Day 34 – Weary Travelers
Luke 24:13-27(CEV) That same day two of Jesus’ disciples were going to the village of Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they were talking and thinking about what had happened, 15 Jesus came near and started walking along beside them. 16 But they did not know who he was. 17 Jesus asked them, “What were you talking about as you walked along?” 18 The two of them stood there looking sad and gloomy. Then the one named Cleopas asked Jesus, “Are you the only person from Jerusalem who didn’t know what was happening there these last few days?”19 “What do you mean?” Jesus asked. They answered: Those things that happened to Jesus from Nazareth. By what he did and said he showed that he was a powerful prophet, who pleased God and all the people. 20 Then the chief priests and our leaders had him arrested and sentenced to die on a cross. 21 We had hoped that he would be the one to set Israel free! But it has already been three days since all this happened. 22 Some women in our group surprised us. They had gone to the tomb early in the morning, 23 but did not find the body of Jesus. They came back, saying that they had seen a vision of angels who told them that he is alive. 24 Some men from our group went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said. But they didn’t see Jesus either. 25 Then Jesus asked the two disciples, “Why can’t you understand? How can you be so slow to believe all that the prophets said? 26 Didn’t you know that the Messiah would have to suffer before he was given his glory?” 27 Jesus then explained everything written about himself in the Scriptures, beginning with the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets.
We know that there is nothing random about the way that God works. God is perfectly purposeful in all that He says and all that He does. That’s why Isaiah writes; “Just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” God’s thoughts are not just simply better, they are simply perfect. God’s ways don’t necessarily follow our logic or our conclusion. Just pay attention to all that was unfolding on resurrection day and it becomes perfectly clear. Jesus appeared to the women and we know later the same day to Peter (Lk. 24:34). We see in Luke that two of Jesus’ disciples are going back to Emmaus. We know the name of the one disciple, Cleopas, but we are not sure of the other one.
The name Cleopas is a Greek name, though it was probably used as an equivalent to the Semitic form “Clopas.” We see Clopas identified as the husband of one of the Marys at the cross. John 19:25(NLT) Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene. So, it could be that Jesus’ appearance on the road to Emmaus is to Clopas, also known as Cleopas. The pressure of the last week has been crushing for all of Jesus’ disciples. Cleopas and his companion are in deep discussion about was has taken place. The sadness is visible on their faces. The confusion evident and the discussion rigorous. We know they were in deep discussion, because Jesus kind of quietly shows up and starts walking with them. They don’t recognize Him. So, Jesus initiates the conversation as we have seen Him do so many times in His life and ministry.
He starts by asking a question. “What were you talking about?” They suddenly stop and just stood there with grim faces. Cleopas seems completely taken by surprise and offers up an answer in the form of his own question. Where were you, stranger? I mean are you the only person in Jerusalem that doesn’t know what has been going on? Were you in a cave somewhere? (No a tomb) Then Jesus answers as only Jesus can, in the form of another question (by the way, this always annoyed the religious leaders). “What do you mean?” Cleopas then begins to explain and refers to Jesus as a prophet and says these words; “We had hoped that he would be the one to set Israel free! But it has already been three days since all this happened.” All this stuff happened, and now our hope is dashed. To make matters worse, life is still moving on, this all happened three days ago. Some of our women claimed to see a vision of angels, and that Jesus was alive. Some of our men went and checked it out, and they did not see Jesus’ body. So now we are going home. It’s over for us. Our hopes dashed. Our women confused. Our prophet’s body missing. The Sabbath is over and we have to get back to reality.
Then Jesus asks them: “Why can’t you understand? How can you be so slow to believe all that the prophets said? 26 Didn’t you know that the Messiah would have to suffer before he was given his glory?” 27 Jesus then explained everything written about himself in the Scriptures, beginning with the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets.
