Summary: This account tells us about the initial respond of the disciples to the death of Christ. These two disciples (maybe also the eleven disciples) had lost hope and fallen into pit of sadness and despair.


Luke 24:13-53

April 2006


This is one of the most beloved accounts of the resurrection story. It is an account of an experience of two disciples on the way to Emmaus. This event takes place hours after the resurrection. Who these disciples are, we don’t know definitely. The names are given, but to who they are, are hard to say because it is impossible to identify these names with the actual person. Cleopas is identified here. We do know the person who bore this name. He is the husband of sister of Virgin Mary. However, we don’t know if he is that Cleopas.

The name of the other, Simon, is sometimes lead to identify with Simon Peter. But this could hardly be the case. Because we are told that in the end of the incident, that when they return to Jerusalem the eleven gathered together in the upper room. Simon Peter certainly was one of the eleven. These disciples have gathered already there when these two disciples join them.

So, who are they we do not know.

This account tells us about the initial respond of the disciples to the death of Christ. These two disciples (maybe also the eleven disciples) had lost hope and fallen into pit of sadness and despair. As they walked and talked, a "stranger" approached them and asked about what they were discussing.

They continued by telling of the empty tomb and reports from some of the women disciples that He was alive (Luke 24:13-35). At the end of our text, the disciples’ fear has turned to boldness; their confusion to conviction; their troubled spirits to joy; their wallowing in self-pity and disappointment to worship.

Let us then now explore the text and see what truth and lessons we can learn from these disciples who after Christ death lost hope and fallen into sadness, but eventually transformed to an invincible force that turned the word up-side down.

Revealing Himself Through The Word (24:13-27)

A. Discouraged Disciples. The scene was that of a lonely walk by two disciples. Things were not going well for these two, at least they thought not. Their hopes, big hopes, had been dashed in pieces. What had been such a bright, promising prospect now lay in ashes as a ruined dream.

The two disciples left the band of apostles and the other disciples soon after Peter and John returned from the tomb, for the two disciples knew nothing of the appearance of Jesus to Mary Magdalene and the other women. It was “that same day” that the women discovered the empty tomb and reported it to the disciples. The news had been received with skepticism, as utter nonsense. These two disciples had either been present or else had heard the news from some other source.

As they made their way to Emmaus they were sad, gripped by a spirit of despair over the Lord’s crucifixion (24:18-21).Their hope that Jesus is a promise Messiah had been devastated, dashed against the rocks of death. They saw the Lord crucified. It is interesting isn’t it how their lost of joy and gladness is tied in their hope that He was the one who will redeem Israel. It must have been difficult to try to piece together the events of the last three days in some way so as to make sense of them.

Maybe they had these questions in mind: Why had the One who walked on water and calmed the sea not delivered Himself from death? His enemies had treated Him so badly, and had taunted Him to "come down from the cross." Why had He been so yielding? Why did He refuse to defend Himself at the trial against the lies? Why had He not appealed to Pilate when given every opportunity to do so? It almost seemed as if Pilate had wanted Him too, but He wouldn’t.

Now while they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked with them and joined in their conversation. Noticed verses 15-18: they did not recognize Jesus. His resurrected body differed enough that He was not recognized. Now Jesus wanted them to more freely discuss the events with Him.

• Question No.1: What are you talking about; what is it that is causing you to be sad? (vv.17)

• Question No.2: What things? What circumstances could possibly cause such sadness and despair? (vv. 19-24)

• Question no.3: “Did not the prophets predict Messiah’s death and resurrection?” (vv.25-27)

Cleopas was surprised that the stranger did not know what have been taking place. He answered Christ with rebuff, “Are you a stranger here”?

It is very interesting to take a note that Jerusalem’s population was swelled with pilgrims or “strangers” who made the journey to celebrate the Passover each year. Josephus, the Jewish historian, has written that during the Passover the population of the city frequently rose to more than three million people. Hence the explanation of the disciples on the road to Emmaus, by which they held Jesus to be a “stranger,” was a very natural one.

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