When the disciples first encounter Jesus on the road to Emmaus, they did not realize that it was him, for “their eyes were prevented from recognizing him” (Luke 24:16). At first, the disciples seemed almost dumbfounded at this man because he had no knowledge of the events that had just occurred in Jerusalem, namely, Jesus’ crucifixion. After the disciples told the story to Jesus and had mentioned that his body was no longer in the tomb, Jesus replied “’Oh, how foolish you are! How slow of heart to believe all that the prophets spoke! Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer there things and enter into his glory?’” (Luke 24:25-26). After this, Jesus broke bread for the disciples with a blessing, and they finally realized that it was Jesus that they had been speaking to. Immediately after this realization; however, Jesus vanished.
This fact that even Jesus’ own disciples could not recognize him highlights the fact that Jesus was estranged by his fellow men yet held highly by God. Early followers of Jesus might have include that, even though it took time for the disciples to realize, Jesus still caused them to claim “’Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us?” (Luke 24:32). Although Jesus was, indeed, the Rejected Prophet, his words still held to power of God and a holy influence which affected those he preached to. This message would have been very important to early Christians, and even Christians today who still learn from the words of Jesus.