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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


14. The Disciples Going to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)

LUKE 24:13-24
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. 17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” 18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain 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.”

Two of Jesus’ followers were going from Jerusalem to their village, which was three hours journey from the capital. Sadness plainly appeared in their countenances as they left the city, fleeing away from the terrible scene of the crucifixion of Jesus, whom they loved faithfully.

While they talked about the details of this painful event, he who was raised from the dead drew near to them in the form of a stranger, for he had already said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” When you speak with a friend about Jesus, your Lord is the third person present. Would that our sayings be centered on Jesus, that we may experience the presence of the Son of God in our hopeless world. Believers do not often see and sense Jesus, for faith does not signify seeing, but wholehearted trust in the Living One.

Jesus, who is the great Teacher, did not talk much about himself at first, nor did he direct his advice to them, but prompted them by his question to talk and empty their hearts, that their faith might appear. So they testified that the whole capital knew the things which happened. The leaders were determined to keep the news of Jesus’ crucifixion a secret, but it spread about from house to house and from one alley to another.

The people believed that Jesus was a great Prophet empowered by God, gifted with incredible words, who performed mighty miracles unlike any other prophet before or after him. Thus those disciples who believed in Christ did not recognize the truth, which was also not recognized by Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin about Jesus’ true nature. But they suffered with many of the Nazarene’s followers, because the hatred and envy of their leaders had resulted in condemning the Son of God. They delivered him into the hands of pagans to put him to death. They considered this behavior a double shame and a great sin. In their talk they thought of him who was crucified, how he was hanged between heaven and earth, suffering until he died. They were dismayed by men’s malice toward Christ, who made apparent the love of God.

His followers hoped Jesus would deliver his nation from the occupying power, establishing among them righteousness, truth and justice, that their people might be healed in their innermost being, and a source of charity to the people of the world, and Jerusalem a center of peace out of which rays of love would spread to all continents. This was and is still the hope of Jewish teachers with respect to Christ even today.

Out of all these truths and sayings, a strange word which Jesus had said, prevailed in their minds about the “third day”. They did not know exactly what the third day signified, and had remained until the afternoon of that day in Jerusalem to see if a coup or overthrow would be made by Christ, his angels, and the just who are asleep, for the resurrection of the dead is a sign of Christ’s second coming.

But no political overthrow happened. There was no other miracle than that which the women told the disciples about, when they did not find the body and the angel told them Christ was alive. Then the men became confused, and wondered: “Is this the beginning of the kingdom of God? Did it begin without us? What do we have to do? It is impossible for the Lord Jesus to leave those who are faithful to him waiting and idle and then commission through his angel weak women.

At that some of the disciples ran to the empty tomb seeking the truth, and hoping to meet him who was raised alive. Yes, the tomb was empty, but they did not find Jesus there. So they were disappointed and went back. Now, the third day almost ended and nothing strange happened, nor did the Prince of life appear.

They spoke to Jesus about those events confusedly and resentfully, not knowing who he was. Yet Jesus endured with love and patience the blindness of his faithful followers, for all his deeds and words of love even on the cross did not help them to recognize his glory, for they had not yet received the Holy Spirit. Thus their eyes were covered and withheld.

Are you surprised that your relatives and friends do not know that Jesus is Lord? The disciples who were for long months with the Lord, day and night, and saw his glory in his humility, truth and love, did not recognize him. So be patient in all your preaching. We need his company, his guidance, his comfort, his teaching, his involvement in our minds, his filling us with his Spirit, and his converting and sanctifying our hearts so that we understand who he is, and what he does. Then we may confess humbly: “I recognize that I cannot believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord, by myself or by my own power, nor can I come to him by my own ability, except by the Holy Spirit who called me in the Gospel, enlightened me with his love, sanctified me with his gifts, and is keeping me in his grace. No one can say that Christ is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

PRAYER: O Lord, I am spiritually blind. Open my eyes, my heart, and my mind to a living faith, that I may trust in your presence with me at this moment. Do not leave me alone, for you accompany all those who speak about you in faith and confidence. Fill the hearts of those who long for you with your peace, and establish in them true faith in the power of your Holy Spirit.

QUESTION 144: Why did Jesus listen for a long time with patience to his two disciples?


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