Summary: A message about two depressed, disappointed disciples and their encounter with Jesus on the Emmaus Road.
28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther.
29 But they constrained Him, saying, "Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent." And He went in to stay with them.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.
31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
32 And they said to one another, "Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?" (NKJ)
Earlier in the week from the setting of this scripture, Jesus had come into Jerusalem at the Triumphal Entry. He had ridden in, as we discussed last week, on a donkey--a symbol of a king, but also a symbol of peace and power under control.
The crowds shouted "Hosanna" which is translated as "Save us now", but the crowds by and large missed the point of the first coming of Jesus. They expected a conquering king to relieve the oppression of the Romans, and also expected the intitution of the Kingdom in a literal way. Instead, it was a "heart kingdom", where the hearts of those that would be saved would establish Jesus as a spiritual King instead of a ruling King. That would come when Jesus would return, at the second coming of Christ.
The crowds that earlier shouted Hosanna then shouted "Crucify Him!", on Good Friday. One disciple betrayed Him, another denied Him thrice, and all of the others fled and were not to be found with the exception of John.
Here was Jesus, the God-Man, who had, in the view of His followers, had gone from:
Messiah to martyr
Teacher to tortured
Prophet to persecuted
Leader to loser
I think that we have all had those times when all that we trusted in and believed in came crashing down. Perhaps it was a love interest that you had, and the relationship went up in smoke. Or it was a business relationship that went sour. Many know the misery of losing their pensions at the hands of mismanaged companies like Enron, Worldcom, Bear Stearns and others.
But there are also those stories of great triumph when it looked as though all was lost.
I remember a man that was a favorite client of mine from the East Finley area. His name was George. I had recieved a call and the bad news that George had passed away. He was one of my favorite clients, and was just a lovable old dairy farmer. A very good, gentle but manly kind of guy. The kind of guy that you would want as a friend.
I was to meet his wife at a farm nearby and I wondered all the while what I would say to his widow. I had no clue; I was only about twenty years old, and lost for words--yes, its true!
I arrived at this property, and when I got out of the car, it was George that came walking down from the barn to my car! I was so excited to see him! It turned out that the owner of the property had died, and he was helping the widow out with taking care of the insurance and other business. I didn't tell George until later that I thought he was actually dead, and he got a good laugh out of it. But he also knew how much I liked him, and I could see that by the look on his face.
This same thing happened on the road to Emmaus, and now lets look at that story as told by Dr. Luke.
II) Let's Talk About It...
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.
16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. (NKJ)
We can see that these "two" were not two of the "twelve", as we see later the name of one is Cleopas and they both went later in this story and met with the "eleven", the "twelve" less Judas that had betrayed Jesus.
I have found that sometimes it is the best thing to go for a walk or a run when you don't have the answers for a problem. The phone doesn't ring, the TV isnt on, no one to bother you. Studies show that walking or running stimulates the thought processes.