Summary: A pair of discouraged disciples left Jerusalem for their home in Emmaus. While going there, they met a Stranger Who walked with them and gave them something they weren't expecting!
Introduction: On Resurrection Day, the first day of the week, the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Mary Magdalene had seen and spoken with the Lord, and had shared this news with the other believers (John 20). As the day went on, a pair of disciples decided they would go back to their home at Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They met a Person on their journey that changed their lives forever!
1 The walk to Emmaus
Text, Luke 24:13-27, KJV: 13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. 16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. 17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? 18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. 21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. 22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; 23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. 24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. 25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: 26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
Luke tells how two of the disciples left Jerusalem, where they had apparently been staying, so they could go back to Emmaus. This village was about seven English miles from Jerusalem but the actual location is not known for certain now. At the very least, this news, that there were at least two followers of Jesus who didn’t live in or close to Jerusalem had to be an encouragement to the Eleven and the other disciples.
But these two, even though they had heard from Mary Magdalene and other women (Luke 24:1-12) that the tomb was empty, and even though Mary Magdalene had come back another time explaining the message from Jesus (John 20), and even though Peter and John may also have confirmed the tomb was empty, it was either not enough or too much for these two to believe. They decided, that at least for now, they would go back home to Emmaus.
While they went back, they were talking to each other about all that had happened. Certainly, having someone to talk with as you walk can make any journey seem better or even shorter. I remember, before receiving my driver’s license, walking to a friend’s house a mile or so from our family home. Walking down there wasn’t too bad, but walking back was not something I enjoyed doing! Having someone to walk with or talk with (or, I admit it, giving me a ride) would have been even better, in my opinion! Now multiply that by seven and it’s easy to see that having a friend or companion made the journey better than if either one had gone alone.
The two were walking along, discussing the recent events (Dr. A. T. Robertson mentioned in one of his works they were throwing ideas back and forth, so to speak) when, to their surprise, they discovered they weren’t alone. Someone they knew had come along, somewhere between Jerusalem and Emmaus, but they didn’t know just Who this Person was.
For now, that is. Jesus, now alive and risen from the dead, was walking along with them on their journey to Emmaus!
But they didn’t know it was Jesus. Luke records that the eyes of these two disciples were “holden” or prevented from recognizing Jesus as their Fellow-traveler. And they didn’t miss a beat, so to speak, when they heard this Stranger asking them a question.