Sunday 04 May 2014

Bible Book:

“Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.” (v. 35)

Luke 24:13-35 Sunday 4 May 2014


The account of the risen Jesus' encounter with two disciplesalong the road to Emmaus is among the most beloved of thepost-resurrection appearance stories. It has inspired countlesspieces of art (including one in the Methodist Modern Art Collection) andscholarly efforts to identify the location of the village. Luke'sGospel tells us that Emmaus was 60 stadia (about 7 miles) fromJerusalem. One might suggest it was approximately a two-hour walk.That would be enough time for an in-depth conversation. Althoughthe text tells us that Cleopas was one of the two travellers, we donot know the identity of the second. Artists have assumed it wasanother man. Some traditions hold that it was Luke himself, orperhaps another disciple called Simon (not Simon Peter). The personmight have been Cleopas' wife, who would have accompanied him toJerusalem for the holy days of Passover.

Luke's Gospel carefully unfolds the account. The content of theconversation matches the story's structure of unfolding revelation.The disciples first take Jesus to be a stranger and an uninformedone at that. When they tell him what happened during the precedingdays in Jerusalem, their new travelling companion begins tointerpret the Scriptures for them. He shows them that Jesus' deathis the fulfilment of prophecy. They begin to view him as a prophet,no longer a stranger. When they reach Emmaus near the end of theday, they invite their new friend to stay with them. At the mealJesus takes the role of the host, although it was not customary forthe guest to bless and break the bread. It is in this ratherintimate setting of blessing and bread that the disciples' eyes areopened. Their new friend is revealed as the Lord. The movement ofthe story reaches completion when the two disciples return toJerusalem to tell all they had learned and experienced. Those whomeet the risen Christ are filled with faith and share theirtestimony with others.

The story fits well within the broader purposes of Luke'sGospel. Among all of the Gospels, Luke is the one most directed tothe non-Jewish, Roman world. The Gospel is considered to be intenton spreading the good news of God's work in Jesus Christ fromJerusalem to Rome to the far reaches of the earth. And a key pointof the good news is that Jesus' death on the cross is not the endof the story. He has risen from the dead. He has appeared to hisdisciples at different times and in different places. They haveseen him (Luke 24:36), spoken with him (Luke24:38), touched him (Luke24:39), and even had meals with him (Luke24:41-43). Jesus death was not another pointless Romanexecution. God's purpose of reconciliation with the world isaccomplished in the suffering and resurrection of Christ. JesusChrist is now glorified by his crucifixion and resurrection fromthe dead.

To Ponder

  • Why do you think the disciples did not recognise Jesus on theroad?
  • What importance do you place on Jesus being revealed in thebreaking of bread?
  • How important to you is belief in Jesus' resurrection from thedead? 


Previous Page Saturday 17 May 2014
Next Page Monday 05 May 2014