Seeing is Believing, part 1

Posted: April 15, 2018 in Luke, Uncategorized

Luke 24:13-35, “Seeing is Believing, part 1”

 

Normally, if something seems too good to be true, it is.  Like the emails from the Nigerian prince offering $1M to anyone who simply responds to him, or the Facebook chains promising blessing for just commenting “Amen.”  Things like that are either false or outright scams, and we need to be careful. 

 

Every so often, however, we come across something that seems too good to be true, but actually is true.  On even rarer occasions, it might even be better.  The road to Emmaus is one of those times.  That was one of the occasions when the resurrected Jesus was first seen, and the reality of His rising was better than what the apostles could have dreamed.  This was something to be excited about.  (It still is!)

 

As we know, the events leading up to it were exciting, though in a far different way.  The past few days for the disciples had been filled with fear, heartache, and grief.  The whole week was a holiday week among the Jews, being the days leading up to the Passover festival, and the city of Jerusalem had been entranced with the drama that played out between Jesus and the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes.  There had been no way the Jewish leadership could forcibly arrest Jesus out in the open, so they conspired to take Him in secret.

 

And so they did.  With the bribe of Judas Iscariot, Jesus was betrayed into the hands of the religious authorities, and things quickly snowballed.  Jesus went through multiple kangaroo courts, was found guilty of blasphemy, though the Sanhedrin delivered Jesus to the Romans on the charges of insurrection and treason.  Soon the Romans had beaten Jesus horrendously and nailed Him to the cross.  There, Jesus was mocked, having been despised & rejected by men, and by 3pm Friday, died.  His body was requested by Joseph of Arimathea (a formerly secret disciple of Jesus who was a member of the Sanhedrin), and buried in Joseph’s own tomb, which was witnessed by the women who never left Jesus’ side.

 

The women would have remained there, had it not been for the approaching Sabbath (beginning sunset Friday).  They went home, but came back at their earliest opportunity, which was daybreak/first light on the third day (Sunday).  What they found, amazed them.  The tomb was empty!  All that remained were Jesus’ graveclothes and a couple of angels who told them of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.  They remembered Jesus’ prophecies about this, and though still confused, ran to tell the disciples the good news (becoming the very first evangelists of Jesus’ resurrection in history).  Out of all the disciples, Peter was the first to rise to run to the tomb.  Having denied Jesus on the night of His arrest, Peter was no doubt suffering emotionally on a level different from that of the others.  Once he arrived (John having beat him there), Peter went inside the tomb and verified it as empty.  And he marveled.  He wasn’t sure what to think.  The news of the women, and their report from the angel had seemed too good to be true, but it was.

 

Or was it?  The tomb was empty, but where was Jesus?  This is why Luke (and the other gospel writers) continued writing.  On one hand, we might think that if the tomb was empty, then the story must be over.  Jesus is risen from the dead, and that’s the end.  No.  To this point in Luke’s writings, Jesus’ resurrection has been proclaimed & the surrounding evidence verified, but Jesus Himself had not yet been seen.  His risen life would require eyewitnesses, who would then go out to tell the world.  (Which is why Look wrote his second book, the Acts of the Apostles!)

 

As Luke 24 continues, the group of eyewitnesses begins to form.  As it does, they also begin to realize that none of this should have been a surprise.  The Scriptures spoke of Jesus’ suffering & resurrection, just as Jesus Himself had.  All of the information was there…it just needed to be believed.

 

Do you believe the message of Jesus’ resurrection?  Those who do are transformed!

 

Luke 24:13–35

  • Journey with Jesus (13-27)

13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.

  1. Luke quickly gives the setting, tying in these events with the things that preceded it. To write the “same day” was to refer to the same Sunday that the women discovered the empty tomb, and that Peter verified it empty.  All of the disciples were reeling from the news, unsure with what to believe, and what next to do. 
  2. For two of the people among the larger group who believed in Jesus, they decided (for whatever reason) to head to “a village called Emmaus.” Scholars are uncertain to the exact location of the town, most believing it to be generally west of Jerusalem.  What Luke does tell us is that it was “seven miles” (literally “60 stadia”) away from Jerusalem.  Keep that distance in mind, as it becomes important.  For most people, seven miles at a relatively easy pace is around a two-hour walk.  It was a distance, but not an unusually long one for a culture that travelled primarily by foot.
  3. This left plenty of time for conversation! And among the disciples of Jesus, there would surely be only one topic of discussion: the reports they had received from the women and from Peter.  What should they believe?  What could they believe?  They had verified evidence that something happened, but they didn’t know what they could do about it.  They (like all of the disciples) were still in shock, and they were debating back & forth among themselves trying to make sense of it all.
  4. That’s when they saw Jesus, but didn’t see Jesus.

