Key Number Two: To Make The Latent Visible

 

Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

So, Yeshua[1] took them through the Scriptures and explained the things concerning HimselfWe have to understand, though, that these were not only the things concerning Himself it was the Scriptures, the story of Israel, and in this sense, it was their own story. He was retelling them their own story– and for the first time ever they saw it as He sees it, through His eyes. They had been reading these Scriptures their whole lives, but they had never seen them in this way before. They had never seen Him in these Scriptures before.

Maybe even today, in the age of digital cameras, some of you still remember how ordinary, non-digital photographs were developed in the (not so distant) past. The film was placed in a special solution – the developer – and sometime later a picture would begin to appear. At first, the contours would appear, and then the finer details of the image, and after a while, the whole picture would emerge. In fact, this is the purpose of the developer:  to make the latent image visible.

To me, this entire process has always seemed like some sort of mysterious, almost mystical undertaking.  It seems completely incredible that, on the one hand, the image is already there – it already exists in its entirety, perfectly imprinted on the film, the complex chemical process changes nothing about this image and adds nothing to it – it merely develops, puts on display, reveals what was already there. However, on the other hand, although only this one step separates us from seeing what is imprinted on the photograph, without this step, without developing the film, we will never discover what is embedded in it; until the developer does its job, the latent image remains invisible. 

People often wonder how it’s possible to read Scripture and not to see Yeshua there. Think of Apostle Paul – Rabbi Shaul – who, as we know, studied the Torah and Scriptures his whole life – but until these Scriptures were “developed”, he didn’t see Yeshua there. I suppose that, for most of my readers, it is perfectly obvious just how ludicrous of an anachronism is the traditional view of Paul’s conversion from Judaism to Christianity,which goes something like this: ‘Once upon a time, there was a good, but deluded Jew who zealously read and tried to fulfill the Torah, but meanwhile he had no relationship whatsoever with the living God. Then suddenly, upon meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus, he understood everything, made a decisive break from Israel and the Torah, changed his spots, and became a normal person and an excellent Christian (Orthodox, Catholic, Pentecostal – depending on what denomination is laying forth these views).’ Of course, this image does not stand up to either biblical, nor historical, criticism. Shaul could not have become a Christian in the sense that we understand it today, if for no other reason than that, at the time he met Yeshua, such a word did not even exist (the first time this term appears is in Acts 11:26).  Nonetheless, it’s indubitable that, after his meeting with Yeshua, a change occurred, not only in his heart, but also in the head of this Pharisee. Have you ever considered what went on within Shaul during those three days that he spent, shocked and blinded, in fasting and prayer in Damascus on Straight Street, before Ananias was sent to him? What did he think about during his imposed standstill, while rethinking – straightening out – his life and his convictions, without the ability to physically read, and therefore mentally paging through the Scriptures on which he was nurtured?

Let’s meditate together on this situation: Paul didn’t get any new texts, no New Testament scroll fell on him from heaven – these were the same Scriptures, the same texts of the Tanakh, that he had read his entire life – they were simply beginning to be “developed”, to be seen, understood, and read in a completely new light. They had always been his life, the meaning and the foundation for his existence, but now, to his incredible bewilderment, the One whom, three days ago he had been perfectly confident was not there, simply could not be there, was appearing on these pages – revealed before his inner gaze.  With his incredible new insight, Shaul must have realized that somewhere, he had got it wrong. That the selfsame Yeshua Whom he had considered a deceiver and seducer, whom, in his opinion, the entire Tanakh bore witness against, was in fact the true Messiah. That not only did His life, death and teaching not contradict the Torah, but, on the contrary, they revealed the true meaning of these Scriptures – saying no other things than those which the prophets and Moses said.[2]  Once the Scriptures had been “developed”, there appeared, before Paul’s amazed inner gaze, the One whom he least of all expected to see there, whom he thought he knew for certain could not and should not be there, but Who, in fact, had been there from the very beginning.

