Luke 24:21a But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel…
Have you ever looked back on something in your life and realized how foolish you looked for not seeing what was right in front of you? The story in Luke’s account of the Gospel about two disciples who were talking while they traveled, just days after Jesus’ death on the cross, makes one wonder just how foolish they felt as they looked back at their encounter with Jesus.
As they walked along sulking that this man they had followed, who that had placed their trust in as the promised Messiah, the one who would redeem His people Israel, the resurrected Jesus actually joined them. These two of His disciples recounted the story of Jesus’ crucifixion to Him (because they didn’t recognize Him as being Jesus) and expressed lament over the fact that He hadn’t lived up to their hopes. We look back now and wonder how on earth the risen Lord could have disappointed anyone’s hopes, but these Jewish men had been awaiting a Messiah who would establish an earthly kingdom to save them from their oppressors and Jesus did not do that. No, instead He was killed by those oppressors. This fell short of what they had wanted from Him.
But Jesus came to do so much more than just save Israel from an oppressive government. He came to bring reconciliation with God, to all, Jews and Gentiles alike. But the men didn’t know this yet because they were so focused on their own expectations. Can’t we do that sometimes? Don’t we sometimes expect God to answer us in some small way and when we don’t see it we get all upset with Him, when really there’s a much bigger blessing in store if we’d only open our eyes? The guys in this story opened their eyes and eventually saw Jesus for who He was and what He came to do. That’s hope for all of us.