Yesterday I was teaching Sunday school. (I teach 2nd and 3rd graders.) We were making a timeline that covered from the Last Supper to the Road to Emmaus.
I noticed two things that were very interesting. The first was that no one wanted to mention that Jesus actually died. I was beginning to wonder by the time we had been talking for 3-4 minutes whether or not anyone was going to mention the crucifixion. Finally, someone did. Only then, could we begin to talk about the details of the day. Later, as I was discussing it with the women that I do Sunday night Bible Study with, one of the ladies suggested that the reluctance of my students to discuss the idea of Jesus dying was difficult for even eight and nine year olds to comprehend because her preschool kids certainly couldn’t wrap their heads around it. Truth be told, I have a hard time with it too.
During the last part of my lesson, I was telling the story of the disciples walking down the road to Emmaus with Jesus and not even recognizing it was him until they sat down to have a meal with him. I had a student pose a fair question to me about that. She said, “How could they not recognize him?” It’s a question that I’ve not really dealt with before, but I believe that God gave me the right answer for the moment in that lesson. I told her that they didn’t recognize Jesus because they didn’t expect it to be Jesus. I told her that often we only see what we expect to see and don’t see what’s really before us. They still thought he was dead, so why would they even think it was possible for the man they were traveling with to be Jesus.
I realized later how true this is about many aspects of our lives. Then, I prayed, “Lord, let me see what you need me to see, not just what I want to see.” I also thanked him for giving me what I need, even from my Sunday school class, instead of giving me what I ask for.