Now we can better understand what happened to the disciples on the road to Emmaus in our story. The same very Tanach, the same Scriptures they had read their entire lives, were being “developed” by His revelation – seen, understood, and read in a completely new light. And once He had taken them through the Scriptures, once the Scriptures had been “developed”, the One who had been there from the very beginning, appeared before their inner gaze. While their physical eyes were still restrained, their inner eyes, their eyes of faith were being opened – and it was only a matter of time (and timing) before their physical eyes would also be fully opened (we will talk later about the timing: why their eyes were open when Yeshua broke the bread).

We spoke about the keys…  This is the transitional chapter from the Gospel to Acts, and I have no doubt that Luke meant for us to see his whole Gospel in the light shed back from this chapter, and to unlock the mysteries of this Gospel – the mystery of the Hidden Messiah – by the keys he gives us in this last chapter. So, here is our KEY NUMBER TWO:  It takes God to retell the story; It takes God to make the latent image visible. In the story of Emmaus, we witness this amazing, mysterious process of the revealing, in the Scriptures, of the One who had been there all the time – but until now had simply been invisible.

[1] From now on, we will use His Hebrew name Yeshua

[2] Acts 26:22

About the author

Julia BlumJulia is a teacher and an author of several books on biblical topics. She teaches two biblical courses at the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, “Discovering the Hebrew Bible” and “Jewish Background of the New Testament”, and writes Hebrew insights for these courses.

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  1. Noeline Iris Cutts

    Thankyou Julia, I enjoyed your blog.

    Most Christians have not thought about where Jesus was before His Incarnation.

    Jesus is the Word & the Word created all things, there was nothing created apart from Him.John 1:1-3
    The Holy Spirit was also present at Creation as he moved upon the waters in Genesis 1:2

    Jesus & the Father,and the Holy Spirit conferred together and said “Let us make man in Our Image.”Genesis 1: 26

    We are always being told that the Bible is not True, or accurate,or relevant
    , and that we can’t believe the story of Noah, or Creation.

    “As for me & my house, we will serve the Lord!”Joshua 24::15

    I love the Bible & believe it is God’s inspired Word & that all Scripture is profitable for reproof, correction & instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16

    More importantly Jesus quoted from it, He spoke of Jonah, Noah,and the other Bible heroes.
    He believed it and that’s good enough for me.

    Shalom, God Bless,
    Noeline

  2. Deborah Blades

    Great analogy used here – the use of the development of the film, revealing various aspects of the image gradually, until its fullness is evident. Quite often, this is how we receive revelation of the inner truths of God’s word. A very helpful follow up to Key #1, interesting and inspirational. Thanks.

  3. Tom Englehart

    Loved your view on the conversion of Paul as compared to some Christian views. Great explanation about the natural man’s view of Scripture and those enlightened.

  4. Georgia Golden

    This was a brilliant analogy- very enlightening. I hope for myself my knowledge of the scriptures is “devoloping” as I study the ancient Hebrew text. I appreciate and thank you for writing this blog.

  5. Elbon Cobb

    Julia, I love the the way you used the old way of developing pictures, to bring this to light and thinking about it , the light that John spoke of coming into the world. love it God Bless You

  6. Sushil

    Julia, thank you so much. I am so blessed by what i just read. May God reveal more to you.

  7. Jo Ann Abreu

    Wonderful, eye opening. I really enjoyed reading your blog, and am looking forward to the next one.

  8. Annette Campbell

    Thank you for the insight! It is a great example of how Jesus shared the gospel and opened the eyes of the spiritually blind,Praise God

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Annette! So appreciate your kind words and so glad you find these articles helpful and insightful!

  9. Gustavo Perera

    Julia,

    I can clearly identify with your point of view here, that ”it takes God to make the latent image visible.” I am learning this even now when I read the Tanakh in both English and Hebrew. I read each scripture at least 3 to 5 times and I look at the Hebrew interpretation for insights.

    For example, in Matthew 13:50 it reads in part …”where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” If I am not mistaken, the Hebrew word for ‘wailing’ in this context is ”hayelalah;” which is close in sound (but opposite in meaning) to ”halleluyah.” If I am not mistaken there might be something hidden here? Would there Julia?

    1. Julia Blum

      I love hearing from you, Gustavo! Your comments are always so thoughtful, and often times they are really surprising and point out something I haven’t seen before! ! I’ve never thought about it, I have to think more- let’s keep thinking about it together!

