Summary: Through the narrative of the Emmaus Walk, Luke summarizes His Gospel - 1. Jesus has Risen from the Dead ( Life is now different) 2. Jesus Is Here In Our Midst (through His Holy Spirit)
Scripture: Luke 24:13-39
Title: Soul Walking
Proposition: Through the narrative of the Emmaus Walk, Luke summarizes His Gospel - 1. Jesus has Risen from the Dead ( Life is now different) 2. Jesus Is Here In Our Midst (through His Holy Spirit)
Grace and peace from God our Father and from His Son Jesus Christ who came to take away the sin of the world!
Doctors, therapists, life coaches and even business advisors all agree that one of the best things that any of us can do to become healthier, more creative and more productive is to go on a daily walk. Down throughout history some of the greatest thinkers, writers and inventors have been known for their passion to simply go "walking". Albert Einstein was famous for taking leisurely walks along the beach to clear his mind and to reenergize his creative juices. Steve Jobs used walking not only as a means to problem solve but as a way to engage in purposeful conversations with potential business partners. Charles Dickens became famous for his 20 - 30 mile hikes as he would play out in his mind his next story or novel. Beethoven discovered that when he would take long walks it would allow the music to rise out the inner most parts of his soul.
Our writer this morning, St. Luke is famous for the way he uses the role of walking and traveling to share the fundamental truths of the Gospel of Jesus. Much of his Gospel from chapter nine onward centers around Jesus walking towards Jerusalem. Along the way Jesus shares with us some of the greatest stories ever told - The Parable of the Good Samaritan, The Parable of the Lost Sheep and the Prodigal Son, The Pharisee and the Tax Collector and Zacchaeus to name a few. Each of these parables and stories Luke tells us took place as Jesus walked that final time towards Jerusalem and Calvary.
Today's Gospel lesson is a travel story. It is a story about two people walking away from Jerusalem towards the village of Emmaus. It's a story about confusion, doubt and uncertainty. It's a story about disappointment and disillusionment. But, it's also a story about faith and reality. It's a story about God's Word, new revelation and new insights. It's a story about hospitality and the power of breaking bread. It's a story about evangelism and the mankind being rescued, redeemed and restored into God's Image. Most importantly it is a story all about our Savior and Lord - Jesus Christ.
It is easy to read this story and get caught up in all the side issues that are going on. Luke paints for us this wonderful picture of conversation, confusion, confession, confrontation, conversion and commitment. It's easy to read this story and find ourselves focusing on all the little things and forgetting the major thing. We find ourselves getting caught up in these two men's stories as they traveled down the Emmaus Way. We find ourselves walking beside them listening and sharing their confusion, frustration, cynicism and grief.
But, we also find ourselves wanting to shout out to them to OPEN THEIR EYES, OPEN THEIR EARS and OPEN THEIR HEARTS. We want them to take a moment and stop and look at this stranger who is walking with them. We don't understand why they can't see that it is Jesus - the Risen Lord. We don't understand when Jesus begins to share with them all those Old Testament passages why they didn't stop and ask Him how it is that He knows so much about the Messiah and the Old Testament? We don't understand how they can be so dense when for the past few miles walking right beside them is none other than the Risen Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
And of course we rejoice when the ask Jesus to stay with them. We rejoice when they allow Jesus to take center stage and bless and break the bread. We rejoice when finally their eyes are opened and they understand that for the past few hours they have been walking, talking and sharing sacred space with the Risen Lord. We rejoice as they get up and this time instead of walking away from Jerusalem they get back to Jerusalem as soon as possible to share the Good News of Jesus' Resurrection.
So, why does Luke share this travel story with us? After all, this Emmaus story makes up approx. 1/2 of Luke's Resurrection Narratives. It involves two men of whom we only have one of their names and even then we do not know Cleopas from any other Biblical reference. Some have speculated all kinds of things from Cleopas being a relative of Jesus by way of his adopted father Joseph to being one of the "Seventy" (Luke 10:1) or the "120" (Acts 1:21) that had followed Jesus over the last 3 1/2 years.