The Road to Emmaus
After Jesus rose from the dead, he appeared to many of his disciples. He encountered two of these disciples shortly after his death and resurrection just outside of Jerusalem. They were traveling on the road to a village called Emmaus.
As you read this story, pay attention to the way the disciples finally realize that it was Jesus who was with them.
It was a difficult few days for the disciples of Jesus. They had seen and heard about the death of their Lord. They were all alone now with no one to lead them. Two of these disciples left the city of Jerusalem, where Jesus was crucified, and began to walk the seven miles to a village called Emmaus.
They were walking along the road, talking about all that had happened, when Jesus came near and began to walk with them. In their sadness, the disciples did not recognize that it was Jesus who came near to them.
“What are you talking about as you walk along the road?” Jesus asked.
They stopped and looked at one another in sadness. “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place these last few days?”
“What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things about Jesus of Nazareth, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be crucified,” said one of the disciples.
“We had hoped that he was the one who would redeem Israel. Today is the third day since he died,” said the other disciple.
The first disciple jumped in and said, “Moreover, some women of our group have astounded us. They were at his tomb this morning, and they did not find his body there. They told us they had a vision of angels who said he was alive!”
“Others went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see him,” said the other disciple.
“Oh, how foolish you are, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets declared!” Jesus said. “It was necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and enter into his glory.”
Then, as they continued to walk, Jesus interpreted many things that the prophets, beginning with Moses, had said about him in the scriptures.
Finally, they arrived in the village of Emmaus, and Jesus walked ahead of them.
“Stay with us! It is almost evening, and the day is now nearly over,” the disciples shouted.
So Jesus came back to stay with them. They sat down for a meal, and Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples.
At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they recognized Jesus for the first time. Then he vanished from their sight.
They turned to each other. “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was explaining the scriptures to us?”
They got up immediately and returned to Jerusalem to tell the apostles about their encounter with Christ.
When did the disciples finally recognize Jesus?
Who helps you understand the scriptures?
How can going to church help you experience God’s love in times of trouble?
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