James Tissot, detail from
"Pilgrims on the Road to Emmaus" (1884-1896),
watercolor on gray wove paper, Brooklyn Museum.
Two followers of Jesus were heading to a village called Emmaus. It was about 7.5 miles from Jerusalem. The average person could do that in a couple hours. These two guys are talking about all that has gone on. They were trying to make sense of all that happened. Jesus was supposed to be the one who redeemed Israel but then there was the trial, the beating, His death…and now the report that He was no longer in the grave. You get a sense in this passage that these guys were confused, disappointed and discouraged. They were caught up in all that was going on. This was probably not a fun road trip for them.
In the midst of their conversation, Jesus drew near and began to walk with them. Not recognizing Him, He asked what they were discussing that caused them such sadness. The traveler named Cleopas basically asked where Jesus had been not to know what has been happening the last few days. They unload their thoughts and feelings on Jesus. Again, they were so caught up in what was going on, they did not recognize that Jesus was right there in their midst.
Jesus points out their lack of understanding and begins to unpack the Scriptures from Moses through the prophets. All the verses that talk about Jesus, He himself explained to these two weary travelers.
As it was getting late, they begged Him to come in and rest with them. As they shared a meal, Jesus broke bread, blessed it and gave it to them. They’re eyes were opened and Jesus vanished before their eyes.
They admitted that their hearts burned within them as Jesus expounded on the Word. These two then made a beeline right back to Jerusalem to tell the apostles all that had happened.
I love this passage of Scripture. So much Jesus could have done but one of the first things he did was go talk to these two discouraged followers. I believe He had compassion and love for them. Today, we also experience times of discouragement. We get overwhelmed by our circumstances and we don’t always see Jesus in our midst.
The road to Emmaus was filled with confusion, yet Jesus walked with them, unrecognized for a time. He was with them in their darkest hour, taught them, and finally they saw the light! They had to tell people.
Are you on the road to Emmaus? Discouraged, confused! Look up….your redemption draws near. Jesus is there on the road with you….wanting to show you the Way the Truth and the Life!