Ever asked the “Where’d I go wrong?” questions? Of course most of us have…it’s an old human habit. Sometimes it’s productive, but other times not. In Luke we see just such a conversation, however in this one Jesus shows up for an awesome teaching moment. Let’s look:
13Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15So it was, while they conversed and reasoned that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. 17And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” 18Then 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?” 19And 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, 20and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21But 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. 22Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24And 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.” – Luke 24:13-24 NKJV
I. Their Dilemma
They “talked and reasoned” trying to figure out what had just happened. Not only had there been dramatic events the previous week, but some disciples now were reporting visions of angels and Jesus’ body missing. What did it mean? What now? Those are natural questions to ask, and there are a couple of themes in their comments I can relate to. For example:
- “Our hopes may have been too high” – in verse 21 Cleopas explains that they really hoped Jesus was the One. Of course He was, but they didn’t see it…yet. How often do I “guard” my level of trust in the Lord, instead of simply taking Him at His word? Seeing proof and believing is good, but faith means holding on to His promises and trusting in the unseen (Heb. 11:1).
- “Maybe it’s time to move on” – I believe the two were genuine followers of Christ, but had difficulty reconciling His preaching versus recent events. They’d left Jerusalem feeling it all went wrong because Jesus didn’t deliver what they expected (physical political kingdom). He actually delivered far more, but it took time to see the connection. Anxiousness breeds carelessness. Relax, God is still in control.
II. Jesus’ Answer
After listening to Cleopas, Jesus responds:
25Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” –NKJV
Can you imagine listening to the King of Glory explain history? Wow! Patiently and systematically, He started at the beginning (“Moses” means his writings Gen-Deut.) and walked them through. I believe He still works the same way today (within the context of what He’s already revealed to us-the Bible). As He spoke, it produced several things:
- Fire in the heart (v.32)
- Hunger for more (v.29)
- Clear understanding of circumstances (v.31)
There are many overarching principles in scripture for daily living but we have to read it for the words to be integrated into our ethos. As believers, it’s easy to be distracted by various things, but a few strategic minutes can make a big difference in your day. Here’s a suggestion, try praying through these three truths daily:
- Acknowledge that God is sovereign over everything (Psalm 71)
- Accept that He really, truly, specifically loves you (I John 4:7-11)
- Agree that He always has your best interest at heart (Jeremiah 29:11)
In other words, He loves us, wants the best for us, and is always in control…what else do we really need?
Series: “The Questions of Jesus” – Lesson XI