 

15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

  1. Encountering strangers along the road would not have been too unusual at the time, and no doubt the two disciples were so involved in their conversation that they may not have noticed this Man until He was right upon them. Jesus came right alongside them and joined them in their journey, but they didn’t know Him.  Luke tells us “their eyes were restrained,” so that recognition of Him was impossible.  Depending on the context, the word for “restrained” could speak of being held, seized, controlled, on hindered – all basically leading to the same conclusion.  These disciples were held back from seeing Jesus.
  2. This reveals something important about this event: at this time, Jesus didn’t yet want to be known. Jesus could have been known, but He wanted this initial contact to be secret, so some supernatural action was taken to ensure the disciples’ “eyes were restrained.”  Why?  Ultimately, Scripture does not say, but judging from what follows, perhaps Jesus held back their recognition of Him because He wanted them to recognize the Scriptures.  Sometimes people follow a teacher because of the teacher; not necessarily because of what’s taught.  Sometimes people get caught up in a person’s charisma & personality, so that they just go along with whatever is said…and no question Jesus had an attractive personality!  When He taught, He taught with incredible authority, such was unknown among the Jews, and it was not unusual to have thousands flock to Jesus at different times.  Perhaps this time, Jesus wanted these two disciples to look beyond His personality and see the truth of the Scripture for what it said, and to realize that the written word of God and the Living Word of God each spoke exactly the same thing with the same authority.  (It does!)
  3. In the end, we cannot say with certainty why God restrained the eyes of the disciples, only that He did. And this is what Jesus used to gain an opening to their conversation.

 

17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”

  1. It’s always interesting when God asks questions. Here, Jesus spoke up to involve Himself in the debate between the two disciples, so He basically asks, “What’s up?  What are you talking about?”  No doubt He already knew what they were talking about, but He wanted them to express it in their own words to Him. He wanted to make this seem as normal as possible.
  2. If nothing else, a question from a stranger might have been naturally expected, because the emotion of the disciples was evident. They were “sad,” so their new companion simply asks, “What’s wrong?”
    1. It may be strange for us to consider. After all, resurrection Sunday is one of the happiest days of the year for a Christian.  How could any believer in Jesus be sad on Easter?  How could any disciple be sad on the day Jesus rose from the dead?  Easy, if they didn’t know Jesus actually rose.  That’s a believer who doesn’t have anything to believe.  A dead Jesus who remains a dead Jesus leads to dead hope.  Without His resurrection, we have no answer to sin – we have no promise of life – we have no reason to believe that Jesus was anything more than a prophet, and a false one at that.  A dead Jesus who stayed dead is hopeless.  Only a Jesus who is no longer dead offers hope, forgiveness, and eternal life, and that’s exactly what He does!
  3. Question: Can a believer not believe in a risen Jesus? Not from our perspective, no.  For these two disciples, they were at a unique point in history where they did believe, but they didn’t yet have the full revelation of Christ and His resurrection, so they were in a kind of in-between state (which only lasted for a few days starting from the cross through His post-resurrection appearances).  For us, we have no such excuse.  We either believe in the risen Jesus with all our heart, or we don’t.  Those who do, surrender our lives to Him, because there can be no other response to the risen Son of God.  Those who don’t, don’t.  Some of them may say they believe, but they are ultimately Christians in name only.  They can recite truths from the Bible, and even quote that Jesus is risen from the dead, but they don’t really believe it. … How can we be sure?  Because otherwise there would be a response.  If Jesus IS who the Bible says that He is, then it means: He is the Almighty 2nd Person of the Triune God who clothed Himself in human flesh for the specific purpose of becoming a sin sacrifice on our behalf – that when He died on the cross, He stood in our place, taking the wrath of God for every sin committed by every member of the human race – that He rose from the dead on the third day, definitively proving that (1) He is God, and (2) the price for sin has been paid – and that He freely offers forgiveness and eternal life to those who believe and who receive Him as Lord.  These are not truths we can quote, but not apply – it isn’t a religious game or mind-trip.  We have to do something with it.  Real faith requires a real response. We have to surrender our lives to Him as Lord.  Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”  To confess Jesus as “Lord,” isn’t to simply quote a title; it’s to confess Him as your Master & King.  It is to surrender everything to Him, offering Him your life.  He gave His life for you; you give your life to Him – it is the only reasonable, rational response. (Rom 12:1)  But it is a necessary response.

