The Emmaus Road.

Luke 24:13-19
“Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day (resurrection day) to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.” 
And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” 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?” 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,”
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The morning that Jesus rose from the dead, two very sad, discouraged, and dejected disciples were slowly walking along the road to their hometown of Emmaus.  They were going over and over the events of the last several days and, probably, the last three years.
They really thought Jesus was THE ONE, the Messiah Whose coming had been foretold for centuries by all the prophets.  They had pinned all their hopes on Him.  Then, in a gut-wrenching turn of events, He was suddenly taken away from them, tried like some criminal, and crucified, even though He was completely innocent!  They were DEVASTATED AND CONFUSED!    
 
The “Stranger” In Traveling Clothes.
At some point along their journey, a man, whom they took to be a stranger in traveling clothes, came and walked along side of them.  It was Jesus, though they were not aware it was Him.  
Don’t you just love how Jesus comes to us when we’re down? And He comes to us IN PERSON!  He meets each of us at our point of need. Well, these two very disheartened people sure needed some encouragement.  They got it…..and more!
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Who Was Clepoas?
One of the two disciples was named, “Cleopas.” The other, probably his wife, was also a disciple whom the Holy Spirit has chosen not to name.  Don’t forget, women were also disciples.  More on this later.
No one really knows who Cleopas was, though much can be divined from the meaning of his name.  It is only mentioned one time in the Bible, right here in Luke 24.  Let’s take a closer look.
It is derived from two Greek words:  “Cleo,” a verb which means this: “Describing by a verbal glorifying: to tell about someone, to forward one’s fame; to forward the fame of a deity by means of discussing his or her deeds.”  The second word from which his name is derived is, “Pater,” which means, “Father.”  Put them all together and you get a picture of someone who goes about spreading the gospel.  And Who is all about telling of His Son?  THE FATHER!
Abarim Publications assigns, “Glorious everything,” or “All is glory,” as the meaning of his name.  In other words, God is urging us to keep talking about the glories and wonders of creation as well as the glory of the One Who Created it all!  
THAT’S JESUS!!!  He came to show us the Father and to bring glory to Him FOREVER.  And what are Christians?  We are just like Him, continually proclaiming that which the Son did Who was sent by the Father, continually bringing glory to His Name!
How To Teach The Old Testament.
The Emmaus Road journey, like the name of Cleopas, is recorded only one place as well:  Right here in this very same chapter of Luke.  It occurred on a Sunday.  Actually, all of Jesus’ post resurrection appearances recorded for us occurred on Sundays.
This is no accident:  It’s a message.  He was showing us the best way to teach the Old Testament.  He wants His Church doing exactly what He did every Single Sunday:  Show the people how to see Him in all the scriptures concerning Himself! 
When you learn to see Jesus in the scriptures, even and especially the Old Testament, it warms your heart.  You are edifed, encouraged, and so filled with the love of Jesus that you want to go out and tell EVERYBODY!
(Aerial view, ruins of Emmaus Nikapolis.)

Why Didn’t They Recognize Jesus?
Strange that they didn’t recognize Jesus, isn’t it?  After all, this is the one with Whom they had spent practically every waking and sleeping moment for the past 3 1/2 years.  They saw countless healings, awesome miracles, and were ear witnesses to THE MOST AMAZING TEACHINGS OF ALL TIME.  So why didn’t they recognize Him? 
Luke records that “THEIR EYES WERE RESTRAINED” from seeing Him,” in vs. 16. That doesn’t mean they were in such a mindset so as not to see Jesus; Jesus prevented them from recognizing Him.  Why did he do that?
I mean, here He was on the morning He arose IN PERSON!  He could have easily and quickly dispelled their sadness by showing them His hands and side.  So why didn’t He allow Himself to be recognized?  The answer to that question shows the great love of our God for us!
Amazing Love!
This traveler, Who came and walked alongside the two disciples, didn’t seem to know anything about the horrific events that had recently occurred.  Naturally, they assumed he was a stranger, so they proceeded to explain.
After quietly listening to their story, Jesus said the following: 
“O FOOLISH ONES, and SLOW OF HEART to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 
26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”
27 And beginning at Moses {the first 5 books} and all the Prophets, {not Psalms; it’s at the end of their Bible} HE EXPOUNDED TO THEM IN ALL THE SCRIPTURES THINGS CONCERNING HIMSELF.”
Revelations In The Greek Language.
Was He angry?  We’re His remarks a reproach?  Surprisingly, NO.  The Greek word for foolish here, “Anoētoi,” means “Not understanding,” and the word for believe, is “Pisteuein.”  It means “To have faith in, trust in; to believe.”  
Jesus wasn’t there to reproach or condemn them.  That’s what the devil does.  Still, it was incredible to Him that, after all they had witnessed FIRST HAND, they still struggled with doubt and skepticism.
How Jesus Encourages.
The name of the town toward which they traveled, “Emmaus,” means “Hot baths,” in Hebrew.  The Romans had built this bath house there somewhere around 496BC because this area was fed by natural hot springs.  It was along this Emmaus road that Jesus gave two very discouraged disciples a “hot Bible bath,” washing them with the water of the Word.  
(For more on that topic, follow the link below:
(Ruins of Roman hot bath in Emmaus)
The Greek word for foolish here, as I said, does not mean “Stupid” in a negative or condescending way but simply “Not understanding,”  It’s the exact same word Paul used when he called the Galatians, “Foolish.”  
The Church Today.
As it was then, so It is today.  There are two types of problems in the Church: Some people (Leaders are not exempt) are either foolish, meaning they don’t have a proper understanding of scripture; OR, they DO understand the scriptures but have a hard time believing what it plainly says:  GOD’S GRACE REALLY IS THAT GOOD!
True Transformation.
How does true transformation happen?  The Church NEEDS TO SEE JESUS!!!  It’s the ONLY WAY THEY CAN BE TRANSFORMED from glory to glory.  Seeing Him in the Scriptures, especially of the Old Testament, is the raw material the Holy Spirit uses to do His work in us.  In fact, without it, WE CANNOT BE TRANSFORMED!
Why do I say the “Especially the Old?”  Because far too many preachers go there for all the wrong reasons.  The Old Testament is not there for us to go and find laws, laws and more laws.  No.  We must go there to see Jesus.  
As Jesus is unveiled, The Holy Spirit does all the transforming, using His glory and beauty to change lives.  Teaching morality, character, and law only serves to cause people to live UNholy lives, not to demean their importance you understand.  You don’t want that, do you?
 