What is hindering you from grasping what was written down for you? How can you not put this together? Jesus expects his disciples to believe what is prophesied about Him. He also expects them to believe the witnesses He sent. Clopas, your wife came and told you that Jesus was resurrected, but you still did not believe. Mary was obviously at the cross and the tomb. Mary told her husband Clopas what happened, and he still did not believe and went home anyway. No wonder Jesus rebukes them and says to them, you are basically spiritually blind! Then Jesus begins to explain everything that was written about Him. I can see their mouths wide open listening to what Jesus said. Imagine Jesus talking about how He is concealed in the tabernacle of Moses. Can you feel the intensity of the Lamb of God explaining how the lambs of the Exodus point to Him? Can you hear Him talk about the suffering Servant of Isaiah? Imagine Him explaining the Psalms that are written about Him. Suddenly time stood still. Sorrow is abated. Grieving hearts turn to burning hearts. It’s Jesus, talking about Jesus. It is the Living Word explaining the written Word.
Luke 24:28-31(CEV) When the two of them came near the village where they were going, Jesus seemed to be going farther. 29 They begged him, “Stay with us! It’s already late, and the sun is going down.” So Jesus went into the house to stay with them. The heaviness of the earlier walk turns into delight. They realized they are close to home. Jesus indicates that He is traveling further. But suddenly this stranger that was asked, are you the only one in Jerusalem that has no clue, is begged to stay a little longer. So Jesus goes into the house to be their guest. Somebody must have been making food, because Jesus sits down to eat. In that moment, the Guest becomes the Host. 30 After Jesus sat down to eat, he took some bread. He blessed it and broke it. Then he gave it to them. 31 At once they knew who he was, but he disappeared. Jesus took some bread. He blessed it and broke it and gave it. Then they knew! Then He disappears. Jesus is revealed in the breaking of the bread.
The moment they knew, the moment they had a revelation, they immediately changed course and headed straight back to Jerusalem. Suddenly these disciples that were filled with fear moments before are now filled with energy. The same darkness they wanted a stranger to avoid, is the same darkness they are now willing to confront. When Jesus is revealed, there is life. There is hope. There is confidence. Luke 24:32-35(CEV) They said to each other, “When he talked with us along the road and explained the Scriptures to us, didn’t it warm our hearts?” 33 So they got right up and returned to Jerusalem. The two disciples found the eleven apostles and the others gathered together. 34 And they learned from the group that the Lord was really alive and had appeared to Peter. 35 Then the disciples from Emmaus told what happened on the road and how they knew he was the Lord when he broke the bread.
There is power in the breaking of the bread. 1 Corinthians 11:23-24(NLT) For I pass on to you what I received from the Lord himself. On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread 24 and gave thanks to God for it. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
If your heart is heavy and burdened with the gloom of the day, if you are getting tired of the news of the day, if you are exhausted by all that has been happening around you, then listen to these two weary travelers. Take a moment with Jesus. Take a walk with Jesus. Let Jesus speak His words to you. Invite Jesus into your home. Let Him sit at the table. Then turn it all over to Him. Let Jesus become the Host instead of the guest. Let Him remind you that life is about Him. Let His words burn within your heart. Break bread with Him. In breaking bread with Him, you will see Him for Who He truly is and you will know He is enough. Jesus will turn your weariness into gladness. Invite Him to your table…
- Take a moment and write down all the things that you are worried about. Take that piece of paper hold it in your hand, pray over it and cast every one of those worries onto the Lord. Then tear it up and through it away.
- Thank the Lord for His word and pray this over your life. Psalm 33:18-22(NLT) But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love. 19 He rescues them from death and keeps them alive in times of famine. 20 We put our hope in the Lord. He is our help and our shield. 21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. 22 Let your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in you alone.
- Pray and invite the Holy Spirit to come and refresh your soul. Take a moment and just simply be still in His presence.
- Pray for others who might be struggling with feelings of despair and hopelessness. Reach out in love if you can.