Oscar Wilde wrote that, “Once at least in his life each man walks with Christ to Emmaus.” In the Emmaus story, the two disciples are kept from recognising the stranger who walked with them and shared in their story until the meal they shared in the evening:-“When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened and they recognised him; and he vanished out of their site.”(Luke 24, 30-31). Then, after they had returned and told the other disciples, the risen Christ again stood amongst them. As David Runcorn points out in his book Rumours of Life; “The irony is that in the moment they decide to walk away from Jesus, Jesus appears to walk towards them…he deliberately seeks out to two disciples who are walking away from it all..and in drawing the story out of them, Jesus has the unusual experience of listening to his own obituary.” In the following few years they would get plenty of chance to share this encounter,and Jesus wanted to make sure that they fully understood what had occurred through his death and resurrection in the context of the Jewish law and prophets.
Runcorn presents Jesus as some sort of ‘now you see me, now you don’t’ Messiah, coming and going at will who can be recognised only when he chooses to reveal himself. We haven’t had the experience of meeting with Jesus whilst he was on earth, nor with the resurrected Christ like the two on the road to Emmaus. More importantly, we know that our whole Christian journey is one long Emmaus Road experience ,and we know that somewhere along this path, as Wilde suggests, we will find Christ as we hold on to his promise from the last chapter of Matthew’s gospel that Jesus is with us always, to the very end of time.