Message: The Road to Emmaus
Preacher: Japhet De Oliveira
Daily Walk: Japhet De Oliveira
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 81:5-10.
Read: Luke 24:13-35 (ESV). As you read the English Standard Version, note 1-3 insights or questions.
Reflect: The Gospel of Luke is considered to be Part One of a two-part series—with the book of Acts as Part Two. Read together, these books offer a beautiful glimpse into the birth of Christianity. Written in part for the officials of the day, Luke has one intent—that these officials would come to embrace Jesus God from hearing a set of facts that changed the world forever. N. T. Wright in his commentary Luke for Everyone challenges us at the start to embrace the power of the story.
At the level of drama it has everything. Sorrow, suspense, puzzlement, gradual dawning of light; then, in the second half, unexpected actions, astonished recognition, a flurry of excitement and activity. It is both a wonderful, unique, spellbinding tale, and also a model (and Luke surely knew this) for a great deal of what being a Christian, from that day to this, is all about. The slow, sad dismay at the failure of human hopes; the turning to someone who might or might not help; the discovery that in scripture, all unexpected, there lay keys which might unlock the central mysteries and enable us to find the truth; the sudden realization of Jesus himself, present with us, warming our hearts with his truth, showing us himself as bread is broken. This describes the experience of innumerable Christians, and indeed goes quite a long way to explaining what it is about Christianity that grasps us and holds us in the face of so much that is wrong with the world, with the church, and with ourselves (pp. 292-293)
The many layers of application in this one story reveal once again the power of the moments that God wanted to create. We have to remember that everything the disciples had hoped for was shattered. Everything they believed made them conclude that it was impossible for the Messiah to save them if He had to die. Jesus had to bring them back to the text. He had to give them fresh eyes with which to read the text. He had to show them from Genesis to Chronicles (the actual chronological order of the first testament), that He was, in fact, the fulfillment of all Scripture. It is easier for us today, in hindsight, to see that all these texts point in this direction. But maybe it is only easier for us because we have not allowed the texts to change the way we think, believe, and behave.
Respond: Pray for fresh insight.
Research: Find examples of art that demonstrates this famous story. How do the works contrast over time?