 

18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

  1. There were originally two travelers; only one was named. Theories about regarding the identity of Cleopas and his companion (be it another male believer, or one of the remaining 11 apostles, or perhaps Cleopas’ wife).  All we know is that both were fairly anonymous to history.  Cleopas would have been known to Luke’s readers at the time, considering he was named.  Surely an apostle would have been named as well, if one had been present.  The reasonable assumption is that both people were just everyday “Joe’s” – just normal Christians.  They don’t seem to have been leaders among the disciples, or have any recognition beyond this event.  Yet they were some of the very first people to witness the resurrected Jesus!  How amazing is the grace of Christ! The message of Jesus’ resurrection was first given to the women, and (though unnamed here, but recorded in John) Mary Magdalene was the very first to see Jesus, but before Jesus appeared to the remaining 11 apostles, Jesus appeared to two regular Joes on the road.  Jesus isn’t impressed by someone’s pedigree or reputation; He loves us for who He has created us to be!  (Not necessarily for who we are, but who He desires us to be.  By ourselves, we’re simply sinners; in Christ, we are forgiven saints!)
    1. You may not have an impressive religious résumé, but if you know the Lord Jesus, then you have personally experienced the grace of Almighty God. That puts you on the same playing field as Billy Graham, or even the apostle Paul.  We are all sinners, saved by the grace of Jesus.
  2. Of course, Cleopas wasn’t yet aware of Jesus’ identity, so he’s a bit amazed by the question. There is perhaps a bit of sarcasm in his response – perhaps a bit of incredulity.  From Cleopas’ perspective, how could this person not know of Jesus’ crucifixion?  The whole city of Jerusalem had been consumed with the drama surrounding Jesus throughout the entire week of Passover.  So many people had witnessed the conflict between Jesus and the Jewish authorities, that the authorities knew it was impossible to arrest Jesus in the middle of the temple.  That was the entire reason they had to do things “by hook or by crook” through Judas.  And who in Jerusalem (or even the surrounding area) would not be aware of the mob that had stood outside Pilate’s doorstep demanding Jesus’ crucifixion?  Just the crucifixion itself would have been publicly known – the very act was designed to instill the fear of the Romans in as many people as possible, which is why it was done in as public as possible a place.  For someone not to know these things, they would have had to been under a rock!

 

19 And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.

  1. Question: Was Jesus being deceptive? Not in the way we might think of others.  In no way was Jesus trying to mislead or harm Cleopas & his companion.  Jesus was simply trying to get them to open up about the cross & empty tomb, in order that He could lead them to true faith.  So He plays along with the conversation, prompting Cleopas to continue.
  2. And Cleopas does! He and his friend (i.e. the plural “they”) confess their faith in Christ, even as it had been soundly shaken.  They state:
    1. Jesus was a Man. He had come from “”  He had a human background & upbringing.  He was a Jew, just like all the other Jews in Judea and Galilee.  At the same time, He was more.
    2. Jesus was a “” Of course, Jesus was vastly more than a prophet, but this was (at the time) still an apt way to describe Him.  He had been obviously invested with authority and power from God.  He spoke the truth of God in a way none others did, and performed miracles of God in ways that hadn’t been seen since the days of Elijah.  There was no question that Jesus was a powerful prophet, even the fulfillment of Moses’ prediction of the Prophet who would come after him. (Dt 18:15)
    3. Jesus was rejected by the Jews. Although Jesus had demonstrated His prophetic authority, He was nonetheless rejected by His nation.  The “chief priests and…rulers” acted in evil conspiracy to rid themselves of Jesus.
    4. Jesus was unjustly killed, being “” He had truly died, in torturous suffering.  This had been witnessed by man, and verified by the Romans.  Jesus had not fallen asleep, was put into a coma, or anything else…He was dead.
  3. There’s one other thing they confess about Jesus. 

