On the road to Emmaus - 27 September 2021

By Ben Fourie

Tired, sad, dejected, confused and upset, two of Jesus’ followers were covering the 11 kilometres between Jerusalem and Emmaus. They were deep in conversation about everything that had happened in Jerusalem over the past few days. Suddenly, they were joined by another person. When this “stranger” asked what they were talking about, they were so astonished that they immediately stopped walking. One of them, named Cleopas, asked, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have been happening there these last few days?”

When Jesus asked about what had happened, they told him the whole story of the prophet from Nazareth, how he was sentenced and crucified, and how their hope “that he would be the one who was going to set Israel free,” was shattered by all that had happened. As if this was not enough, they told Jesus, some of the women in their group upset them by a strange story about an empty tomb and the appearance of angels who said that Jesus was alive. After all the time that they had spent with Jesus, they still did not fully understand his message of a heavenly kingdom. One could almost hear the despondency in Jesus’ voice when he said, “How foolish you are, how slow you are to believe everything the prophets said.”

He then explained the Scriptures about himself. The story reached a climax when he took the bread and they suddenly recognised him. Instantly, the tiredness, sadness and dejection were replaced with new energy to the point that they immediately started back on the 11-kilometer journey to Jerusalem to bring the good news to the other disciples. An encounter with the living Jesus always has this kind of effect on everyone who finally understands the gospel about him.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, please fill me with excitement about your victory over the forces of darkness and death every day. Amen