The Way the Story Unfolds

A curious even at Emmaus, that Sunday. Jesus made known in that social and to them familiar act. Jesus the creator of wheat, Jesus the provider for all creatures, Jesus the Bread of Life known in the breaking of the bread.

Luke deliberately choses to make us observers, telling us from the beginning that it was Jesus on the road. We do not participate in the discovery of these disciples the way we did with the women because Luke has blown Jesus’ cover early in the story. But that master storyteller knows what he is doing. Look at the way he brings an odd, pictorial memory into literary description by making the readers observers and not participants in the experience. Had he told us that Jesus had a peculiar way of breaking bread, then told us this person broke the bread with that peculiarity, it would not have worked. It would have lent itself to sentimentality at best, felt contrived at worst.

Instead, Luke anticipated and suggests. He suggests to us there was a peculiar way Jesus had of breaking bread, because it is not the exposition for all that it causes their hearts to burn, but rather this action at the end, and repeated in their report in Jerusalem, that pierces the veil of grief, foolish unbelief and slowness of heart.

And the literary expectation, the anticipation is there, another facet of that profound event when Jesus said: this do in remembrance of me.

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