Summary: What did the two men on the road to Emmaus think about the resurrection? They had the opportunity to meet the risen Christ. Is it not interesting that Luke has two unknown men meet the risen Christ first?
The Road to Emmaus
Rev. Dr. Michael H. Koplitz
Luke 24:13 And behold, atwo of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was 1about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But atheir eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 And He said to them, "What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?" And they stood still, looking sad. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, "Are You 1the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?" 19 And He said to them, "What things?" And they said to Him, "The things about aJesus the Nazarene, who was a bprophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our arulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. 21 "But we were hoping that it was He who was going to aredeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. 22 "But also some women among us amazed us. aWhen they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also 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 exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see." 25 And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that athe prophets have spoken! 26 "aWas it not necessary for the 1Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?" 27 Then beginning 1with aMoses and 1with all the bprophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Luke 24:28 And they approached the village where they were going, and aHe acted as though He were going farther. 29 But they urged Him, saying, "Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day 1is now nearly over." So He went in to stay with them. 30 When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and ablessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. 31 Then their aeyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from 1their sight. 32 They said to one another, "1Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He awas 2explaining the Scriptures to us?" 33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and afound gathered together the eleven and bthose who were with them, 34 saying, "aThe Lord has really risen and bhas appeared to Simon." 35 They began to relate 1their experiences on the road and how aHe was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
Several stories come to mind about Jesus' life. The stories that seem to stand out are the post-resurrection stories. They cling to our hearts because they are the living proof that Jesus did rise from the grave. If He did not appear to people after the resurrection, then His followers would have dispersed. What held the eleven apostles together after the crucifixion was the resurrection. I am sure that if I said, "Do you remember the Thomas story?" that all of you would say "yes." If I asked you about the Road to Emmaus story, everyone here this morning would tell me what happened. This particular story is the main story from the forty days that the resurrected Jesus was on Earth. The Emmaus story is an excellent example of the living Savior and will be for generations that follow us.
Who were these two men? There is little to no information about them except that they experienced the risen Christ. These two men may have never met Jesus face to face. However, they believed in His message. Christ coming to talk with them demonstrates that Jesus' mission is meant for all the people of the Earth. It also tells us that even though we may never meet Christ in our lifetime, He cares about us.
An interesting question for us to consider is, "Did the two men know about Christ's appearance?" Christ's first appearance, according to Luke's author, was the two men going to Emmaus. It would take about three hours to walk the three miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Since this is the first resurrection occurrence in Luke's Gospel, it can be assumed that this is the first appearance of the risen Christ. Therefore, according to Luke's author, the risen Christ did not appear to the eleven apostles nor the women at the tomb. Instead, the risen Christ appeared to these two "ordinary" men.