The Road to the Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)
This week we conclude a 3-week series focusing on the Easter season, specifically the roads Jesus traveled before, during, and after his death and resurrection: the road to Jerusalem, the road to the Cross, and the road to Emmaus.
Two disciples of Jesus are on their way to the town of Emmaus, approximately 7 miles outside of Jerusalem. Having just received word of the empty tomb, the two travelers attempt to process the significance of these amazing events when Jesus himself joins them on the road. Luke records that “their eyes were kept from recognizing him” (24:16), so they engage with Jesus in a conversation about the things Jesus had accomplished in the last week (how ironic that the disciples were telling Jesus about Jesus.) That evening, when Jesus blessed the bread at dinner, they finally recognized him for who he was- their risen Messiah and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We began this series by admitting that we have a tendency to respond critically to the followers of Jesus because they seemed to be oblivious to his teaching and his plan. That same sentiment can exist in this passage as well- how did these two not recognize Jesus? Were they overwhelmed with the news of Jesus’ resurrection? Did God use a supernatural “cloaking device”? Or were they just that ignorant? Whatever the method, the disciples’ lack of awareness is not unique to their experience with Jesus. All of us have been guilty at one time or another of not recognizing Jesus’ presence in our lives. We easily get so caught up in the business and activity of our lives we miss seeing that Jesus is in the middle of all of it!
Do I really live with a recognition and awareness of Jesus’ presence in my life?
- Try to place yourself in the shoes (or sandals) of these two disciples. How would you handle this encounter with Jesus? How would it change you?
- Twice in chapter 24, Luke emphasizes the connection between Jesus and the Old Testament (24:27, 24:44). Why is this so important? What is the significance of these statements?
- Can you recall times in your life when you lost sight of Jesus’ presence? What could you learn from those circumstances? How might a more consistent awareness of Jesus affect your life going forward?