 

21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.

  1. Jesus was the Redeemer! The hope for Israel was that God would send His Messiah.  Just as God promised to David long ago, one of David’s descendants would have His throne established by God forever (2 Sam 7:13).  The kingdom of Israel would be fully restored, and of the Messiah’s government & reign, there would be no end (Isa 9:6).  To Cleopas, and all the Jews at the time, they thought this meant an immediate restoration of the Jewish kingdom, and total freedom & redemption from the Romans.  (In fact, the disciples still thought that after they all witnessed Jesus’ resurrection.  It would take time before they understood the future nature of the Millennial kingdom.)
  2. Or at least, all of this had been their hope. Three days had passed since Jesus was sent to the cross, and now they weren’t sure what to think.  With Jesus dead and in the tomb, how would the nation be restored?  If Jesus was dead, how could He have been the Redeemer & hope of Israel?  Only a living Messiah could accomplish these things.
    1. And He would! In fact, Jesus had accomplished their redemption…they just didn’t understand what kind of redemption He accomplished.  They were looking for a restored kingdom; Jesus was giving them a restored relationship with God.  Jesus was giving them forgiveness and eternal life.  When we come to faith in Jesus, we are not simply redeemed for a future earthly kingdom, we are redeemed from death itself!  The redemption Jesus provides was far bigger than what Cleopas conceived!
  3. Just a few hours ago, their hopes of Jesus had been completely dashed, but shortly after dawn that morning things had begun to change. Cleopas relates the story to Jesus.

 

22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

  1. They basically give Jesus a summary of 24:1-12.  For Cleopas and the others, things had left off with a verified empty tomb, but an unverified resurrection. They had an angelic report of a risen Jesus given to them by the women, but they weren’t sure if the women could be trusted.  At this point, the disciples didn’t know what to think.
  2. Some of their confusion was cultural (i.e. not valuing the testimony of a woman), but some of it was understandable. We might look back at the resurrection of Jesus & think it obvious, but we’ve had nearly 2000 years of Christian history, the full revelation of the Scriptures, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.  The original disciples of Jesus had none of this at the time.  To be sure, they had the Scriptures, and (as Jesus will soon show) the Old Testament certainly testifies of the suffering and resurrection of the Messiah.  But it isn’t nearly as obvious at the writings of the New Testament.  Likewise, they also knew of God the Holy Spirit – but His permanent indwelling presence wasn’t yet given.  The original disciples certainly had enough given them in order to believe, but we have vastly  They had a tough time believing because this was all new.  People had risen from the dead, but no one had ever risen from the dead by their own power.  For the disciples, this would have sounded too good to be true.
  3. Even so, what tragedy it was that they did not yet believe. They didn’t have as much information and advantage as we do, but they had enough.  They could have believed; they simply didn’t.  Thus, they dwelled in grief, sadness, and confusion.
    1. It’s not much different with many people today. They have the full opportunity to believe Jesus, to know God, and to be transformed by His grace…they just don’t.  So they live in grief, despair, and confusion, while being controlled by sin. 

 

