A man and his wife are headed home. They’re walking down a stone-paved road descending westward toward their town. They’re talking about the same thing everyone else is taking about—the events of the weekend. A man approaches and walks next to them. The couple doesn’t recognize him. Their eyes were kept from recognizing him. The man asks what they are discussing. I love what Cleopas says. “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And Yeshua plays along, asking “What things?” Cleopas explains the events of the day as he understands them. (Read Luke Chapter 24)
Yeshua seizes the opportunity to let Cleopas and his wife in on what really happened, and who exactly the is the Messiah. Yeshua, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, . . . interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.” (v27)
When Cleopas and his wife arrive at their home, they invite the stranger in to stay, and for dinner. “When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.” (v.30,31)
The next part of the story is cool, I think. I can only imagine their jaws dropping as they looked at each other, both saying at the same time: “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (v.32)
This is one of my favorite stories. There’s a lot here, too. Luke tells the story like a reporter would tell it. It’s very matter-of-fact like. Straight forward. The words contain and elicit emotion. Luke doesn’t need to analyze or explain anything.
There’s a few things that come to mind when I think about this first occurrence in which Yeshua, having risen from the dead, visits his followers. First of all, He didn’t visit Peter first. Or the sons of thunder. Some say those three men were in the “Inner Circle.” They did go up to the top of a mountain with Him one day and see Him Glorified. But instead, Yeshua chose to visited a guy and his wife—ordinary folk. I think it says a lot, especially after Yeshua spoke just a few days before about the way leadership and greatness in the Kingdom differs from the way the world sees its authority structure.
Then there’s teaching that Yeshua conveyed to Cleopas and his wife. Luke doesn’t report exactly what it was. We are left to seek that ourselves. There is no Gospel according to Cleopas and Mary for us to read. What did Yeshua tell them about Himself? What scriptures did Yeshua explain, open up? Good questions, right?
“Probably He showed them that their notions of the Messiah were not according to the Scriptures. “They” expected a temporal prince; they were perplexed because Jesus had not assumed the regal power, but had been put to death. He showed them that according to the prophecies he ought to suffer, and that his “death,” therefore, was no argument that he was not the Messiah.
“In all the scriptures – In all the “writings” of the Old Testament. They were called “scriptures” because they were “written,” the art of printing being then unknown.
“The things concerning himself – Concerning the Messiah. It does not appear that he “applied” them to himself, but left them, probably, to make the application. He showed what the Scriptures foretold, and “they” saw that these things applied to Jesus of Nazareth, and began to be satisfied that he was the Messiah. The most striking passages foretelling the character and sufferings of Christ are the following, which we may suppose it possible our Saviour dwelt upon to convince them that, though he was crucified, yet he was the Christ: Genesis 3:15; Deuteronomy 18:15; Genesis 49:10; Numbers 21:8-9; Isaiah 53:1-12; Daniel 9:25-27; Isaiah 9:6-7; Psalm 110:1-7; Psalm 16:1-11; 22; Malachi 4:2-6.” —Barnes’s Notes
Another thing to consider is that when they all arrived at Cleopas’s and Mary’s home, Yeshua “acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” ” (v.28,29)
“Our Lord must be invited and constrained. He will not impose Himself on an unwilling host; but how glad He is to enter where a welcome awaits! He turns ordinary meals into sacraments; common rooms into royal chambers: and the homeliest things into symbols of the eternal. He sat with them, then vanished; but He was no less truly with them when He ceased to be seen-and all to teach them that when He had passed permanently from their sight He would be nearer than ever.” —F.B.Meyer, Through the Bible Day by Day
L-RD Bless, Keep, Shine. . .