That same day two of Jesus' followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him.
He asked them, "What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?"
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, "You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn't heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days."
"What things?" Jesus asked.
"The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth," they said. "He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.
"Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men rain out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said."
Then Jesus said to them, "You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn't it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?" Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scripture the things concerning himself.
By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, "Stay the night with us, since it is getting late." So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
They said to each other, "Didn't our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?" And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem.
We have some friends whose daughter was born with a genetic disease called TSC. The disease is a deletion in the gene that stops tumors from growing. Basically, there's nothing in her body to stop tumors from growing in her heart, her brain, her kidneys. She is a perfect baby. Beautiful. But her body is broken. There is something missing from it, needed to keep her body working properly. So far they have found tumors in her heart, and a few characteristic pigments on her arm and legs. When she was born, our friends were warned that if tumors develop in her brain they can cause seizures. She's eight weeks old. And today she had her first seizure followed by several more throughout the day. Tonight she is at Children's Mercy - a sobering place, all too familiar to my friend because she is a nurse there.
My friend and her husband are amazing parents with an astounding outlook on their circumstances. They are positive, hopeful, and realistic all at once. They believe that God will heal their baby. And so do I. Tonight I sat in a room with five other people (while at least that many more joined us from their homes) and we prayed for that healing. We confessed our unbelief, our doubts, our fears and we asked the Lord to help our unbelief and come in His power and heal this baby girl.
Tomorrow, our friends will watch their wee one endure a day full of tests that will give them a better understanding of what is going on in their daughter's body. My prayer is that those tests reveal that what is happening in her body is a miraculous healing. I am praying that her EEG will show nothing more or less than normal brain activity. I am praying that her MRI is clear as day (even though the CT scan today showed multiple large spots on her brain). I am praying that the renal ultrasound (checking for tumors in her kidneys) is clear. I am praying that a healing work is done in that baby and that my friends can see that their prayers were heard and answered as they hoped. I am praying that they can see in hindsight that Jesus was walking alongside them all along, telling them truths about himself and what the reality of His resurrection means for us.
Oh, yeah. This baby? Her name is Emmaus.