The Road to Emmaus


An Ancient Road, Source Unknown

The Road to Emmaus: Coming to Know Jesus, The Way, The Truth and The Life

In Luke 24:13-35, we are confronted with a most interesting account where two of Jesus’s disciples (one of whom is named Cleopas*) did not recognize Jesus after His Resurrection when He met them along their journey on the Road to Emmaus.  Jesus’s Identity was initially withheld from those disciples.

In Luke 24:13 & 14, we read where two of Jesus’s disciples were walking and talking together about the recent events (Jesus’s crucifixion on Friday, and His body being found to be missing on the morning of that very same Sunday morning when the disciples were heading (evidently downhill, from Jerusalem) to Emmaus, “And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem [about] threescore furlongsAnd they talked together of all these things which had happened.”

A few things to note here.  The two disciples were on their way to the village of Emmaus. Emmaus means “hot springs/warm springs”, which, when we view this account from a spiritual perspective, could be viewed as an allegorical reference to hell. Moreover, “threescore” is sixty, which contains the number “six” which is associated with mankind having been created on the “sixth” day. So yes, the disciples, prior to “knowing Jesus” were being used in this account to represent all of mankind, who apart from Divine intervention, would otherwise remain in sin darkened blindness, travelling together down the road to hell. The Good News is that, as we will learn more below, Jesus met them along the way and their eyes were opened and they knew Him indicating that they were among the elect and and therefore also represent all who are to be saved through the faith and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ!   

In Luke 24:15, we next read that, “And it came to pass, that, while they communed [together] and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.” 

As we noted previously in the study of the Book of Ruth, when the Bible says that “it came to pass”, it is almost always alerting us to the fact that something significant is about to unfold. The significant event developed while the two disciples were communing together and reasoning together on the road to Emmaus.  The word “reasoning” is translated from the Greek word, G4802 συζητέω syzētéō, which means to “enquire”, “discuss”, “dispute”, and it is not unlike what we read in the Old Testament in the translation from Hebrew of Isaiah 1:18, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” We also know, from Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Their eyes were holden

In Luke 24:16, we read where even though Jesus drew near to them and joined with the two disciples on that road, we read in “But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.” They did not have “the eyes to see” that it was Jesus, and, therefore, they could not know Him.

However, a bit later we read in Luke 24:27, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”  Later on, in verse Luke 24:31, we read, “And their eyes were opened, and they knew him;.”  We see this repeated again later in Luke 24:44&45: “And He (Jesus) said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning meThen opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”  

None of us can “understand the scriptures” if we do not have our eyes opened by God to see that Jesus is the Fulfillment of all the Old Testament scriptures.

This point is reiterated in Acts 3:18, “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.”   Again in Acts 10:43, we read where the Apostle Peter declared, “To him (Jesus Christ) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”  In John 1:45 we read where, “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”  Finally, in Romans 1:1-3, we read, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord

We can see, therefore, that effectively the entire Bible has been precisely crafted by Godby His Holy Spirit, into one cohesive, consistent whole, from beginning to end and was written as a “parable,” in that only if God has given the reader “eyes to see” can the Bible truly be understood and applied to his heart, otherwise the Word remains hidden to that individual.  It is the only way to “hear” Him (see Matthew 17:5).  Because this is so, we can also see how it should be possible to “see” the Lord Jesus Christ (He is both the Word and Wisdom) on each and every page, whether it be in the New, or Old, Testament.  In I Corinthians 13:12, we read, “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

It would appear that God’s intent was to initiate a discussion between Jesus and the two disciples to create an account that provides the believer with insights on how God intervenes in our lives to lead us into truth from the scriptures. At the outset, the disciples were “blind” with respect to “seeing” and “knowing” Jesus from the Old Testament scriptures.

Proverbs 20:12, “The hearing ear, and the seeing eye, the LORD hath made even both of them. God must give the person the spiritual eyesight to see Jesus in the Old Testament.

Psalm 119:18, “Open thou mine eyesthat I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Jesus is the “wondrous” thing to behold in the law (the scriptures of the Bible).

Luke 24:17, “And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?” Jesus enquired of the disciples to explain their bewilderment and the associated sorrow it was causing.

Luke 24:18, “And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?” The disciples were astonished that this person could not be aware of what had just happened in Jerusalem and therefore wondered if he was a stranger.

*Cleopas (G2810 Κλεοπᾶς , meaning “of a renowned father”) may or not be the same person as Jesus’s named uncle on Jesus’s mother’s, Mary’s, side, Cleophas (G2832 Κλωπᾶς, meaning “my exchanges”). Please see John 19:25. At a minimum, we can say that, based on Luke 24:18, the disciple, Cleopas, was representative of all of the children of God, Who is our Renowned Father in Heaven.

Luke 24:19, “And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:”

Luke 24:20-22, “And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.” The disciples believed that Jesus was the Messiah, the Redeemer of National Israel, but yet instead of “saving” them, Jesus was put to death by cruxifixction! The disciples’ faith and understanding was carnally focused, and not spiritually focused, and moreover, they were looking for a “political” savior/redeemer and did not understand that Jesus was the Eternal Spiritual Sacrificial Lamb of God, Who came to save the eternal Israel from all sin.

But the disciples were also baffled because they also wondered that perhaps Jesus could have been resurrected from the dead on that very morning, Resurrection Sunday morning, because of what these disciples report next, but it is clear that they still were doubting.

Luke 24:22&23, “Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.” The tomb was empty, Jesus’s body was not there, the “certain women” (“Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary [the mother] of James, and other [women]” according to Luke 24:10. Salome was another of the women, Mark 16:1) who told the apostles what had happened but, according to Luke 24:11, “their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.

