Throughout the New Testament, we find numerous instances where the disciples of Jesus did not recognize Him. This raises an important question – Why did the disciples not know who Jesus was?
Jesus was born in Bethlehem and grew up in Nazareth. He began His ministry at the age of thirty and performed many miracles, including healing the sick, casting out demons, and even raising the dead. He also preached about God’s love and forgiveness and called people to repentance.
The Jewish people at that time were expecting a Messiah who would come and deliver them from their oppressors. They believed that this Messiah would be a powerful king who would establish an earthly kingdom and rule over all nations.
The disciples were no different in their expectations. They too believed that Jesus was the promised Messiah who would save them from Roman rule. In fact, they were hoping that Jesus would overthrow the Roman government and establish His kingdom on earth.
However, Jesus had a different plan. He did not come to establish an earthly kingdom but a heavenly one. He came to save people from their sins, not from political oppression.
This caused confusion among His followers because they could not understand how a powerful king like Jesus could be arrested, beaten, mocked, and crucified like a common criminal. When Jesus died on the cross, their hopes of a political revolution were shattered.
It was only after Jesus’ resurrection that the disciples finally understood who He really was – the Son of God who had come to save them from their sins.
In Luke 24:31-32 it says “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight.They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?'”
It took the disciples a while to fully comprehend Jesus’ true identity. They had to go through a process of unlearning their preconceived notions and expectations of who the Messiah was supposed to be and then learning who Jesus really was.
The disciples’ struggle to recognize Jesus teaches us an important lesson. We too can have preconceived notions and expectations of who God is supposed to be, and these can prevent us from truly understanding Him.
We need to let go of our preconceived ideas and allow God to reveal Himself to us in His own way and time. We need to seek Him with an open heart and mind, willing to learn from Him and unlearn what we may have been taught before.
In conclusion, the disciples did not immediately recognize Jesus because they had certain expectations of who the Messiah was supposed to be. It was only after going through a process of unlearning and learning that they finally understood His true identity as the Son of God. May we also be willing to let go of our own expectations and seek God with an open heart so that we may truly know Him.