2011-05-04 - The Men on the Road to Emmaus
In Luke 24:13-35, we find the story of two men walking from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus. They were saddened by the recent death of Jesus. As they were discussing the depressing events surrounding Jesus' crucifixion, they were joined by a fellow traveler. This stranger asked the two men what they had been talking about. Cleopas, one of the two men, then told the stranger about the man named Jesus. They told the stranger about their hopes that Jesus, the prophet, would bring redemption to Israel. But Jesus had been crucified, and now his body was missing. There were even stories that an angel said that Jesus was alive. Obviously these two men were disappointed by these recent events.
At this point, the stranger explained to the two men how the prophets had told about the Christ and how He must suffer. The stranger went on to describe how the Scriptures, from Moses to the Prophets, told about the Messiah. As they approached Emmaus, the two travelers asked the stranger to stay with them. The stranger agreed to remain for supper. As the stranger broke the bread and gave thanks, the eyes of the two men were opened, and they saw Jesus.
In verse 16, we find that at first, they were kept from recognizing Jesus. Why did Jesus not want them to know that it was the Messiah right away? I think it was so that Jesus could teach them and strengthen their faith. In fact, Luke 24:32, says that their hearts were burning, as Jesus explained the Scriptures to them.
How is Jesus teaching us today? Is it through our life experiences, trials, and troubles? Is it through Bible study and worship services? Are we open to Jesus' instruction?
And what did the two travelers do after Jesus opened their eyes? "They got up and returned to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, and saying, `It is true! The Lord has risen .'" (Luke 24:33-34) They told their story to the Disciples. What will we do with the Good News of Jesus' Resurrection? Like the two men on the road to Emmaus, we should be eager to share the Good News of Jesus with others. It is the story of a new life, from the sacrificial death of our Lord and Savior.