  10. Elizabeth (Lisa) Seibel-Ross

    I love the idea of Shaul’s confidence in his own understanding shifting as the developer beings its work, then his true surprise when he is able to see that Yeshua did not contradict the Tenach but was instead its heart and the one who lifted its meaning to its highest intention. True shock and awe!
    Luke’s coupling of the lack of physical recognition with the lack of God-given spiritual understanding so accurately describes the reality of all on the road to Emmaus or Damascus.
    Many thanks for your insightful teaching, as always!

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Lisa! So glad you keep enjoying the blog.

  11. jane z mazzola

    Wonderful post & imagery + so many beautifully, even poetically insightful comments. Thanks to everyone & blessings,
    Jane M

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you Jane! It’s always good to hear from you! and i agree completely : the comments here are amazing , so deep and insightful! Thanks and blessings to everyone! Julia

  12. Wycliffe Antonio

    Very insightful indeed. I would be very interested to read on the timing you alluded to. Is there also the case of whether who determines when we could be able to see image developed? Thanks.

    1. Julia Blum

      Hi Wycliffe, since you are commenting on “key number 2” , I suppose you’ve read “key number 1”, my previous post about “the restrained eyes”. There I write that the Lord is the only One who can restrain – or open – the eyes. In the same way, He is the One who makes us able to see the image developed. As to “when” – of course, it is up to Him also, but I think I will be writing more about the timing in my last posts of this series . So – stay tuned! 🙂 Blessings!

  13. John miller

    The Developer is the Holy Spirit, given after Jesus was glorified… until then, none of the disciples really “got it”. As in Corinthians, the natural man doesn’t discern the things of the Spirit. The outpouring of the Spirit continues to now, according to God’s grace declared in Acts 2. Praise the Lord. John

  14. Sharon Stern

    Dear Julia, Henrietta and all who are contributing.

    This is my very first time to engage in a blog. Not bad for an old broad!

    Well, Henrietta, you need to join us in the virtual classroom as we discuss such delicious thoughts! The poem is precious and touches on the theme of being hidden, with deep pain and pathos. People with eyes of faith desperately looking for and grasping for a close and personal encounter with their creator, and you are right, we are no different than they are. I love how you posit – “Have you?” And I would say for all of us who are engaged in this blog, the answer to your question is a definite ‘yes!’ You have caused me to ponder deeply!

    When I saw the photo for this week’s blog, and then read Julia’s use of the imagery of the photographic image pre-existing in a hidden/latent state that required someone and something to ‘develop’, to ‘reveal’ it, I also thought about the reality of the fact that for old fashioned film; the only way for this to occur was IN THE DARK. That process starts in the dark and it reminds me also of a developing human. An embryo begins with the complete finished blueprint of that individual- albeit only starting with two minuscule cells; one from each parent; but this full potential; this full imprint on the DNA in those two cells will grow and coalesce IN THE HIDDEN DARKNESS AND SAFETY OF THE WOMB into a perfect and complete human- just as the full image captured on the film must be protected for a time and kept hidden before it can develop completely and this process is only possible as long as it stays behind the curtain, in the dark. Premature exposure to the light results in an end product that is of very poor quality or even possibly non-existent.
    In order for both (a fetus and a print from a negative) to come to fruition, to be birthed; they undergo a series of steps of development, surrounded and bathed in life-promoting fluids; being washed per-say – just as in order for us to grow in our knowledge of HaShem we must be continuously ‘washed’ in the Word, in Torah truths.
    Just as HaShem decides when a woman will conceive and bring a life to fruition (the theme of barrenness in biblical women comes to mind), so there must be a developer who takes that film into the darkroom and oh so carefully goes through the steps that bring the nascent reality of the image captured on the film that has been hidden away into a visible reality that the world can see and experience. And like everything, it is up to HaShem how and when this happens and to whom it shall be revealed. in His timing. His ways are not our ways.

