What Would You Say?

13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened.

Jesus was dead. They crucified him. What a horrific weekend. And now, the tomb where he was buried is empty. They took him. There is nothing left accept to return home, the long 2-3 hour walk home. Two of Jesus’ followers are walking home, talking about all that happened over the past few days. Jesus coming into Jerusalem – what a grand celebration! It was full of hope and expectation. Then there were ugly confrontations with religious leaders, and the word of his arrest and finally they crucified him. Hope is gone, expectations shattered, but as they walked and talked, there were still moments of recollecting his style of teaching, they had never heard anything like it. And his miracles, the way he touched people and healed them, and the people he touched. Nobody accepted everyone the way Jesus did. We thought, surely he’s the one…

15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him

Without even noticing, a man begins walking with them, inquiring what they are talking about, leading them to believe he didn’t know what had just happened in Jerusalem. So they filled him in. The fellow traveler listened quietly and patiently. When they finish telling the sad story, the traveler calls them out – didn’t they know that all this was predicted in the Scriptures! How foolish! They come to a fork in the road. Maybe the conversation had come to an awkward pause, the couple confused in their grief and intrigued by the traveler’s perspective. After all, this man obviously wasn’t a follower of Jesus. The traveler acts as if he will continue on, but the couple invite him into their home, it’s the end of the day.

28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!

It wasn’t his appearance, it wasn’t the conversation, it wasn’t even the explanation of Scripture, but in the breaking of the bread and giving it to them that their eyes were opened. In an instant they recognize him and before they could catch their breath he is gone! Jesus! Jesus walked with them! Jesus was in their home! Jesus gave them bread! Jesus is alive!

32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” 33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem.

They began their walk home disappointed, disillusioned, discouraged. They talked about what had happened and shared the walk with a stranger, but in an instant, one quick glimpse of Jesus and it all made sense. It is the end of the day, getting dark, yet within the hour these disciples are back on the road, another 2-3 hour journey back to Jerusalem – why? To share the good news that their rabbi is alive, just as he said!

Rome is still in control. The religious leaders are still angry about Jesus although satisfied that they got rid of Jesus, but silently concerned behind closed doors that his body is missing. The disciples are afraid, knowing that the religious leaders could come after them next. So much has not changed and at the same time so much has.

If you were this couple and Jesus didn’t instantly disappear when you recognized him, what would you want to say to Jesus? What do you think Jesus might want to say to you?

What difference does the resurrection of Jesus make in your normal everyday life? While your life situation may be the same, what has changed? Who are you compelled to tell?

Excerpts taken from Luke 24:13-42 NLT

Linda Waldo
Spiritual Formation Pastor| New Covenant Church