"Then their eyes were opened .....They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem ...." (Luke 24:31-33)
After months of pondering and puzzling over perplexing mathematical problems, historians wrote that "the floodgates in Einstein's mind opened". This eureka moment led him to write the ingenious Theory of Relativity.
In our Emmaus account, the two discouraged disciples experienced their eureka moment when God opened their eyes to see that their companion on the road was...Jesus. Himself!
It took seven miles of walking - and puzzling over life events and Scripture - for them to arrive at this point.
At the start of the walk, the disheartened disciples told their new companion about the crucifixion of Jesus and the empty tomb. Confused by those events, the two people could not identify the man who used Scripture to explain the journey from suffering to glory that Jesus had to endure. Finally, when this stranger-host broke ordinary bread and gave thanks in their home, they recognised the man as Jesus.
Like the disciples, we too can have our eureka moment when God opens our eyes. As the disciples' eyes were opened, 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?"
This is how we meet the risen Christ today. We read the testimonies of eyewitnesses, as recorded in the Bible. God's spirit then takes this Word and opens the eyes of our heart to see and believe. Today, we too can experience the God who opens our eyes and inspires us to a life of mission. Do we have a sense of urgency in sharing the good news of the risen Christ? Are we ready also for God to change the direction of our lives?
The disciples thought they had gone home for the evening. But having seen Christ appear, their previous plans to remain in the village vanished. They realised: we must share this good news! And they ran back to Jerusalem - not walk! - to tell others. (But in God's sovereign plan, they found that the the good news had run ahead of them. Peter, too, had met the risen Christ).
In Genesis 3, we read that when Adam and Eve's eyes were opened, they hid what they had done from God. But here in Luke 24, we read that when the two disciples' eyes were opened, they openly shared what God has done.
What is your eureka moment when God opened your eyes - bit by bit, or all of a sudden?
The apostle Paul's eureka moment came dramatically on a different road: to Damascus (see Acts 9). Just as the Emmaus Road disciples couldn't see, Paul was also blinded. When his physical eyes opened, his spiritual eyes were opened even wider, and he began to preach the good news to all people.
Paul's assistant, Timothy, experienced a gentler version of an eureka moment. His spiritual eyes were gradually opened through the nurturing of his faith from a young age (see in 2 Timothy 1). His grandmother, Lois, and his mother, Eunice, played a key role in the foundation of his spiritual life and in his work of the gospel.
Once our eyes are opened - be it gradually or suddenly - it is perfectly natural for us to share what God has done in our lives.
My eureka moment happened in secondary school. Through my involvement in Youth for Christ, my spiritual eyes were opened when I realised that my fellow students in Sekolah Menengah Taman SEA were my mission field. That early start as a young evangelist led me to serve God in the years ahead.
Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we need to have our hearts warmed and touched by the Scriptures. As this happens, our spiritual eyes are being opened. Little by little, it becomes natural to share the good news of the risen Christ, especially so in difficult times.
Lord, may we experience you as the God who opens our eyes and inspires us to a life of mission. We pray that you will grant us a heart of joy to share the good news through our words and also through our life of practical love and concern toward others. Thank you for the encouragement from your Word that says, "How beautiful on the mountains (and in all the places you call us) are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings" (Isaiah 52:7). Amen.