    But when He does decide to reveal truth to us, out of apparent nothingness, His Word ushers in a new light that speaks to us of new life that is inevitably in some form or fashion an aspect of the reality of Maschiach being revealed, opening our previously blind spiritual eyes to see and understand what was always there in plain sight, yet hidden from our spiritual sight. Cause a new light to shine upon Zion and upon all of us – May we all in our lifetimes be so blessed to experience the full revelation of Maschiach in the flesh, before our very eyes. Please step out from behind the curtain, we want to see Your face! Baruch Haba B’Shem Adonai! Blessed is he who comes in the name of HaShem!

    Can’t wait for the next piece of this intriguing puzzle of hide and go seek that we are engaging in together! The hidden prize is PRICELESS!

    1. Julia Blum

      Great to hear from you, Sharon! I hope, from now on we will hear your voice here. Thank you for the wonderful comment! This whole theme of “developing” in DARK is so profound, I am very thankful to Henrietta and to you for this food for thought. I was especially fascinated by this sentence: “Premature exposure to the light results in an end product that is of very poor quality or even possibly non-existent”. It started a whole new train of thoughts for me!

  15. Dorothy Healy

    I think perhaps, as Christians, we have not appreciated just how much the scriptures, ‘beginning from Moses’, have to say about the Messiah. As a student and teacher of Torah, I have had the extreme pleasure of opening believers eyes to Yeshua in the Torah – it’s an exciting journey indeed to see the wonder and amazement as they (mature, Bible-reading Christians) see familiar stories ‘developed’ to ‘reveal’ Him in great fullness. This also greatly enlarges our appreciation of all that He is and desires us to know about Him – about the depth of the Father’s love expressed through Yeshua, etc. etc.

    1. Julia Blum

      Wow Dorothy, that’s amazing! I know it mainly from this side: when people who know Torah but have never seen Yeshua there, start seeing Him in these Scriptures. I haven’t even thought of that journey: when Christians start to see Yeshua in Tanach and see familiar stories ‘developed’ to ‘reveal’ Him there. Thank you so much!

  16. Angeline

    Thank you so much Julia for such inspiring teaching. I feel like we are travelling on the road to Emmaus wishing for the Lord to reveal the scriptures. You definitely are lifting the mist from our eyes.

  17. John Francis Olupot

    Dear Julia Blum.
    Thank you for the teachings that God gives you for His people.
    We are East Africa Uganda.
    Pr John Francis

  18. Maria Cardenas

    encantada de estos maravillosos estudios, amada no olvides enviarlos en español, muy agradecidos !!!

  19. Henrietta Wisbey

    Dear Julia

    Just a little addendum, was not the film processed in a darkroom?
    and went through various stages of washing!
    Just adds another thought to this thought provoking process.

    Reminds me of the very first words and God said Let there be light.
    Amazing wonderful words of God!!
    Henrietta

    1. Julia Blum

      Wow, Henrietta, that’s so powerful! I haven’t even thought about darkroom – and this connection with “let there be light” is amazing! so profound! a lot to think about! thank you!

  20. Bart

    Dear Julia.

    This is a beautiful piece of work from yourself, I am convinced anybody with a sincere heart will be touched.
    Do you consider Rav Shaul’s three years in Arabia as part of this process? In my understanding of the matter he departed from Damascus to Arabia and only re appeared upon completion of this time, what do you make of this in terms of the current theme of this piece of work?

    Kind regards,

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Bart, for your kind and touching words! I will reply after Shabbat. Blessings!

    2. Julia Blum

      Yes, Bart, I believe that these years in Arabia were part of this process. It took Shaul three days to make a decision and to become a follower of Yeshua – but it probably took three years afterwards to rethink his whole life and to become the Apostle Paul . First Henrietta, and then Sharon, pointed out here that a film had to be developed in the dark room. Sharon wrote: “Premature exposure to the light results in an end product that is of very poor quality or even possibly non-existent”. What we see in Paul’s epistles, is a wonderful result of the whole process of “development” – we can only thank God that there was no “premature exposure to the light ” in his case.

