BIBLE INSIGHTS in 500 words
The Courageous Road to Emmaus
Richard Leslie Parrott, Ph.D.
Luke 24:13-15, 32
If the story of the Prodigal Son is the finest story Jesus told, then the story of the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus must have an equal claim as the finest scene that Luke ever sketched.
A Drama: At the level of drama, it has everything
A Model: Luke fashioned the story to serve as a model for what it means to be a Christian:
The dismal failure of human hopes
Turning to someone who may help
Discovering the truth in Scripture
The discovery of Jesus himself
Breaking bread with our Lord
A Meditation: This is a story for meditation. We are invited to journey to Emmaus. Bring your problems, your anger, your agony, and your anxiety. Be prepared to share your burden. The story is a living illustration: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20) Listen for his voice that will warm your heart by applying Scripture to your mind and soul. This is a story to live out again and again as Christians.
A Marriage. It is very likely that the couple on the road were husband and wife, Cleopas and Mary. “Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene” (John 19:25). Clopas is likely another spelling of the name found in our text, “One of them, named Cleopas. . .” (Luke 24:18). Across the centuries, many Christian couples have found this story an encouragement to their shared life in Christ. Here is a soulful picture of spiritual friendship in a marriage, “They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them” (Luke 24:14-15).
A Portrait in Courage. We see that Cleopas was a man of courage. He did not know or recognize the stranger who appeared on the road. The stranger could have been a spy from the Temple police or the Roman guards. There was a reason “the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders” (John 20:19). Yet, Cleopas responded with courage.
He and his wife included the “stranger” in their conversation and they discovered together: “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us” (Luke 24:32)?
Prayer for Trust in Jesus– St. Ignatius of Loyola
O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.