Have you ever wondered about the two guys on the Road to Emmaus in Luke 24? How could they be so close to Jesus and miss Resurrection Sunday? I mean, this is “later that same day” – as in, the women went to the tomb” early this morning” (verse 22). But here comes the doleful duo, faces so long they could eat corn out of a Coke bottle. They’re looking at the afterglow of the Mightiest Moment in History and seeing the headlight of an oncoming train.
You know the story. Neck-deep in their discussion “about everything that had happened,” who shows up? The text doesn’t say where He came from, but Jesus “came up and walked along with them” (verse 15). What did he say?
“Shalom, fellas. Howzitgoin?” Or maybe, “You look like someone just offered you a pork dinner with a bacon chaser.” How ‘bout, “Mind if I join you? I’m due at the Ascension in a coupla days.” Whatever the initial greeting, Jesus asks, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” Lowder translation: What’s up, guys?”
Jaw unhinged in astonishment, Cleopas answers. Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion and purported Resurrection from the dead were all over Jerusalem. Emmaus was probably about seven miles northwest of Jerusalem. Not exactly an ocean away. These two men couldn’t believe that anyone in the area didn’t know about it! (After all, the crucifixion, Jesus’ death and burial were all in the last chapter. See Luke 23.)
But neither of these men recognizes Jesus. Where has this guy been? “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” (verse 17)
Well yes, Jesus could have answered, now that you mention it, I am “only a visitor” to Jerusalem. I stopped there en route to paying the sin penalty for all mankind.
But Jesus doesn’t say that. What He doesn’t say is significant. He doesn’t lecture, nag, or chide. He doesn’t wave a red flag or dispatch a bolt out of the blue. Jesus doesn’t even declare, “Fellas, it’s me!” He simply asks, “What things?” (verse 19)
The reply is interesting: “About Jesus of Nazareth. He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people…”
Stay tuned for Part 2, coming on April 21.