In the final chapter of Luke's gospel, there is a tale about two men who are weeping over Jesus' death. However, they do not realise that they are chatting with the Teacher, who turns out to be Jesus. This is a moving story since the men do not realise that they are conversing with Jesus.
These two men had a face-to-face encounter with Jesus Christ as they are travelling to Emmaus. They went to find out who they had been talking to the whole time so that they might inform the eleven apostles that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead.
It is an enthralling tale that imparts priceless knowledge on the importance of faith, prudence, and the reliability of biblical prophecy.
This part of the chapter looks at how the story of the road to Emmaus is still relevant today and how having this information might help us.
What Happened While They Were Traveling to Emmaus?
In chapters 24:13–35, Luke relates the story of Emmaus to his readers. The day when the women delivered spices to Jesus' tomb, days after he was crucified, the stone was pushed aside, and the corpse of Jesus was no longer there. This occurred on the same day that the ladies sent spices to Jesus' tomb.
However, the eleven apostles did not put their faith in the women after hearing what the ladies had discovered and the word that the angels had sent to them.
Luke 24 describes how, on the day that Jesus was crucified, there were two men called Emmaus who were travelling to the town of Emmaus. According to Luke's testimony, the men's demeanors are described as "downcast" as they discuss the occurrences that occurred over the course of the prior several days (v. 17).
Jesus joins the boys in their conversation by sitting down next to them and focusing on what they have to say rather than his own thoughts. It is not their responsibility if nobody pays any attention to them. The Bible states that they were prevented from recognising him due to this barring (v. 16).
As soon as Jesus inquires as to what they are talking about, the men start to share their reflections on the happenings of the previous day as well as the dissatisfaction that they are experiencing due to the fact that their expectations do not seem to be fulfilled.
"How sluggish you are to embrace anything that the prophets have stated! How stupid you are!" Jesus rebukes those who are male. Is it not true that in order for the Messiah to enter his glory, it was essential for him to go through all of this? (v.25-26).
After that, Jesus continues to explain how every tale in the Old Testament, beginning with Moses and continuing on through the prophets, is pointing straight toward him as the Messiah. He begins with Moses and ends with the prophets.
The lads are overjoyed to get the chance to talk to Jesus, even if they are under the impression that they are talking to someone else. When they arrived at Emmaus, they extended an invitation to this mystery travel companion to stay with them, and Jesus agreed to their request.
They eventually get a glimpse of Jesus just as they settle down to eat, and they watch as he gives thanks before breaking bread with them. The disciples immediately fled to Jerusalem to tell the other eleven apostles about what had happened when Jesus suddenly disappeared.
How Would You Sum Up the Message That Jesus Brought?
As a result of their lack of trust, Jesus refers to the men as "foolish" and "slow." It would seem that the guys were debating whether or not anything had taken place. Following that, Jesus teaches them the information that can be found in the scriptures.
It would seem that Jesus is trying to convince them that he is telling the truth by pointing out that they have already been given knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the incident.
To put it another way, all of Jesus' deeds have been foretold and written down by Moses and the prophets, and they are now in the process of being carried out.
Jesus instructs his followers to look to the Scriptures for guidance if circumstances seem gloomy or unclear. The crucifixion of Christ comes first, followed by his resurrection and subsequent exaltation.
God has a purpose and a plan for every circumstance.
Why Does Jesus Wait Until Suppertime to Reveal Himself to His Disciples?
During the time that the guys are travelling, Jesus does not make Himself known to them. Instead, before allowing the men's eyes to be opened, He waits for them to arrive at their destination, have some time to rest, and get ready to eat a meal. Only then does He let their eyes to be opened.
Many academics argue that this reflects how many of us go through the process of discernment. When we encounter something that we just cannot comprehend, we often look for further information. Then we need to let it take root inside of our hearts. When we have thoroughly "digested" what we've learnt and given it time to "sink in," we will finally be able to see the reality for what it is.
