In the cool of the day two men from Emmaus were returning from Jerusalem. They had a seven mile journey ahead of them and plenty to talk about. Unrest was at an all-time high amongst the believers. Rumors were being spread, seeds of doubt and confusion were sprouting and fear of the unknown was overwhelming the disciples. Cleopas and his friend, (who many bible scholars believe to be the narrator of the incident, Luke), had a long day, hearing different version of the events. The disciples claiming that Jesus had risen and the Chief Priests claiming that the disciples had stolen Jesus’ body. I can only imagine how tiring that day would have been for the disciples both mentally and physically.
While they were still talking about the events and discussing what all they heard as they returned to the village of Emmaus, when Suddenly A Man appears to them and seemed to be going their way. He asks them what is all the commotion about. To which Cleopas answers in sarcasm, “Is this your First visit to Jerusalem” . He could have very well said that, “Have you been hiding under a Rock for the past 3 years.” Such was the degree of Christ’s movements a common knowledge in those days. Jesus Himself was the stranger that they were walking with, but He kept them from recognizing Him.
“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. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but 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. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” – Luke 24:19-24
Their narration of the events showed their lack of faith. The man they had followed and believed to be the Messiah was now just a ‘Prophet’ to them. Their faith is shaken to the extent that they found it hard to believe that some of the disciples had seen Jesus earlier that day. It took just 3 days for them to forget all what Jesus had been telling them for the past 3 years. Can we put ourselves in their shoes, amongst all the turmoil, and ascertain that our faith would not have wavered? Jesus knows our shortcomings. He knew the state of confusion his disciples were in and chose to appear amongst them.
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. – Luke 24:24-27
He opened the scriptures to them one last time. From Moses to the Psalmist to the Prophet Hosea, He listed out all the prophesies that were made regarding Christ’s sufferings and his resurrection. He was explaining to them what all these prophesies meant while they stood in awe of his knowledge of the scriptures. Roughly, a journey of seven miles would take an hour to cover. Oh what an hour of fellowship they had with Christ. They had no idea that they were in the company of Jesus. To them he was a wise man who knew the scriptures thoroughly.
When they had reached the village they invited Jesus to their house for supper. At the table when Jesus broke bread in the familiar way, immediately the two men recognized Him but He disappeared from their presence. The men rushed back to Jerusalem and found ‘The Eleven’ and told them all that had happened. It was the reassurance they all needed after a day full of panic. Why Jesus chose to appear to these men on that road is not known, neither are any further acts of these two men mentioned in the New Testament. But on that evening they provided a beacon of hope to all the believers then and now.