Summary: Today our focus is on two broken-hearted disciples who saw the Savior, and as a result, were never the same again.
This light bulb represents bright hope. It’s full of promising potential. But, like your heart, it’s also very fragile [drop bulb so it shatters].
We’ve all experienced the crash of unmet expectations. Some of us have been gouged by grief that won’t seem to go away. Many of us have been hit with a wide array of the “deadly Ds” – doubt, disappointment, depression, disillusionment, defeat, despair, and even death. All of these “Ds” were evident in the followers of Christ as they tried to deal with His departure.
During this series we want to go “beyond the tomb” and look at the appearances Jesus made to people after the resurrection. Today our focus is on two broken-hearted disciples who saw the Savior, and as a result, were never the same again. As we study the process they went through, we can get a better view of Jesus, and our lives can change as well.
1. Companionship. If you have your Bible with you, and I hope you’re in the practice of bringing it to church, please follow along as I read Luke 24:13-16: “Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.” That “same day” refers to Easter Sunday. It’s probably late in the afternoon and two followers of Christ are making their way home to a town called Emmaus, located about seven miles from Jerusalem. This is about how far away Bob and Linda Caughey’s house is from the church. That’s the distance from here to the Boys and Girls Club and back. These are two very ordinary people, just like you and me. We know the name of one guy is Cleopas from verse 18 but we don’t know anything about the other individual.
These two are enjoying the companionship of each other as they discussed everything that had happened during the past week. They were probably there on Palm Sunday when Jesus rode triumphantly into Jerusalem and no doubt were nearby when Jesus was sentenced to death and then crucified. As they are walking along the road, they are doing what Deuteronomy 6:6-7 challenges all of us to do: “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts…talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Notice that it says they talked about “everything” that happened. The phrase “talking with each other” is where we get the word “homiletics,” which means preaching.
As they communed together and questioned each other, they hear footsteps behind them, as Jesus joins their walk. That reminds me of the little boy who was asked by his mother if he knew the name of God’s Son. He replied, “Yes, it’s Andy.” The mother was a bit flustered and wanted to know where he picked that up. Her son answered, “I learned it in a song at Sunday School: ‘Andy walks with me. Andy talks with me.’”
Jesus walks with us when we’re wiped out, wounded, and worried. When Jesus strolled with these saints, we see the truth of Matthew 18:20 illustrated: “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” and John 14:18: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” They did not recognize Jesus, but He was there. Likewise, He is with us, even when we think He is far away.
Do you have a companion who will faithfully field your questions and help you process your doubts? While it’s good to have a friend like this, never forget that Jesus is closer to you than anyone else will ever be. Proverbs 18:24: “A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” And when you go through the dreaded “Ds” you can claim the promise of Isaiah 43:2: “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you…”
2. Conversation. As Jesus walks with them, He also talks to them by asking two questions to get them to open up. The first question is found in verse 17: “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” This stops them in their tracks; literally, as we read they “stood still, their faces downcast.” As their feet falter, their faces fall. They’re sad because they are in sorrow about their Savior. In their minds, He is gone, and all their hopes with Him. Cleopas can’t believe that their walking partner does not know about what has happened in Jerusalem: “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”