Journey into Joy Series — The Road to Emmaus

Number 5 in a devotional series using as a resource the book, Journey Into Joy, by Andrew Walker.

Scripture; Luke 24:13-35

What key questions and unusual observations did you note as you read the passage? 

What is the situation with the two disciples as they walked toward Emmaus before they meet Jesus?

How do we describe the walk with Jesus?

What might Jesus have talked about?

What happened when they reached Emmaus?

How was the walk back different?

What are their implications for understanding the passage?

What is the situation with the two disciples as they walked toward Emmaus before they meet Jesus?

The walk before Jesus.

               i) Why were they traveling?

                              (1) probably returning from Jerusalem after the feast of the Passover.

                              (2) many pilgrims came to the feasts

                              (3) stopped in the road when Jesus approached – I would say they showed the hesitance, the pause, the deliberately slower answer of  a grieving person.

               ii) What were they thinking?

                              (1) they were confused – couldn’t make sense of things

                                             (a) what they saw contradicted what they had expected.

                                                            (i) Cleopas tells their expectations.   They were expected a political savior and they were disappointed.

                                             (b) they were also recalling the events of the crucifixion

                              (2) they had partial information about the resurrection – they knew about the women seeing the empty tomb and reporting it and seeing the angels and reporting that they said he was alive.  They knew about Peter and John visiting the tomb and confirming what the women had said.  But they also knew that they had not seen the one thing that would truly change the picture; seeing Jesus alive. 


How do we describe the walk with Jesus?

The walk with Jesus

               iii) They were kept from recognizing him – probably divine action – Jesus wanted them to hear his teaching first.

              They listened as Jesus gently chided them for not understanding and believing and then he taught them from Scriptures.

               iv) afterward they would describe the walk – They remembered that their hearts burned within them

                              (1) there was power in his words

                              (2) Heb. 4:11 word of God living and active – exposes our intentions and our thoughts.

What might Jesus have talked about?

               v) He explained to them from the Scriptures

                              (1) beginning with Moses

                                             (a) Deut. 18:18 “I will put my words in his mouth”  – Hadn’t Jesus said (John 12:49) “the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.”

                                           (b) the early preaching of both Peter and Stephen reflected a strong emphasis upon the theme that Jesus was the prophet like Moses that had been promised. One cannot help but wonder if this early emphasis was not a reflection of Jesus’ teaching on the Emmaus Road. (Acts 3:22; Acts 7:37)

                              (2) and the prophets – possibilities

                                             (a) Isa 7:14 virgin will conceive – Immanuel

                                             (b) Micah 5:2 Bethlehem  – out of you will come one who will be ruler .

                                             (c)  for Palm Sunday Zech. 9:9 “your king comes to you righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey.”

                                             (d) His life Isa 61:1,2

                                             (e) Isa 53: 3 “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.”

                                             (f) Isa. 53:7-9 describes crucifixion events

                                             (g) Psalm 22:16-18 crucifixion scene

                                             (h) Isa 53:11  “After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied.”

                                             (i) Psalm 16:8-11 used by Peter on Pentecost “will not abandon me to the grave”

What happened when they reached Emmaus?

Dining with Jesus

               vi) He was courteous.  He did not invite himself in- he didn’t take advantage of their hospitality.

               vii) There was one surprise – he took the position of host. He broke the bread and gave the blessing

               viii) Then they recognized him in the breaking of the bread

               Then he was gone!

How was the walk back different?

The walk after Jesus.

               ix)immediate change

               x) renewed energy

               xi) renewed purpose

               xii)returned to tell the others of the living Christ.

What is the role/significance of this event/passage in the Gospel story?

The key role that displays in the Gospel of Luke is to describe the first appearance of Jesus after his resurrection in that gospel. These two were the first men to see Jesus.  They then reported it to the disciples, their second report of sightings of Jesus.

Second, this passage again shows the perplexity of the disciples. Far from being conspirators, they were genuinely grieving and universally disappointed and confused by the events of the last few days. 

The incident also shows how close disciple band was to dispersing.  In John’s record (21:3) we also learn that Peter was on the verge of going back to fishing despite resurrection appearances.   In this case and in that one, the risen Christ appears to gently shepherd his flock back together and guide them toward the Pentecost filling.   This certainly has a spiritual application. How long can we go without sensing Christ’s presence before we too begin to drift away?  This is why are devotional and worship life so crucial to our spiritual health.

What inspirational “take home” impressed me?

Applying the story to our lives

b) Let’s make some comparisons with our lives.

c) Our walk before Jesus

               i) Often we are confused by the circumstances of our lives.  Disappointments, suffering, unexpected losses all make us question the things we thought we knew

               ii) often we have partial knowledge of what is happening and are frustrated by that fact

               iii) Jeremiah 8:20 “the harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved – sometimes we feel like we have missed an opportunity.

              We can identify with these walking away.

 d) Our walk with Jesus

               i) He isn’t with us physically, so how does he come to us?

                              (1) Holy Spirit

                              (2) Word of God

                              (3) Witness of friends

               ii) We learn about his life, who he was and what he did.

                              (1)We learn that he died for our sins

                              (2) The calls to repentance and forgiveness are still going out in his name.  We still have the opportunity to believe in his resurrection.

e) Our dining with Jesus

               i) Then it’s up to us.  Will we invite him in? Or will we go on our way away from the feast unchanged?

               ii)Rev. 3:20

               iii) He doesn’t force himself on us.

f) Our walk after Jesus

               i) If we invite him in – the direction of our lives will change too. 

               ii) Jesus’ Holy Spirit changes us. 

                              (1) His presence affirms the reality of the living Christ

                              (2) His words give us new perspective on our dilemmas.

                              (3) We’ll have new joy

                                             (a)Poem part 4 of Parable on a Winter Brown Lawn

                              (4)We’ll also want to tell the story.  We’ll become witnesses of the change that comes from meeting Jesus

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