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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Join the conversation (50 comments)

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  1. Ron Galla-Rini

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

  2. Tom

    Thank You for this post!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. JOHN DENSON

    good study great insights

  6. JOHN DENSON

    GOOD STUDY

  7. Judy.Lamb

    Blessings on you and your ministry.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. Michael

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