On the Road to Emmaus…

While traveling on the road to Emmaus, two disciples, one being named Clepoas, encounter the risen Jesus but cannot recognize him. After Jesus says the blessing and breaks the bread, there “eyes were opened” (Luke 24:31) and they recognize him. They also reflect on how, “…our hearts burning (within us) while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us…” (Luke 24:32). It is only after he says the blessing though that they recognize Jesus. They are still as clueless as they were about Jesus while traveling as they were before. He calls them fools and then goes through all the scriptures that prophesize what must happen in order for him to be the Messiah, and Jesus explains how he fulfilled all of these prophecies. They get a visceral response during an explanation, but they still need a very straight direct sign in order to truly understand how he is the Messiah vindicated by God. I believe that they realize that Jesus is the Messiah who must suffer by reflecting on their conversation they had while traveling. Jesus, while still unrecognizable to the disciples, questions them about who Jesus was. The disciples describe how he “was a prophet might in deed…how our chief priests and rulers both handed him over to a sentence of death and crucified him” (Luke 24:20). In these statements they recount how his own people betrayed him, did not accept him, and forced him to suffer. The brief summary of Jesus’ death helped them to become enlightened.
Early followers of Jesus might have focused on how Jesus is present but is not recognized until the disciples of aware of his being and resurrection. This quality is representative of how Rausch says that God’s love will always be presented to us, but we must be the ones to accept it.

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3 thoughts on “On the Road to Emmaus…

  1. Good job summarizing the encounter between the Jesus and two disciples on the road to Emmaus. It was very interesting to think about the ways in which Jesus’ followers may have incorporated this event into their regular gatherings. Maybe they reflected on the prophecies found in Scripture to remind themselves of Jesus’ ministry.

  2. Two central elements from this account–the exposition of Scripture and the breaking of bread – continue to form the core of the Sunday service in many Christian denominations today, although not every tradition will celebrate Eucharist/breadbreaking weekly. To take the analogy even further, two other aspects that remain prominent in Christian gatherings are also present in this account – the sense of Jesus GATHERING his chosen people at the beginning and the sense of their being SENT FORTH in mission at the end. (Notice that the two disciples don’t remain at Emmaus but head straight back to Jerusalem to share their experience of Jesus with others). This gives a fourfold shape of GATHERING, WORD, EUCHARIST, and SENDING that is still discernible in many Christian gatherings today.

  3. Good job on quickly retelling the story and highlighting the parts that are most important to the message of the gospel. I had never thought of this story as an analogy to how we must be the ones to accept the love that God always offers us.

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