Luke 24:24, “And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.” John 20:1-10 provides the most detail regarding the reaction of Peter and John, who ran to the sepulchre and also found the tomb empty along with the burial cloths. Notably, we read in John 20:8&9, that “Then went in also that other disciple, which came first tothe sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead.” They saw and believed that the tomb was empty and Jesus’s body was gone, but nothing more than that.

Luke 24:25, ”Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Jesus was rebuking the disciples, in calling them fools (from the Greek, ἀνόητος (anoētos) G453 ), which meant that they were unwise and lacked understanding (of heart to believe) all of the scriptures. Apart from the direct intervention of God, everyone in the world is exactly the same as these disciples. We are all “unwise” and “lack understanding” unless and until the Holy Spirit of God opens our spiritual eyes and ears to understand the scriptures. We must also remember that the two disciples Road to Emmaus encounter with Jesus was prior to Jesus’s Ascension, and before the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is required to quicken the believer, which means to make alive, also known as the new birth in the Spirit. When that happens we can see Jesus with our spiritual eyes and hear with our spiritual ears and become His true disciples.

Remember that Jesus said in John 14:15&16, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [eventhe Spirit of truthwhich proceedeth from the Fatherhe shall testify of me:” …And…

John 14:26, “But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” …And…

John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

Luke 24:26, “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?Isaiah 53:1-12 makes this clear, but so do many other scriptures as is indicated next with Jesus expositions of the scriptures.

Luke 24:27, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophetshe expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” It is worth repeating once again that, later in verses 44 & 45, “And He (Jesus) said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me.  Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”   This point is reiterated in Acts 3:18, “But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.”   Again in Acts 10:43, we read where the Apostle Peter declared, “To him (Jesus Christ) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.”  In John 1:45 we read where, “Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”  Finally, in Romans 1:1-3, we read, “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called [to be] an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” And finally, remember that Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 , “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Jesus Is the fulfillment of all the Old Testament scriptures!

Luke 24:28 & 29, “And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.” But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.” Abide is from the Greek word, μένω (menō) G3306, which means to “dwell” or “sojourn”, and the word “tarry” is the same Greek word. We want to be like Jacob at “Peniel” (“the face of God”) in Genesis 32:26-30 where Jacob was named Israel by God and where Jacob would not let God go without first receiving God’s blessing.

Jesus is the Bread of Life, He was broken for the believers, and Jesus imparts it to the believers to open their eyes to know Him out of the Old Testament. 

Luke 24:30&31, “And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.”  Note the introduction again, “And it came to pass”!

Note how well this account meshes with Luke 24:35, “And they told what things [were done] in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

The key point so clear here is that Jesus has to “break the bread” for the believers.  Jesus also has to first bless the bread for the believers. Jesus has to give the bread to the believers. Hallelujah!

We know that Jesus is the “The Bread of Life” according to John 6:35, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” And in John 6:48, Jesus said, “I am that bread of life.”  

Moreover, Jesus Himself had to be broken, remember where the communion was instituted at the Last (Passover) Supper, Jesus gave the disciples pieces of broken bread and said according to Matthew 26:26, “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed [it] and brake [it], and gave [it] to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.”

In Luke 22:19 we read, “And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake [it], and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.”

In 1 Corinthians 11:23 & 24 we get some further important elaboration from God via Paul, “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the [same] night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake [it], and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.” 

So Jesus was saying that He is that Bread of Life that was broken for the believers, and given for them as a substitutionary atoning sacrifice, and that they must eat in remembrance of Him.  And when the two disciples received the bread from Jesus in the Road to Emmaus account, “their eyes were opened and they knew Him.” The two disciples recognized Jesus for Who He Is and they knew Him!  

Remembering in John 1:14 that Jesus is the Word made flesh, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Therefore, when Jesus had opened the Word of God unto the disciples, “beginning at Moses and all the prophetshe expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself” Jesus was exposing Himself, symbolized by that broken bread, as their Lord God and Savior and they had their spiritual eyes opened to see Him!  

Although Jesus immediately vanished out of the physical sight of the disciples, Jesus remained in the spiritual sight of the disciples and the following was the result…

Luke 24:32, “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

They recounted how their hearts burned within them!  That should be the exact same feeling that every believer should have when Jesus is expounded out Moses (the first five books of the Bible), and all the prophets and all the scriptures concerning Jesus Christ! Jesus is the essence and fulfillment of all the Old Testament scriptures as Jesus said in John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” It cannot get any more plain than that! The Bereansearching Blog (https://bereansearching.com) is dedicated to this exact same purpose.

The account describes two disciples who were on a path away from the Holy City who did not see that Jesus had to fulfill the requirements of the Old Testament sacrificial laws…that He had to be both the Lamb of God and the office of the High Priest that offers up that Sacrifice, the Kinsman Redeemer (as in Ruth), the Saviour in Psalms, the Fulfillment of the Types of the Great men of faith as listed by example in Hebrews 11:32. But once Jesus expounded and opened up to them out of all the scriptures concerning Himself, they understood that something new and amazing was going on. They begged for Jesus to dwell with them and then, when Jesus broke the bread for them, they suddenly “knew” Him.

Conclusion

The meaning of the Road to Emmaus…and it is the Key to Unveiling the Mystery of the Bible…is that the entire Bible (both the Old Testament and New Testaments) is all about the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ to bring salvation to sinners! (Please see also: https://bereansearching.com/2021/12/12/exalting-the-person-and-work-of-jesus-christ-the-key-to-unveiling-the-mystery-of-the-bible-a-typological-interpretive-guide-to-biblical-understanding/)

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