Jesus didn’t come to give us laws, laws and more laws.  He came to give us live and that more abundantly; to set us free from bondage!
Emmaus Destination.
At last, the trio arrived at the town of Emmaus where the two disciples lived.  They urged the stranger to come in for dinner.  
Let’s follow the story.
Portents Of The End-Time Church.
Luke 24:28-35
“Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and HE INDICATED THAT HE WOULD HAVE GONE FARTHER.  But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
“Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. 
“And they said to one another, “DID NOT OUR HEART BURN WITHIN US while He talked with us on the road, and WHILE HE OPENED THE SCRIPTURES TO US?” 

So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And THEY TOLD ABOUT THE THINGS THAT  HAD  HAPPENED ON THE ROAD, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.”  

See how their hearts “Burned within them” as Jesus opened the Scriptures to them?  They saw Him in all the types, offices, and stories in the Old Testament.  Seeing Jesus there will soften the hardest heart and warm the coldest soul.  The people to want to draw nearer to Him.  They will fall head-over-heels in love with Him, their hearts on fire for Jesus, too!
Look what happened next!  Even though it was evening and the day was far spent,  where they had formerly trudged along the road, they now were filled with holy fire and supernatural energy!  The practically ran all the way back to Jerusalem that same seven-mile journey the same night!  WOW!!!
This is a picture of the end-time church.  For centuries, the Church went along not always understanding the scriptures, as if their eyes were restrained.  But in these last days, God is pouring out His grace on all peoples and opening the Bible up to us as never before!  We are seeing and understanding things that have always been there but we didn’t understand.  Many, many preachers today are giving the people “Hot Bible Baths” just like Jesus did on the Emmaus Road.
The Question Answered.
Why did Jesus conceal Himself?  Because He knew it was more important for them to be able to SEE HIM IN THE SCRIPTURES than to see Him in the flesh.  He knew that after He went back to His Father, they would no longer be able to see His face because physically He would be in heaven.  

He did it because He was thinking of you and I, Church.  We can’t see Him physically either, so He wanted us to know how we, too, could feel warmed, filled, strengthened and encouraged:  BY “SEEING” HIM IN ALL THE SCRIPTURES CONCERNING HIMSELF. 

Are you sensing a pattern here? Seeing Jesus in the scriptures has he same effect today:  It warms hearts and fills us with energy!!!

Jesus Would Have Gone Further.

Notice the Holy Spirit said that Jesus indicated that He would have GONE FURTHER.  Why would He want to go further on if Cleophas and his wife were headed to their home in Emmaus?  

Remember, the passage said Jesus showed them Himself in the LAW, the first five books, and THE PROPHETS, Joshua through Malachi.  That list does not include PSALMS, which is at the end of their Bible.  He would have gone further so that He could show them Himself IN THE PSALMS as well, but they urged Jesus to come aside into their home because it was nearing evening. 

He came in and, as they sat at the table, He broke the bread and served them wine.  That’s communion.  THAT’S WHEN THEY RECOGNIZED HIM!  They saw Him in the bread and the wine!


