A Lack of Understanding


            Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem.  And they talked together of all these things which had happened.  So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus himself drew near and went with them.  But their eyes were restrained so that they did not know him. 

And he said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” 

Then the one whose name is Cleopas answered and said to him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have you not known the things which happened there in these days?” 

And he said to them, “What things?” 

So they said to him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him.  But we were hoping that it was he who was going to redeem Israel.  Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened.  Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us.  When they did not find his body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said he was alive.  And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but him they did not see.” 

            Then he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!  Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter in to his glory?”

            And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself (Luke 24: 13-27.) 


            Jesus deliberately concealed himself from these two men to serve a purpose.  If he had revealed himself to them, they would have been unable to hear the things he was going to teach them.  We can also see that the things that occurred with Jesus were known openly by everyone.  These two men shared the sentiments of the people, which were that they had lost hope in Jesus, because of his crucifixion.  God’s plan for the messiah was unclear to them.  The Passover was finished and many of the millions of pilgrims were beginning to leave Jerusalem and return home.  So here were two men who were walking away from the place where Jesus’ tomb had been found to be empty.  There had been crushed, and they were disbelieving even though they had heard that the tomb had been found empty.  There faith was based upon their understanding, and they did not understand.  Jesus then addressed the source of their disbelief (a lack of understanding.)  He spoke to them of the necessity of the messiah to be punished, beaten and afflicted and crucified.  The crucifixion was not a trait of God’s weakness but of his strength; it was not a disappointing result of God’s inability to control things, but the result of God’s divine will.  Jesus revealed the truth of who he was to them as he walked with them and opened up the scriptures.  Jesus was honored by God when he was raised up on the cross, and he was glorified when he was raised from the dead.

             Why does Jesus go back to the Old Testament when he reasoned with these two men.  Prophecy is what makes the truth of God’s plan evident to all.  No one but God can know what is going to happen prior to it happening.  Jesus directs these two men back to the scriptures, no doubt pointing out all of the old testaments scriptures that described the coming messiah.  In many of the scriptures, God’s prophets wrote about a man who was going to be beaten, crucified, spit on, and rejected.  He was described as a lamb that would be slaughtered; he would raise the dead, heal the sick, and return sight to the blind.  He was described as having been born in Bethlehem, and born of a Virgin.  There are too many descriptions of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament to mention here.

             I don’t know if any of you have been involved in a class where you had no idea what you were learning.  Perhaps you just weren’t very good at the subject, or maybe you didn’t pay close enough attention to what was being taught.  I recall on a number of occasions, having a tutor come to my house to help me understand what I was learning in a particular class.  I was never very good at math, and so my friend helped me go through the book one line at a time, one problem at a time, until I understood correctly.  Jesus did this same thing with these two men on the road to Emmaus.

             Today, many people open up the bible and don’t necessarily understand what they are reading.  But God is still walking along side of them, speaking to their hearts, opening up their eyes, to whom Jesus Christ is, and why he had to come and die, and be raised to life.  Today, God has a plan in each and every person’s life, and that plan starts with a faith in Jesus Christ, and in his resurrection.  We don’t need to debate in our hearts, or with another person as to whether or not Jesus Christ was the messiah, we need only draw closer to him, and he will continue to reveal his truth to us; he will continue to open our eyes and to give us even greater understanding.  He doesn’t reveal all of his truth, all at once, and this is for his purposes and our benefit.  We will never be confused if we continue to follow him; we will never be in darkness, for he is with us, and in us, and among us, walking hand in hand through this life with us, and into the life to come.   

            “Lord heavenly Father, we ask and pray that You would come to those of us who lack understanding, and who are seeking You, and give us wisdom, and testify to our hearts the truth of Your plan for salvation in our lives.  Father, open the scriptures to us, open our eyes, and open our hearts to receiving Your Spirit and Your truth today.  We love You Father, we praise You and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, in Jesus Christ’s name, amen.”  God bless all of you.

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