The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

April 13, 2013

INSTANT MESSAGE: The Emmaus Road

By CRAIG HARRIS
Palestine Herald-Press

Luke 24: 13-23 (NIV): Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem.  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;  but they were kept from recognizing him.  He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?" They stood still, their faces downcast.  One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?"

    "What things?" he asked. "About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.  The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him;  but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.  In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning  but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive ..."




    Only one of these people is even named. The other may have been his wife, but we can't be sure. It is interesting that Jesus could have spent this time with the disciples, but chose, instead, to walk in the countryside with these two un-famous "nobodies". But Jesus' love is for all people, his salvation is for all people, and he reveals himself to us as individuals. He is just as present in a small, country home as he is in a huge place of worship with a well-known preacher in a big city. His truth doesn't change. His Spirit finds us where we are.

    The companions tell Jesus that they were disappointed in him. (Remember, they didn't recognize him yet.) They thought he was going to redeem Israel, but he had died instead. We, too, are often disappointed when we fail to understand what God is up to. God is always up to something good.

    If you read the rest of this story you see that Jesus taught them that what had happened was exactly what God had planned and had told them in the Old Testament all along. Jesus was indeed the redemption of Israel, just not like they thought he would be.

    They only recognized Jesus when the Holy Spirit allowed them to. But when they did recognize him, they ran back and told others about it. That should be our response too. We should go and tell.

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Year one of Instant Message is now available for Kindle and Kindle apps. Go to www.instantmessagelive.com. Harris is the pastor at Brushy Creek and Mt. Vernon United Methodist churches.