Let’s Take A Walk
Scripture: Luke 24:13-34
Let’s begin by taking a look at the Word of God and ask Him to help us receive understanding today. The two of them were discussing, “all of these things”. They were on that very day, that is the day of the resurrection, travelling to Emmaus a village about seven miles west from Jerusalem. The distance may have taken them half a day to travel and afforded them several hours of conversation on their way. They were probably headed home talking about all the things that had occurred "these things" and related phrases and are key terms in the story, concerning Jesus passion and death.
It is immediately apparent to the reader that the One, who joined these two travellers was Jesus, but they were prevented from recognizing him. The idea that, "they were kept from recognizing", is the divine idea that is God kept them from recognizing Jesus.
Jesus’ question, “what were you just talking about”, stopped them in their tracks and they stood still.
How could this man not know what they were talking about? The question was so direct, it caused them to think of why these things had happened and have been the topic of the conversation and that made them sad.” 1 (The Moody Bible Commentary, Editors: Rydelnik, Michael; Vanlaningham, Michael. Moody Publishers. 2014.)
I wonder if we have ever had an encounter with Jesus, where He questions perhaps our faith, or why we live, not according to the Father’s standard, or why we aren’t serving and using our gifts for His glory…. Does it make us sad?
It is interesting that Cleopas – is the only one that is named as he answered with disbelief ...." Are you the only one unaware of these things?" He of course, was speaking of the recent events in the city and the two men were surprised that he could have missed so shocking an event as Jesus death. The strange question.... what things?
“His identity Jesus the Nazarene; His calling a prophet; His work mighty in deed and word; His reputation in the sight of God and all people; His rejection the chief priest and our rulers delivered him his death; sentence of death and crucified Him and their disappointment over what they had thought was His mission (which it was) He was going to redeem Israel. And in addition to this, they related to recent events, it was the third day since these things and they had received a report from the women about the empty tomb, not containing Jesus body and a visitation of angels who said, that "He was alive!" Even more, some of the leaders had checked the tomb and they did not see Him this major historical account was complete, but by itself it was not convincing.” 2 The Moody Bible Commentary, Editors: Rydelnik, Michael; Vanlaningham, Michael. Moody Publishers. 2014.)
For us today, the historical account of Jesus is very clear. There is historical evidence that supports that Jesus lived; that He was crucified; that He provided miracles; that He died and that He rose again, yet some still do not believe. Surprisingly, at this point Jesus still hearing them, rebuked them for their silly unbelief "oh foolish man slow of heart to believe". Yes, they should have understood this history in the light of the predictions of the Scriptures, they would've known what the Old Testament Word proclaimed and prophesied. So, Jesus pointed out to them that all of these things were necessary and He thus patiently took them through the whole of the Scriptures. Moses and with all the prophets and explained the things the theology that was about Himself, that they should have understood.
We too should see and understand today, for the same evidence and more is available to us. Yet, many today still do not believe in Jesus’ true identity, as the Son of the Living God. We see that it was at this dinner, when He prayed for and began to hand out the bread that, "their eyes were opened and they recognized him". It’s important we understand that it was their spiritual eyes that "were opened", here their physical sight was replaced, with spiritual revelation. The impact of this encounter with Jesus on the two was intense from "foolish hearts" of unbelief to, “burning hearts" of understanding and faith.
Where is our heart today? Is it a foolish heart of unbelief or does our heart burn with understanding and faith, of who Jesus is and what He has done for us! Bless the Lord, this is what happens when our hearts burn; you see even though the two had just come from Jerusalem and the hour was late, their excitement; their burning hearts, caused them to return that very hour, to the city and found the eleven disciples and reported it there and counter to the others. How excited are we about sharing our encounter with Jesus with others today? Do we share it with anyone or keep it to yourself?
The road from Jerusalem to Emmaus was the road, between the present (and what they knew to be) and what was to be, that would involve times of uncertainty. Like the disciples, we today experience times spiritually, where we are placed in a position - where human beings hate to be, in the unknown, where the Eternal God is always leading us.
There is a place of transition in regards to our walk of faith with Jesus, when we move from physical sight to spiritual sight. This Spiritual sight allows us to truly trust in God with a faith that is steadfast and sure. It is the disciples on the Emmaus Road who are, between the life they had known under the leadership of their Master, Jesus and whatever was to come next. Something new and wonderful was in the works, but who knew?
The encounter that took place between Jesus and these two disciples was completely focus changing and life changing. Transforming and the same transformative experience is available to us today. For me, this is the nature of the Christian community today. As the two walked together with Jesus, we must also walk together, with God as our guide. For, once Jesus joins us on the road, it becomes a Christian community. As we discover ways to open to Jesus’ transforming presence on the road, between the present and the what will be, it becomes a transforming community of faith!