When the guys eventually learn that it had been Jesus the entire time, they do not seem to be very astonished by the revelation. As they did so, they questioned one another, "Was it not that our hearts were burning within us as he was chatting with strangers on the way and opened the Scriptures to us?" (v. 32).
It took some time, but in the end, both of their hearts and their minds caught up with each other, and at that point, they were entirely aware of the reality of the situation.
After that, energised by their newly acquired information, they hastened out to deliver the joyful news to the apostles.
3 Times Jesus Foretold His Death & Resurrection
The first prophecy is found in the English Standard Version of Matthew chapter 16 verse 21, which reads as follows:
From that point on, Jesus started to demonstrate to his followers that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, where he would be treated harshly by the city's elders, chief priests, and scribes, be put to death, and then be resurrected from the dead on the third day. (Matthew 16:21 ESV) [The Message]
By beginning this section with the words "From that time," Matthew distinguishes it from the rest of the book. You may recall that Matthew used this phrase earlier in the book to emphasise the beginning and direction of Jesus' ministry, citing His core message as "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." You may also have recalled that Matthew used this phrase to emphasise the beginning and direction of Jesus' ministry (Matthew 4:17 ESV). In a similar manner, Matthew used the word in this context to call our attention to the course that Jesus' mission is now taking.
Just before to the reading of this scripture, Jesus questioned His followers by asking who they thought He was. When Jesus pressed further and asked who the disciples thought He was, Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of God." Jesus then asked the disciples again who they believed He was (Matthew 16:16 ESV).
The disciples had just finished their confession when Jesus proceeded to fill them in on the remaining details of the plan and explain what it really meant for Him to be the Christ. Because to acknowledge Him as Christ while denying that He died on the cross would be to have erroneous expectations, these prophecies of His own death and resurrection intended to assist people in seeing Him in the correct light as Christ.
Peter, being Peter, was quick to correct Jesus, telling him, "Far be it from you, Lord! Nothing like this will ever happen to you (Matthew 16:22 ESV). It's a pretty surprising twist to the debate, and I can understand well how Peter is feeling about it. I can't help but picture the following scene from The Chronicles of Narnia: When Susan and Lucy are wandering through the woods with Aslan in the middle of the night, caressing his mane and falling in love with him, only to find out that they were travelling with him to the Stone Table from the beginning of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. That location, from which they subsequently saw, from a distance, the White Witch and her troops torturing and ultimately killing him. The news that Jesus brought to Peter and the rest of the disciples would certainly leave them in utter disbelief. However, Jesus directed their attention to the cross so that they might start to comprehend what it actually meant for Him to be who they claimed they thought He was. Jesus did this so that they could begin to grasp what it truly meant for Him to be who they said they believed He was.
Even though it seemed to Peter that the resurrection of Jesus would take place after his death, there is good news that lies beyond the death of Jesus, and that news is that Jesus would be risen from the dead. If Jesus had died on the cross and that had been the conclusion of the tale, then Jesus would not have qualified as the Christ in any way. Nevertheless, the fact that death was conquered demonstrates that He is the genuine and superior King; Isaiah's foretold Suffering Servant.
Matthew chooses to recount the remaining events of the tale within the context of Christ's crucifixion and death on the cross. This shadow is, of course, cast by the light of Christ's triumphant resurrection. Not only do we read the recorded conversation that took place between Jesus and His followers, but as we read the tale, our own eyes are drawn toward the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus as well. Matthew draws us into the tale so that we may make the confession with Peter, that Jesus is the Christ, as our focus goes to the deeds of Jesus that have made that a reality for us. He does this so that we can make the confession because Matthew wants us to.
The second occasion that Jesus foresaw His own death and resurrection was in the book of Matthew, chapter 17. Without a doubt, Matthew has the capacity to omit this detail, particularly after having penned the all-encompassing proclamation "From this point on" in the first action. However, Matthew continues his narrative by describing two additional instances in which Jesus explained these truths to his followers. These tales have the effect of drawing the audience in closer, so that we can sense the momentum developing as the narrative starts to roll more directly towards the cross.
