That same day two of them were walking to the village Emmaus, about seven miles out of Jerusalem. They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was. He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?” They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s happened during the last few days?” He said, “What has happened?” They said, “The things that happened to Jesus the Nazarene. He was a man of God, a prophet, dynamic in work and word, blessed by both God and all the people. Then our high priests and leaders betrayed him, got him sentenced to death, and crucified him. And we had our hopes up that he was the One, the One about to deliver Israel. And it is now the third day since it happened. But now some of our women have completely confused us. Early this morning they were at the tomb and couldn’t find his body. They came back with the story that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of our friends went off to the tomb to check and found it empty just as the women said, but they didn’t see Jesus.” Then he said to them, “So thick-headed! So slow-hearted! Why can’t you simply believe all that the prophets said? Don’t you see that these things had to happen, that the Messiah had to suffer and only then enter into his glory?” Then he started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to him. They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if he were going on but they pressed him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So he went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, he blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized him. And then he disappeared. Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?” Luke 24:13-32 (The Message)
I love to travel. I don’t care where I am going, but I enjoy seeing new places and learning new things. There is something about a long road stretching ahead that excites me and invites discovery. I particularly like winding country roads. There is always something interesting around every bend. I enjoy traveling with husband, especially when we bring along his motorcycle and we can enjoy some of those back roads. I like being able to smell the air, clothes drying in a dryer, cow patties in a field, mown grass or BBQ smoke and imagine the stories that revolve around those things. When husband and I travel, we are often solitary. Comfortable with each other and no need for making up conversation, we can ride for miles in the quiet. I don’t know what he thinks, but I am usually making up tales in my mind. I see someone and wonder who they are and create a life for them. Someday, I am going to write them all down. Sometimes though, we travel with friends. Having another couple along throws a new dynamic in the mix. There is usually more laughter, more discussion over where we will stop for dinner, more excitement as we have someone to share the experience with. Sometimes for a change, it is nice to have friends along for the ride. I imagine some of that same feeling as these two friends walked down the road talking about all that had happened. I know that they consoled each other about Jesus’ death, wondered if the disciples were telling the truth about his resurrection, remembered all Jesus’ miracles and all He had taught them. But, like sometimes happens when friends get together, the intensity of what they were feeling might have multiplied with the conversation. They could have egged each other on, one trying to top the other, emotions swirling as they tossed around theories and suppositions. And then, a third person joined in, asking questions and offering insight into their situation. He brought clarity to all of their thoughts. It was not until He joined them for supper and repeated His actions from Passover just a few nights before, “Taking the bread, He blessed and broke and gave it to them,” that they understood that it was Jesus. Then, they could not wait until they could go and share with the disciples what they had seen. Part of being a Christian is having good friends to share experiences with, to encourage each other, to hold each other accountable to do right. But, as with all human relationships, we sometimes miss what is most important unless Jesus walks beside us as well. We can count upon Him to reveal the truth. Not stories that we make up, but the real meaning of life and its experiences. On the road of life, we need good friends for company, but most of all, we need Jesus who knows us inside and out. Share Him with someone today.