Lesson 12 Disciples on the Emmaus Road: The Discoverers
Map of Lesson
Parallel and Related Passages
Mark 16:12-13, Luke 24:13-36
The two travelers on the road to Emmaus are mostly unknown to us until this even recorded in Luke. They are among the hundreds of other disciples that believed in Jesus but were not part of the 12. We know the name of one, Cleopos, who was the husband of one of the Marys who stayed with Jesus’ mother Mary at the cross.
John 19:25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.
He was possibly the father of James the Less. The apostle who was not the brother of John.
Luke 24:10 It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
Cleopas may have been recounted the story to Luke. The other disciple is still a mystery, though some think it may have been Luke himself though this seems very unlikely.
Emmaus was a small mountain village about 10 miles east and a little north of Jerusalem. On the day of the story many would have been traveling the road back to their hometowns after the week of Passover.
Understanding the Text
Luke 24: 13-24
What is the overall mood or feeling that we find in these disciples?
They were discouraged, fearful, emotionally drained and empty.
Why were they in this frame of mind?
Jesus had died and in their minds was gone.
What were they talking about?
The events of the last few days.
What does it mean "their eyes were holden?"
They were divinely kept from recognizing Jesus. Perhaps in the same way that Mary was at the tomb, though it is much clearer here that it is a divine act.
What did they need at this time in their lives?
To know Jesus was alive, to see him beside them now.
Why were they surprised that the stranger walking with them had not heard of the events of the last few days?
The people walking on that road were all leaving Jerusalem after the Passover. Everyone should have heard of the great events that took place in Jerusalem.
Why did these disciples mention the third day? What was so important about it being the third day?
Jesus promised He would rise on the third day and now this day, (Sunday) was the third day.
If this day, Sunday, was the third day and you count backwards 3 days what day does the Crucifixion fall on?
Thursday. Sunday-Saturday 3, Saturday-Friday 2, Friday-Thursday 1.
This view puts the Triumphal Entry on Sunday rather than Sabbath, therefore the people would not be breaking the Sabbath, by working.
Though it lacks a full 72 hours in the grave, but when we read Acts 10:40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly. We see that here Jesus was raised on not after the third day, showing that a full 72 hours was not necessary then, as it is not today, when we say three days from now.
The double Sabbaths (regular sabbath and the high sabbath of the beginning of the feast) explains why the women waited to anoint the body. This view also reconciles with Luke 24:21 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.
Jesus calls these disciples “fools” though in the sermon on the Mount he told the disciples not to call others a fool. What is the difference here?
The two words are different in the Greek and especially in the Hebrew or Aramaic, which Jesus was speaking. The word used in Luke 24 is ἀνόητος (anoētos) and means foolish or unwise. The word used in Matthew 5:22 is μωρός (mōros) our word moron and is more derogatory and has the idea of vile or worthless. Jesus is telling the disciples that they weren’t seeing the big picture, understanding the scripture and therefore were unwise in their understanding.
Vs. 27 What did Jesus use to begin to reveal Himself to these followers?
He uses the Old Testament scriptures. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
The Suffering Messiah In the Old Testament
Exodus 17:6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
Numbers 21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?
8 He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. 18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. 11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.
When were their eyes finally and fully opened to see Jesus?
When he came home to eat with them. When he broke bread and blessed their house. Jesus had performed this prayer and acted in this role of rabbi so many times, that it was the natural time for their eyes to be opened.
Vs 32-36 How are the disciples different on the way back to Jerusalem than they were on the way to Emmaus?
Now unafraid even to travel the 10 miles or more in the dark back to Jerusalem, instead of doubts they are filled with confidence and can’t wait to tell the others. They are now filled with hope and not fear.
Just like these disciples on the Emmaus road, we have a real need in our live to see Jesus. We need to see Him walking and talking with us just as they did.
Though I will not have this happen physically, I can still “see Jesus” in the same way that their eyes were opened. I need to see him in the scripture. I must hear Him speaking to me from His book. I must have fellowship with my Lord. A time to walk and talk with Him. And most important I need to everyday invite Jesus to "abide with me.” It will be as master of the house that Jesus will be fully seen.