In this second occurrence, several of the disciples had only recently seen the transfiguration of Jesus, during which they had heard the voice of the Father stating, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him" (Matt. 17:5 ESV). This prophecy, when interpreted in the context in which it is found, exposes, at the very least, the impetus for Jesus' decision to live and die in complete surrender to the will of His Father, having faith that His goals and mission are the most worthwhile. This is underlined to some degree by the scenario that takes place between the transfiguration and this prophecy in which Jesus closes in on the disciples and criticises them for their "weak faith."
Notice that there was no rebuttal this time, only distress, and as Matthew's story transitions immediately to a new scene after this passage, we should feel the weight of the necessary pause at the end of this passage in Matthew 17:22-23 (ESV): "But he said to them, 'It is written, 'You shall not put the LORD your God to the test.'"
Jesus addressed the crowd as they gathered in Galilee and told them, "The Son of Man is going to be put into the hands of mankind. They will murder him, and on the third day he will be risen." And this caused them a great deal of anguish.
Last but not least, the suspense of this most epic of redemption tales is ratcheted up even more by the fact that Jesus prophesied His own death and resurrection on three separate occasions. It is written in Matthew 20:17-19 in the English Standard Version, and it says:
And while Jesus was ascending the mountain leading to Jerusalem, he drew the twelve disciples apart and announced to them as they were walking that he was ascending the mountain leading to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and they will deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, flogged, and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day. "And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and they will deliver him over to the Gentiles to
Jesus and His followers have left Galilee and are now travelling in the direction of Jerusalem. Regarding these prophecies, there has not been much in the way of a timeframe or specifics that have been presented up to this point. Jesus had just informed them that His death and resurrection were going to take place, that it was essential, and that He was committed to the mission. He did not tell them when or where it would take place while chatting with them. At this point, Jesus gave them some insight about the location and approximate time of the event. When they arrived at Jerusalem, which was their final objective and where they were now making their way, the time for these occurrences would be drawing close.
Jesus disclosed further information in order to stoke the flames of controversy. Matthew is very obviously making that point for his readers by using this example of His foreknowledge, which in turn indicates a great deal about the divinity of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, Jesus was not only demonstrating for His followers His godlike abilities at this time; rather, He was illuminating for them the truth that was going to take place. Not only would Jesus be betrayed and put to death, but the event itself would be brutal, including a crucifixion, beatings, and the spilling of blood.
Sincerity compels me to admit that I do not understand how you are able to continue on your journey toward Jerusalem after receiving such awful news. A belief held just partially is insufficient. You would need to have a deep and abiding faith that Jesus is who He claims to be, that his method is the one and only path to genuine life, and that it is well worth the effort to persevere through the ugliness in order to reach the place where you may enjoy the beauty.
Moving Forward Together
When we come to this third section in Matthew at Redemption Church, which is part of our journey through the book of Matthew, we will start observing Lent together as a community. In our part of the world, we don't make much of an effort to observe Lent, yet just as Advent leads up to Christmas, so does Lent lead up to the crucifixion of Christ and Resurrection Sunday. It is a period of preparation, and we will be encouraging everyone to go through that season with some intentionality, keeping in mind that at the end of the path there is a bleeding cross and our Savior, who rose from the tomb and is God with us.
It is my goal that while we spend the short weeks between Christmas and Lent, these few verses may assist in directing our attention carefully on the crucifixion of Jesus and his subsequent resurrection. May we come to see that in order for any of these things to be true about Jesus—that He is the Christ, the Messiah, and the Savior—it was necessary for Him to take the route of the crucifixion.
As we join together to look for Christ, we will undoubtedly be able to hear His call for us to follow Him, to give up all, to take up our crosses and come to die. As we lean into the brokenness and chaos that is in front of us, may God provide us the wisdom to purposefully prepare ourselves to answer the call for His glory and our pleasure, and may we discover that there is an abundant supply of grace and restoration for each of us as we do so.
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