to elevate eating to the status of some amazing spiritual act?
Having said all this, did you notice the response of the two on the road to Emmaus? “They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’” (Luke 24:32).
There is the key. There response was not, “Oh, look how important eating is.” There response was rather, “Why didn’t we get it while He was explaining the Scriptures?” They saw what was important. They understood that their hearts burned while they heard the truth of God expounded from God’s word.
We really need to grasp that today. Sure, Christians should spend time together. We should eat together. It is absolutely true that the Lord’s Supper is an important part of our submission. However, we need to know that this passage is not elevating eating as the highest act of Christian work. It is actually elevating hearing, knowing, and teaching the Scriptures accurately. That is were we need to spend our time.
***Question: How have the Scriptures helped you serve God better?
Keep the faith and keep reading,