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The Gospel Of Luke An Exposition by Charles R. Erdman

L. The Walk To Emmaus. Ch. 24:13-35

13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was threescore furlongs from Jerusalem.24 And they communed with each other of all these things which had happened.15 And it came to pass, while they communed and questioned together, that Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.17 And he said unto them, What communications are these that ye have one with another, as ye walk? And they stood still, looking sad.18 And one of them, named Cleopas, answering said unto him, Dost thou alone sojourn in Jerusalem and not know the things which are come to pass there in these days? 19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, The things concerning Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him.21 But we hoped that it was he who should redeem Israel. Yea and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things came to pass.22 Moreover certain women of our company amazed us, having been early at the tomb; 23 and when they found not his body they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive.24 And certain of them that were with us went to the tomb, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.25 And he said unto them, O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Behooved it not the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into his glory? 27 And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they were going: and he made as though he would go further.29 And they constrained him, saying, Abide with us; for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent. And he went in to abide with them.30 And it came to pass, when he had sat down with them to meat, he took the bread and blessed; and breaking it he gave to them.31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.32 And they said one to another, Was not our heart burning within us, while he spake to us in the way, while he opened to us the scriptures? 33 And they rose up that very hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, 34 saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.35 And they rehearsed the things that happened in the way, and how he was known of them in the breaking of the bread.

No man saw Christ rise; but many saw the risen Christ. He appeared to Mary and to Peter and to James and to |the eleven| and to more than five hundred disciples at one time; but of the appearances on the day of his resurrection none is recorded with more dramatic vividness and more definiteness of detail than that related by Luke when Jesus walked with two disciples toward Emmaus.

This village was probably situated some seven miles northwest of Jerusalem. Thither these two men were moving with sad and discouraged hearts when Jesus joined them and drew from them expressions of their disappointment and despair. The One on whom they had set their hopes of redemption for Israel had been put to death, and although he had spoken mysteriously of a resurrection on the third day, the day was passing, and he had not been seen, although it was true that reports had reached them of a vision of angels who said that he was alive. Such in substance seem to have been their words, in no small measure a confession of obstinate unbelief. They had little expectation that the Lord would fulfill his own promises; the third day of which he had spoken was not ended and yet they were hopelessly turning their backs upon Jerusalem; heavenly messengers had sent them an announcement of cheer which they refused to receive.

It was not strange, therefore, that Jesus rebuked them: |O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Behooved it not the Christ to suffer these things, and to enter into his glory?| It is noticeable that Jesus did not chide them for refusing to accept his own words, or those of their friends, or those of angels; they were rebuked for not believing the Old Testament. They had accepted it in part; as men often accept just so much as suits their prejudices and tastes and notions; but they failed to believe in all that the prophets had spoken, and particularly the predictions of Jesus' atoning death, and of his return to the heavenly glory which he would share when he ascended. They listened in wonder to his explanation of the Scriptures, and finally as they were sitting at meat with him they discovered that they were in the actual presence of their living Lord. As he disappeared from sight, they hastened back to the disciples in Jerusalem and found them already wondering at the news that earlier in the day Jesus had appeared to Peter.

No story tells us more impressively the truth that a divine Saviour walks beside us all the way of our earthly journey. It is pathetic that our eyes are so often dimmed by unbelief that we fail to realize his presence. We walk and are sad while we might be rejoicing in his companionship. It may be as the Scriptures are opened to us, or as we meet to break bread in his name, that our blindness will be removed; and surely when the journey ends and we enter the home toward which we are moving, we shall see him face to face, and the vision will not fade in deepening twilight, but grow more glorious through the eternal day.

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