Summary: The story of this encounter, like our own journey of faith, may be viewed from three perspectives: 1) The need for understanding (Luke 24:13–24), 2) The source of understanding (Luke 24:25–27), and 3) The response to understanding (Luke 24:28–32).
There is a story of an Army Airborne ranger who was learning to parachute. The sergeant barked out the orders: 1. Jump when you are told to jump. 2. Count to ten, then pull the ripcord. 3. If the first chute doesn’t open, pull the second ripcord. 4. When you land, a truck will take you back to the post. When the plane got over the landing zone, the soldier jumped when it was his turn. He counted to ten, then pulled the ripcord. Nothing happened. He pulled the second ripcord. Nothing happened. “Oh great,” he complained to himself. I’ll bet the truck won’t be waiting for us, either.“( Rowell, E. K. (1996). Humor for preaching and teaching: from Leadership journal and Christian reader (p. 54). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.)
Disappointment is a reality of life. On our journey of life, things don’t often happen as we expect. In this His first post-resurrection appearance in Luke’s gospel, Jesus confronted two of His followers who were ignorant, filled with doubt, and confused. It was not that they did not believe the Scripture, but that their understanding of it was deficient—and a deficient knowledge of Scripture is insufficient and dangerous. Therefore Jesus opened the Old Testament Scripture to them and dispelled their darkness and confusion about Him with the light of truth. The story of this encounter, like our own journey of faith, may be viewed from three perspectives: 1) The need for understanding (Luke 24:13–24), 2) The source of understanding (Luke 24:25–27), and 3) The response to understanding (Luke 24:28–32).
1) The Need for Understanding (Luke 24:13–24)
Luke 24:13–24 13 That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. 17 And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. 18 Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. 21 But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” (ESV)