December 19 - Luke 24:13-24

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Luke 24:13-24 – The Road to Emmaus

This is the first of three post-resurrection appearances by Jesus in Luke’s gospel and Luke is the only one who fully tells this story. It occurs in four parts. The first beginning with the story of two travelers. Remember, according to Jewish law, a valid witness requires two people. Luke ensures that his readers understand this testimony is true. These men aren't two of the Eleven, they are more likely two Christ-followers who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover and were returning home.

Luke identifies the first man as Cleopas … a Greek name. This man may have been a converted Greek. There are some who think that the other man was Luke himself because of the details revealed, such as “And they stood still, looking sad” (Luke 24:17) and later in the passage, “They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?’” (Luke 24:32).

A man who was walking along with them and overheard them talking, seemed confused by their conversation regarding the events of the past days. This was astonishing. Not only did he seem unaware, but it was the topic of conversation for many. Jesus set them up to tell them about themselves and where their hearts lay. Their testimony begins the second part of this story.

Cleopas tells the stranger who was walking with them about how the leadership of the Jewish faith turned Jesus over to be death and then crucified him. He describes the concern that the hope of redemption for Israel was gone.

He told the stranger of the women who had reported the empty tomb to all of the believers, but they didn't know whether or not to believe that report. Hope had been stripped from them and they were desolate.