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# Appearance on the Road to Emmaus (Luke ) -- JesusWalk
Light of the World Bulletins, Can You Drink the Cup? Revised Edition. What Is the Lord's Supper? Fortunately, it isn't necessary for Twenty-First Century readers to know the exact location in order to understand the story. Of the two disciples, only one is named -- Cleopas -- perhaps, because he would have been well-known to Luke's readers.
The name Cleopas "renowned father" is a Greek name, though was probably used as an equivalent to the Semitic form "Clopas. Cleopas and his fellow disciple are deeply engaged in a discussion Greek suzeteo when we come upon them:. Apparently they aren't walking too fast, because Jesus, travelling the same direction, overtakes them Greek eggizo , "draw near, approach" and then slows to walk along with them.
At that, the two abruptly stop, "stand still" Greek histemi. Their faces are "downcast. They must explain. Cleopas is surprised that the stranger hasn't heard about these things that have been going on in Jerusalem. Perhaps he is only a recent visitor to the city and is just passing through, Cleopas suggests. The disciples describe Jesus as a "prophet, powerful in word and deed" b.
While we may realize that Jesus is much more than a prophet, in Jesus' day to be called a mighty prophet is high praise indeed. These disciples have expected Jesus to be "the one who was going to redeem Israel" a. The promised Davidic Messiah is widely anticipated to redeem Israel from her enemies and to set up the Kingdom of God afresh.
The basic meaning is "to free by paying a ransom, redeem," but here it has the extended meaning "to liberate from an oppressive situation, set free, rescue, redeem. And, alas, this kind of redemption is impossible since Jesus is now dead. The word "had hoped" NIV is the Greek verb elpizo , "to look forward to something, with the implication of confidence about something coming to pass, hope, hope for. Jesus had been crucified. They are downcast, but also confused.
Part of the day's events include an account from the women about Jesus being alive. They report this to Jesus as a curiosity, but clearly don't give it full credence or their demeanor would have been anything but downcast. Rather than believing, they are described as "amazed" NIV or "astonished," Greek existemi , "to cause to be in a state in which things seem to make little or no sense, confuse, amaze, astound.
He calls them "foolish," using the Greek adjective anoetos , "unintelligent, foolish, dull-witted. Jesus is convinced that Scripture teaches two things about the Messiah which they should know and believe:. At some point they begin to walk again, and as they journey, Jesus delivers an amazing Bible study, citing from memory passages from Moses and the Prophets, and explaining how each of them pertain to the Messiah. What I would give to have been there! Later they remember:. Perhaps you've had some experiences where your heart burned Greek kaio within you when God was speaking directly to you with power and immediacy.
This was one of those precious times. No doubt his exposition of the Messianic scriptures form the basis for the Apostles' subsequent teaching and preaching. See, for example, Old Testament quotations and allusions found in the Gospel of Matthew which was written especially for Jewish readers and the Apostles' sermon material found in the Book of Acts.
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Some of the Old Testament passages quoted in Acts include: Genesis ; ; Deuteronomy ; Psalm , 7; ; ; ; Isaiah ; ; and Amos The phrase "enter into his glory" refers to the glory of the exalted Messiah Luke ; ; Philippians ; 1 Timothy ; 1 Peter , , Jesus would have continued on. The Greek verb is prospoieo , "make or act as though, pretend. But the travelers prevail upon Jesus to stay with them. The verb parabiazomai has the basic meaning of "do violence to," but here is used in a figurative sense: "urge strongly, prevail upon. Here, as at the Last Supper, they don't sit in chairs, but recline Greek kataklino around the table.
Up until this time, Jesus' role is as honored guest.
Parallels Between the Passover Meal and Communion
But at the table, Jesus unexpectedly moves from the role of guest to host. Now, as the host would normally do, he takes the bread, offers the blessing, breaks it, and distributes it to the others. This is unleavened bread, since the week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread that began with Passover on Friday is still going on. The King James translation is misleading: "he took bread and blessed it" The NIV rightly translates it, "he took bread, gave thanks Rather, this the Greek verb eulogeo here means "give thanks and praise," and refers to the Jewish custom of offering a blessing to God before eating.
The blessing offered before eating bread -- usually by the host or head of the house -- is: "Blessed are you, Lord our God, King of the world, who has caused bread to come forth out of the earth. Cleopas and his friend had doubtless traveled with Jesus, and had often seen him begin a meal by breaking bread and offering the blessing.
Even when they were in private households, as the honored Rabbi he would probably be asked to offer this blessing. In the intimacy of table fellowship, as Jesus breaks the bread and offers the blessing, they suddenly become aware of who he really is!
But as soon as they recognize him, he disappears. He is gone. What a jolt they must have received, whipsawed from despair, to learning the Scriptures, and now to recognition of Jesus, followed by his sudden disappearance. They try to process this information be recalling how they had felt their hearts burn within them as he was teaching them on the road.
Back they go to Jerusalem, retracing their steps of a few hours earlier. On the way to Emmaus they walked more slowly, dejected, then listening and learning. But now their steps are quickened.
They cannot wait to find the Apostles and tell them the news. But when they find the Eleven and other disciples "assembled together" Green athroizo , "to cause to be together in a group, collect, gather. The phrase "It is true! It is clear that this passage constitutes a continuation of Jesus' discipleship training. There are several points he seeks to get across to his disciples, those in the First Century and today:. Though perhaps these are not part of Jesus direct discipleship teaching to his disciples, I see two additional lessons in this passage:.