Luke 24:13-35 (NIV)
On the Road to Emmaus
13Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16but they were kept from recognizing him.
17He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”
25He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
From David Guzik: He told them that the Messiah was:
- – The Seed of the Woman, whose heel was bruised.
- – The blessing of Abraham to all nations.
- – The High Priest after the order of Melchizedek.
- – The Man who wrestled with Jacob.
- – The Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
- – The voice from the burning bush.
- – The Passover Lamb.
- – The Prophet greater than Moses.
- – The captain of the Lord’s army to Joshua.
- – The ultimate Kinsman-Redeemer mentioned in Ruth.
- – The son of David who was a King greater than David.
- – The suffering Savior of Psalm 22.
- – The Good Shepherd of Psalm 23.
- – The wisdom of Proverbs and the Lover of the Song of Solomon.
- – The Savior described in the prophets and the suffering Servant of Isaiah 53.
- – The Princely Messiah of Daniel who would establish a kingdom that would never end.
O for grace to study the Bible with Jesus as both our teacher and our lesson!
–Charles Haddon Spurgeon
28As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them.
The words are almost identical to those in Luke 22:19 at the Last Supper — “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them.”
31Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.
Open our eyes, Lord . . . we want to see Jesus.
32They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Psalm 94:19 (NASB)
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me,
Your consolations delight my soul.
33They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
We are all “on the road to Emmaus,” and all similarly preoccupied with our own woes in this world to see clearly to salvation at most times. Even when the answer is directly in front of me, I have trouble seeing it because I’m looking for a different answer — one within my experience, and one that I can assign within the taxonomy of my own reason, intellect, and will. This reminds me of a scene from the film Bruce Almighty, where the title character is imploring God to send him a sign … while driving behind a truck filled with STOP and WRONG WAY road signs.
The Emmaus story tells us one way in which we can find the voice of God. The two disciples on the road walk with the stranger and spend the time telling him of their tragic week in Jerusalem. They are trying to fill the empty space with their own voices, and for very understandable reasons — they are stricken with grief, loss, and incomprehension. Even though the sign of all signs has been related to them — the empty tomb — it doesn’t fit within their human reason and comprehension. But they do not begin to achieve understanding until they listen rather than talk, and reflect rather than lament.
Jesus appears to the two disciples in their grief to allow them to lean on him, but also to explain salvation history in order to increase their comprehension. We must also walk through salvation history through the readings of Scripture. This is the context which Jesus gives the two disciples after they quiet themselves and open up to hearing the Word of God — even though they are not quite aware that this is what is happening until their eyes are finally opened in the breaking of the bread. As the two disciples learned, if we want to understand salvation and invite God to speak to us, we need to stop talking and start listening.
HERE is “I’ve Just Seen Jesus,” sung by Sandi Patty and Larnelle Harris.