On the Road to Emmaus

Luke’s report allows us to look further into their frustration: Two disciples were walking home after all had happened. Emmaus was their destination. Emmaus means people despised. It was a village in Israel about seven miles north-west of Jerusalem. They were discussing the things that had happened on that weekend. Some people think that they were just people who attached themselves to the apostles, but not really YAHSHUA’S disciples. One way or the other, the Bible says that they were disciples. It is also believed that they were husband and a wife, going home. We cannot take this stand because YAHSHUA’S disciples were men. We have never read a woman being called a disciple. Their knowledge of Scriptures was minimum. They showed their ignorance when discussing the matter with YAHSHUA who had caught up with them in their walk. At one point, when YAHSHUA had heard enough, He asked them: what is this discussion that you are exchanging between yourselves as you walk along? And they stood still, looking sad and downcast. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered Him, Do you alone dwell as a stranger in Jerusalem and not know the things that have occurred there in these days? And YAHSHUA asked what things? And they said to Him, About Jesus of Nazareth, Who was a Prophet mighty in work and word before God and all the people and how our chief priests and rulers gave Him up to be sentenced to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He Who would redeem and set Israel free. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things occurred and moreover, some women of our company astounded us and drove us out of our senses. They were at the tomb early but did not find His body; and they returned saying that they had seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive! (Luke 24:17-24). YAHSHUA’S response was, O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe everything that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary and essentially fitting that the Christ should suffer all these things before entering into His glory? Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He went on explaining and interpreting to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning and referring to Himself (vs. 24-27). The words that were spoken by Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15-18 are in relationship to YAHSHUA the Messiah, for He alone was “like Moses in His mediatorial character, in the peculiar excellence of His ministry; in the number, variety, and magnitude of His miracles,” etc. This prophecy was fulfilled 1,500 years afterward in the person of YAHSHUA and was echoed by Peter in Acts 3:22. The prophet Isaiah prophesized YAHSHUA’S sufferings, describing them in details in Isaiah 52: 13-15; 53:1-12). King David in Psalm twenty-two prophesized YAHSUAH’S crucifixion and Roman’s cruelty applied on Him. It was written in the Old Testament for all who cared to know. His words on the cross before He died, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Resounded loudly and clearly, telling all that He was fulfilling the words of Psalm twenty-two. Who wouldn’t but connect His present words to that of many years ago to believe that He was the promised Prophet and Messiah throughout the Old Testament?

On the road to Emmaus, two disciples had an encounter that changed their lives -the encounter with the risen MESSIAH. They were eager to understand what was happening. YAHSHUA came and opened their eyes of understanding and their physical eyes to see Him. They, like many others in Israel, neither believed in YAHSHUA messiahship nor in His word before, for lack of understanding. They too hoped Him to be Israel’s deliverer. In their physical mentality, they missed altogether the purpose why YAHSHUA had come. Yes, they too were looking for the Living God among the dead people, for they had not understood the statement of Scripture that He must rise again from the dead (John 20:9).  They were found hopeless and lost in their unbelief when YAHSHUA met them on the road to Emmaus because, they, like those who cried, Blessed is the King Who comes in the name of the Lord during YAHSHUA’S triumphal entry in Jerusalem were believers of the false hope.

Who do people think I am? YAHSHUA asked His disciples this question of great importance with the purpose to reveal Himself to them. They answered, some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. YAHSHUA then said to them, But who do you say that I am? Peter replied, You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God (Matt. 16: 13-16). In their discussion, these disciples confessed to YAHSHUA Who they thought He was: “A Prophet mighty in work and word.” This statement represented the view of the people who did not have a relationship with YAHSHUA and not that of those to whom the truth had been revealed. Yes, He was the Prophet, but not a prophet. YAHSHUA rightly called them foolish ones and slow of heart to believe everything that the prophets have spoken! They finally recognized Him by the breaking of the bread, showing that they had been with Him. There was a distant relationship there before. At the end of their journey, they invited YAHSHUA in. They insisted by saying, Remain with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is now far spent. (Supper was served). YAHSHUA sat down to eat with them, as His usual ways before eating, He took bread and praised God and gave thanks and asked a blessing, and then broke it and gave it to them (Luke 24:28-30). At that moment their eyes were opened. YAHSHUA, however, vanished from their sight. His mission had been accomplished. YAHSHUA satisfied their spiritual hunger to understand the truth about Him. Now with their eyes open, they ran to tell the other disciples, no longer doubting that MESSIAH was alive. They related what had happened on the road, and how He was known and recognized by them in the breaking of bread (Luke 24:35). That is the testimony of two witnesses in agreement with their law.

The churchgoer Christian who does not have a relationship with MESSIAH is like these two disciples, lacking knowledge and deep understanding of God’s word, embracing all kinds of false religious ideas, and living in its false hope. They walk the road to Emmaus, empty, and not knowing the extent of their spiritual emptiness. Never having had an encounter with YAHSHUA, they will never come to the final destination as they so expect but to the one they did not hope for. Why did YAHSHUA choose to appear to these two disciples, when there were so many more in that same situation? We do not know. But we know that for every experience He had it was for a purpose reflected in the future of Israel.  When God pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication, they shall look upon Him Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one who is in bitterness of his firstborn (Zach. 12:10). These two recognized Him and ran with the message to tell others. They became believers in YAHSHUA on the road to Emmaus and His true disciples.

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