  21. Dorothy Healy

    I love this insight Julia. I can see that the disciples’ physical eyes were necessarily constrained, SO THAT their eyes of faith could be opened. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus was showing them a vitally important component of walking out our faith – we must read the Word, in the light of His Holy Spirit, for it speaks of Him who is the Word made flesh. This was a totally new paradigm. Also, their hearts were ‘burning within’ because they had been prepared and were open to receive this truth. I recall when I was a new believer that I had an insatiable hunger for the Word of God.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you Dorothy!This whole chapter is about this interplay between visible and invisible, between the physical eyes and the eyes of faith. And yes, you are absolutely right : this was a totally new paradigm for Israel people! I think this is the main reason why Luke is telling us this story: his is the only Gospel that has Emmaus – – doesn’t it mean that he wants us to read his Gospel in the light of it, to unlock the mystery of the Hidden Messiah by the keys he provided in this story? indeed, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” – and this verse obtains even deeper meaning after the road to Emmaus, doesn’t it?

      1. Dorothy Healy

        Indeed it does … and I’m sure you will come to that. This is just the beginning of the opening of their eyes.

  22. Suliaman lbn Smith

    Thank you Prof. Your explanation shows me that if we don’t allow G-d to do the latent for us and we think that by our knowledge or our genealogy or just reading His word so we know the image or the root then we are wrong.But we should rest on the the Lord alone and not our human understanding.

  23. larry thoms

    Thank you so very much for your study’s and insights G-D Blessing thank you.

  24. Ron Galla-Rini

    Good show Henrietta. It’s sweet to be broken.

  25. Tom

    Thank You for this post!

  26. Danny

    Very powerful and thought inspiring. Please can you do an indepth article on the name. I have been taught Yahshua and Yahusha. As such Yeshua sends alarm bells ringing for me anyway.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you, Danny, for your encouragement. I’ll try to do such a study at some point, after I’ll post everything I’ve planned so far.

  27. Henrietta Wisbey

    Dear Julia
    May I share a piece of writing that burst forth one day:

    Have you been down the Emma’s road?
    Have you walked away looked back, been sad?
    Have you watched and waited and wondered why?
    Have you been down the Emma’s road?

    Have you sat alone with Job on the ashes?
    If only I knew where i could find Him?

    Have you been with David out in the wilderness?
    “Absalom O Absalom my son would God I had died for thee.”

    Have you limped with Jacob away from home?
    “Surely God is in this place and I knew it not.”

    Have you watched with Moses in the cleft of the rock
    “I will make all my goodness pass before you.”

    Have you jumped with Peter out of the boat
    “Help Lord! I’m sinking.”

    Have you stumbled with Mary through the blinding tears
    Tell me, tell me where have you laid Him?”

    Lord if you had been here?
    Have you been down the Emmaus Road?
    Have you travelled the road with a stranger there?
    Your heart strangely warmed you invited Him in
    And asked Him to stay
    As He broke the bread you saw His Hand
    And He vanished out of your sight.

    Then come away, come aside
    And let us break this bread together.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you for sharing, Henrietta! So beautiful!

    2. Nicole M

      Amazing poem, Henrietta. Did you write this? I really appreciate it.

  28. JOHN DENSON

    good study great insights

  29. JOHN DENSON

    GOOD STUDY

  30. Judy.Lamb

    Blessings on you and your ministry.

  31. Judy Lamb

    Thank you for the amazing Word Picture that helped develop the beautiful truth that God wants us to see. It brought tears to my eyes this morning as God whispered His love and truth to me and reveals again how precious His Word is.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you for your kind words, Judy, – and thank you for your open and sensitive heart!

  32. Patrick Kelley

    Was excellent story for me connecting the dot’s of Truth . I have always been Catholic and asked many time what about
    Things that happened and mostly got answered , Its a puzzlement and a mistery , we as humans cannot understand .
    At Time’s the Catholic Nun’s were very dis-pleased with many of my questions . I have a hard time putting on paper
    Whats going on in my head . As you can tell ? I’m more mechanically motivated than a scholar . Me writing is terrible
    The Nun’s would make fun of me in class , In front of the entire class . I’ve been searching the truth since I was a small child . The explanation in your story make’s a-lot of sense to me . At 72 I am still interested in reading Bible’s I have a German Jewish Bible 1793 it was put in print . the word GOTT = GOD .
    Thank You so much !!!

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you Patrick! So glad you found it helpful!

  33. Michael

    Wow! This is powerful! Thank you for sharing your insight which serve all of human kind as inspiration!
    Michael in Michigan USA.