As soon as their eyes were opened, He vanished from their sight.  
Where once there had been doubt, grief and despair now they were filled with faith, great joy and hope!

What was their immediate response?  MISSIONS!  All they wanted to do was to run and tell the other disciples at once!  That seven-mile trip back to Jerusalem was a breeze!

Upper Room Revelation.
As soon as they arrived, they told the others that the Lord Himself had appeared to them, recounting all that had happened on the Emmaus Road.  
This is happening in the Church now!  People are seeing more and more of Jesus in the Scriptures and are falling head over heels in love with Him.  Not only that, but as soon as they see Jesus this way, they become instant evangelists!
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Immediately after they had finished speaking look what happened:


“Now as they said these things, JESUS HIMSELF STOOD IN THE MIDST OF THEM, and said to them, “Peace to you.”  But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.   And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?  Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

“When He had said this, HE SHOWED THEM HIS HANDS AND HIS FEET.  But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?”  So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.  And He took it and ate in their presence.
 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the LAW of Moses and the PROPHETS AND THE PSALMS concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

“Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things.  Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”
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Jesus Is A Gentleman.
Jesus finally got His chance to “GO FURTHER.”  You see, He would have expounded to Cleopas and his wife the scriptures concerning Himself IN THE PSALMS, too, but they asked Him to turn aside into their home and eat with them.  That’s because He’s a gentleman.  He will only go as far as you are willing to go.  In the place where all the disciples were gathered together He did that AFTER they really believed it was Him.  
Foolish And Slow Of Heart.
The end time Church has been a little skeptical, foolish, and quite slow to understand all these things.  Remember, all the Emmaus Road revelations and those in the upper room happened “In the evening when the day was far spent.”
Here in 2018, believer me the “Day” is far spent.  Night is fast approaching when He will call for His Church and we will be out of here.  The great outpouring of His Spirit in these last days is a final appeal to the world to come to Jesus and accept their “ticket” out of here,  their paid-in-full-by-Jesus receipt, so they can get into heaven.  Can’t get in without it.
BUT…..you have to accept it.  SALVATION IS NOT UNIVERSAL OR AUTOMATIC.
Not A Ghost.
Jesus was once again incredulous that they, at first, did not really believe He was there in their midst in the flesh.  They thought He was a ghost or something.  That is why He asked for something to EAT in their presence.  THEN they all believed!
 
Portraits Of Jesus.
In this heart-warming story, Jesus is showing us that, in order to teach the Old Testament, you must bring out the portraits of Him hidden in every story, every description, and every typology.  He is found in the meanings of words, of names, numbers and in places from one end of the Bible to the other.  We need to bring out the spirit of the word which gives LIFE…not the letter, the Law, which KILLS. Don’t go there to find laws, laws and more laws; go there to SEE JESUS!  He came to give us LIFE, and that more abundantly!
Epilogue:

As for the identity of the other disciple walking along with Peter, most naturally assume it was a man.  But women were disciples too, you know.  She kept silent, or at least the Holy Spirit has not recorded that she spoke.  It is no accident that the Holy Spirit talks about these two.  It is the first mention of a couple that Jesus came and WALKED ALONGSIDE after He rose from the dead.  

Ever heard that phrase before?  There was another couple long ago whom God mentions that He WALKED ALONG SIDE in the cool of the evening.  It was the very first couple when the earth was new:  Adam and Eve.  You remember them, I’m sure.  (Who could forget, right?)
 
Unfortunately back then, when the serpent showed up, the woman did all the talking while her husband remained silent.  Because Adam allowed the woman to do all the talking, he in effect abdicated his role as head of his household.  It was this failure to speak up which plunged all mankind into sin. 
You see, Adam knew the serpent was feeding her a pack of lies.  He was right there next to her listening to every word, yet he did not open his mouth to counter those lies.  So, we needed a Savior to come to our rescue:  Jesus!

Fast forward 4,000 years to the story of the Emmaus Road.  This time the woman kept silent while the man did all the talking.  As a result, womankind was validated and vindicated for her part in the fall!  That’s why Jesus first appeared to a woman after He rose from the dead.  He honored and elevated all women by His actions.  Oh how He loves us! 
Isn’t God good?!
So, now you see the Bible is so much more than just an account of a private, personal encounter with Jesus.  There are many, many lessons, messages, and blessings hidden in it’s pages, not the least of which is this wonderful appearance of Jesus HIMSELF on the Emmaus Road.

5 thoughts on “The Emmaus Road.

  1. Yes – all of the OT was written “concerning Jesus”. It is the most amazing manuscript in the world. An amazing narrative which is all a picture – a shadow- of Jesus Christ himself.
    This perspective of Jesus in the OT completely “re-writes” the way we read the OT and makes it an entirely different (better 🙂 read! I love the pictures of Jesus in Ruth and Joseph etc etc etc.

    Thanks for this piece.

    Liked by 1 person

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