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

  1. It’s always difficult to read tone from writing. (It’s one of the reasons personal conversations are encouraged with tough discussions, rather than emails, texts, or Facebook posts. Tone can be easily misread!)  Although it would be easy to read these words as a harsh rebuke & tough discipline from Jesus, it’s better to assume the best & fall back on what Scripture tells us of Jesus’ character.  Typically, Jesus (being God) resisted the proud, but gave grace to the humble.  To the Pharisees, Jesus was stern & sharp, but to those who followed Him in faith, He was meek & wouldn’t break a bruised reed. Here, there’s no doubt Jesus chastised the two disciples, but this was probably done in a gentle, loving way.  It was likely done with a smile on His lips and a wistful tone in His voice.  “Oh, how could you not yet believe?  You’re so close, yet so far!”
  2. They had all they needed to believe in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures. The Scriptures prophesy of these things – they say what to expect of the Messiah.  Although we typically think of the Bible (the Scriptures) as the New Testament, none of that was yet written.  For them, the Bible was the Old Testament.  And guess what?  It told them all they needed to know.  Prophecies of the Messiah are contained throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, spread among all of the divisions that the Jews would have recognized: in the books of Moses (Torah), in the Prophets (Nevi’im), and in the Writings (Ketuvim) = Tanakh.
    1. From the Garden of Eden… Genesis 3:15, “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.”
    2. To the substitution of Isaac with a ram… Genesis 22:8, “And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together.”
    3. To the need for a Passover lamb… Exodus 12:13, “Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”
    4. From the bribery and betrayal… Zechariah 11:13, “And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for the potter.”
    5. To the specific sufferings of the cross… Psalm 22:16–18, “(16) For dogs have surrounded Me; The congregation of the wicked has enclosed Me. They pierced My hands and My feet; (17) I can count all My bones. They look and stare at Me. (18) They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.”
    6. All of the suffering of the Messiah was clearly prophesied! Isaiah 53:3, “(3) He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”
    7. The exact prophecies quoted and taught by Jesus are unknown, but He had literally hundreds from which to choose. The Old Testament is replete with Messianic prophecies…all that Jesus’ disciples needed to do was open up their eyes and read them.
  3. BTW – Jesus taught the two disciples a grand Bible study during their time on the road, but in no way did He give them a comprehensive listing of every single prophecy throughout the Old Testament. There simply wasn’t time.  That wouldn’t take hours; it would take days.  When Luke writes that Jesus “expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself,” Luke is referring to a grand overview.  Jesus would have given enough examples from the major divisions of the Old Testament that the two disciples could see how all the other prophecies related to Jesus as well.
    1. In a sense, all of the Old Testament points to Christ. That’s not to say Scriptures need to be ripped from their context and forced to apply to Jesus in some way; but from an overall perspective, the whole of the story of Scripture points to Jesus.  It’s all about the promise of Jesus, the work of Jesus, and the reconciliation wrought by Jesus.  To read the Old Testament and miss the Messiah is to miss the point.  The Messiah was promised to right everything that went wrong in the Garden of Eden, and that is exactly what Jesus does.

 

  • Perceiving Jesus (28-35)

28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

  1. This was a typically gracious show of hospitality from the travelers. Roads were dangerous to travel at night, and modern hotels as we know them did not exist.  It was normal for people to invite strangers to stay with them, opening up their home & table to them. 
  2. Of course, it wasn’t just good manners that caused the two disciples to invite Jesus to stay. No doubt, they wanted to continue their conversation over dinner. 

 

30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

  1. Earlier, the sight of the disciples was supernaturally restrained. They couldn’t have recognized Jesus if they wanted to.  Now that restraint was removed.  As Jesus “took bread, blessed, and broke it,” they finally saw Jesus for who He was, “and they knew Him.”  They looked into the eyes of their Master – they saw the nail-prints in His hands as He handed them the bread.  All of sudden, they knew without a shadow of doubt that they were in the presence of Jesus!
  2. Interestingly, when was the last time Jesus broke bread? Passover – the Last Supper.  This wasn’t a communion meal in the technical sense of the term, but they were certainly dining with Jesus.  One can hardly get a better picture of the Lord’s Supper than that!  It’s doubtful that Cleopas and his friend were present for the Last Supper, but they certainly got a gift of a meal with Jesus! 
  3. Their physical recognition of Jesus was short-lived, for the moment they knew Him, “He vanished.” True to Jesus’ statement that He would no longer drink the fruit of the vine until the kingdom, He broke the bread, but vanished before the wine was drunk.  How He vanished is unknown, but Luke is clear that one minute Jesus was there, and the next He wasn’t.  He simply disappeared from sight.  They received the briefest confirmation that Jesus was alive and among them, and then He was gone.  Even so, that confirmation was all they needed.
  4. That was when they realized they should have known Jesus all along. 

