LÖHE ON LUKE 24:16

road-to-emmaus…but they were kept from recognizing him. (Luk 24:16 NIV)

The risen Lord Jesus Christ approaches his disciples unrecognizable. What was keeping his disciples from recognizing him? His garments? No. Their eyes were being held, that they could not distinguish him. Yet, when he revealed himself to them, our gospel explains: “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.” (Luk 24:31 NIV) This goes to prove that our Lord Jesus Christ was unrecognizable as long as their eyes where held, but when these eyes are opened, then he is clearly distinguishable. It depends on the eyes. Some see, others don’t. Not every eye is dependable. With his disciples it takes but a bit to have them recognize him and they are healed for ever. They are walking here like the disciples from Emmaus, when these were on their way home from Jerusalem. The word of Jesus has bearing on them too: “Blessed are those who don’t see, but still believe!” They are content with his words, which are igniting their hearts to glowing faith, love and light. The hour of revelation is not far away, which dispels all blindness as if a curtain is drawn opening up the splendid view beyond. The eye is then healed from all darkness and sees the divine human person of our Lord and savior – always and everywhere – and this without ever loosing sight again or falling back into blindness.

Lord Jesus Christ! You strengthen the weak and revive the sorrowful with your consolation. Therefore we ask you: Grant that none of us despair in the hour of temptation even if our eyes are still temporarily held, so that we can’t recognize you clearly yet. Comfort us with your abiding presence. Keep our hearts aglow with your love and faithful and let your grace remain with us continually, so that we will be living witnesses of your resurrection – to your glory and for our salvation. Amen. (Prayerbook of the Lutheran Chapel at court in London 1757)

The light of reason can’t give me life; Jesus is the true revelation. His light can enlighten the heart. He’s the true sun shining bright.

There’s a sinful curtain withholding insight from our eyes, yet Jesus can let us behold what matters by his clear revelation true.

Dear Jesus grant eyes to see. Touch my eyes and heal them to see your light by making the darkness of the night into your bright day.    (Christian Friedrich Richter, 1676-1711)

This is a rather free translation of Wilhelm Löhe’s devotion for Tuesday, the 3rd Holiday of Easter. It is found on Pg. 161 in Lob sei Dir ewig, o Jesu!   (Eternal Praise to you o Jesus!) edited by A. Schuster and published in the Freimund Verlag, Neuendettelsau 1949.

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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