Summary: Sometimes, life feels much like that Friday when Jesus died and was laid in the tomb. We feel Discouraged, Doubt, Disappointment! But as Tony Compolo says: ...... "It's Friday, ... but Sunday's a comin'"!
For those not familiar with an Anglican Service there are four Scriptures read prior to the Message. The assigned readings for today are: Acts 2: 36-41; Psalm 116:1-3,10-17; 1 Peter 1:17-23 and Luke 24:13-35.
Only Luke records the story.
Not a word from Matthew, or Mark, or John.
And after reading it, ... the story leaves us ... with more questions ... than answers.
Yet, as I studied the story of the Emmaus Road ..., I sensed ... that I was walking on ... holy ground!
The story that I'm referring to is our Gospel text ... shared by Luke.
BIBLE "Now that ... same day ... two of them ... were going to a village called Emmaus, ... about seven miles from Jerusalem." END
What ... "same day" ... is Dr. Luke referring to?
Looking back to the beginning of the Chapter.
That same day ... is the day that Christians call ...... "Easter Sunday."
As we know .... Jesus was crucified on Friday.
That "Same Day" .... Luke speaks of ... was the day that the stone sealing the tomb ... was rolled away.
Two angels share the glorious news, earlier that "Same Day" ... Remember their words: BIBLE "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!" END (Luke 24:5-6)
It is ... "that same day", ... according to Luke, ... that ... "two of them" ... were going to a village called Emmaus."
Who does the "Two of them" refer?
Well, according to Luke ... the women who heard this glorious testimony from the angels ... gave a report Quote ... "to the Eleven ... and to all the others." Luke 24:9
Beloved ... Jesus had many more disciples ... than just the Twelve.
Luke records, ... at the beginning of the book of Acts, ... that there were about 120 followers of Jesus.
The two walking on the road to Emmaus were ... "two of them."
They were ... Two disciples ... of Jesus.
One of these disciples is identified in our text as: ...Cleopas (Clee-o-pus).
Who was this ... Cleopas?
Eusebius, ... a Bishop ... and an early 4th century scholar ... was convinced that Cleopos was the brother of Jesus earthy father Joseph, ... and therefore ... the uncle of Jesus.
Some are also convinced that ... Cleopas is the same as the Clopas ... mentioned by John.
In John's Gospel, we read, BIBLE "Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, ... his mother's sister, ... Mary the wife of Clopas, ... and Mary Magdalene." END John 19:25
If Cleopas and Clopas ...... are one and the same, ... then Cleopas' wife ... was one of the holy women ... who followed Jesus.
She was present at the cross ... with Mary the mother of Jesus, ... with Mary's sister, ... and with Mary Magdalene.
She may also have been among the group of women at the tomb ... who heard the glorious report from the angels, .... "He is not here! He is risen!"
That conclusion seems to be supported by a comment that Cleopas makes later in our text when he says:
BIBLE "some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn't find his body. They came and told us ... that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive." END Luke 24:22
Perhaps you are wondering about the other unnamed disciple... with Cleopas.
Who was he?
Well We do not really know.
Some have suggested that this was Matthias, ... the one who would later become the replacement for Judas, ... one of the Twelve
But Dr. Luke does not provide that information.
Yet ...There is one interesting piece of information that Luke does provide.
In our text, these two disciples strongly urged him: "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." Luke 24:29
What can we learn from that comment?
They say ... Stay with ... us?
Perhaps these two disciples were related.
That is certainly possible.
Much Like the related brothers, Peter and Andrew. ......Or James and John.
Perhaps this was Cleopas and this brother.
Or perhaps this was a father and son.
Apparently, ... they are staying in the same house ... and they are both disciples ... of Jesus.
The truth is, "We really don't know very much about these two individuals.
Cleopas could be Clopas, but we're not sure.
We don't know the identity of the other disciple.
And Emmaus ... Where is Emmaus?"
Unfortunately, we don't know that either!
Emmaus was not a city with walls, like Bethlehem or Jerusalem.
Emmaus is referred to in the Greek ... as a village, ... a small settlement.
And this is the only place in Scripture ... that Emmaus is mentioned.