 

32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

  1. Their hearts knew Jesus even if their eyes didn’t. Their hearts “burned within them,” as Jesus spoke to them about the Old Testament prophecies.  They had recognized the authority of God, even subconsciously, as their Rabbi and Teacher taught them as He had so many times before.
  2. Just as sheep know the voice of their Shepherd, so do Christians know the voice of Christ! When Jesus calls us, we know – when He leads us, we feel the urge to respond.  Our hearts burn within us…we need to learn to listen.  That’s not to say that we allow ourselves to be carried off by emotion.  That’s too unsteady & untrustworthy.  After all, our hearts are deceitful (Jer 17:9).  But when born-again Christians are instructed by the living Christ, we do have some kind of internal confirmation.  The Spirit who dwells within us confirms with our own spirit the things that are true.  That’s why when we read the Scripture, it gives us that solid conviction.  Have you ever read the Bible, and just felt the weight of it? Or the joy in the Psalms?  That’s God the Holy Spirit confirming/convicting your spirit, and it isn’t something to be ignored.
    1. A similar sort of conviction (heart-burning) can come to those who haven’t yet surrendered their lives to Christ. When God is calling you to be saved, you know it.

 

So Cleopas and his companion have had this dinnertime revelation of the resurrection of Jesus.  They’ve literally seen their Lord & Master physically risen from the dead.  The testimony of two witnesses was all that was required to prove a story to be true, so now they have confirmation of everything that had been earlier reported to them by the women.  What do to now?  They’ve got to pass on the report themselves!  This was too good & too important stay put, no matter what time of day it was.  They had to get back to the apostles, and that’s what they did.

 

33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”

  1. Remember that it was seven miles to Emmaus, a two-hour walk. It was now getting into night, but they didn’t let that stop them from going back to Jerusalem.  No doubt the journey took a lot less time, as it was doubtful they did much walking!
  2. What they found when they arrived surely surprised them. They had expected to break the news of Jesus’ resurrection to the disciples, but they found the disciples already talking about it.  The news given to Cleopas and his friend was that Simon Peter had also seen the resurrected Jesus!
  3. Interestingly, this event is not recorded in any of the four gospels. It is, however, recorded in a writing even older than the four gospels: the first letter of Paul to the Corinthians.  1 Corinthians 15:1–5, “(1) Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, (2) by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. (3) For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (4) and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, (5) and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.”  When & how Peter saw the Lord, we don’t know.  But we do know that he did, and it was part of the earliest confession of the apostles, being taught to Paul when Paul first came to faith in Christ within only a few months of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

 

35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

  1. Once Cleopas and his friend heard of Peter’s experience, it was then their turn to talk. What did they do?  They shared their testimony.  They told the 11 of everything that had happened.  The independent testimonies of Mary Magdalene and Peter were now confirmed by two other disciples who had together seen the risen Jesus.  They could truly testify that He was really alive!
    1. Never neglect the value of your personal testimony! However someone might debate you on other theological points, they cannot debate your experiences.  You know when Jesus called you & when Jesus saved you.  You know what happened when Jesus came into your life & you surrendered everything to Him.  You know how He transformed you.  Speak of that!  Share your testimony & be a witness! 

 

Conclusion:

What a day for Cleopas & his companion!  What a day for all the disciples of Jesus!  Jesus was risen from the dead, and they finally had verified proof.  Amazing!

 

Even more amazing was the fact that these two disciples got to spend special time with Jesus, and didn’t even realize it.  It was like when Jesus spoke His parables to the crowds in Galilee according to the prophecy of Isaiah, they were seeing but not perceiving.  Because of their grief surrounding Jesus, their hearts had grown dull & slow to the promises contained in God’s word, but if they had read it & remembered, then they would have had hope.  The Bible not only would have prepared them for Jesus’ suffering & death, but also His victory, resurrection, and reign.  All they needed to do to see Jesus, was to believe.

 

Do you want to see Jesus?  Do you want to know the truth?  Then believe the truth that has already been given!  Believe what the Bible says about Him, and have your eyes and heart opened to the risen Lord Jesus.  Seeing is believing, but believing is also seeing.  Put your faith in the word of God, and know the Son of God in truth!

 

For those of us who know, we share.  This is going to be the overall command throughout the rest of Luke & into the book of Acts.  We ourselves are witnesses of the Living Jesus, and we need to tell the world.  The news is good, but not too good to be true; instead, it’s too good to keep to ourselves!

 

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