Now the story moves to the response of the two men to Jesus’ specific question, “What things exactly?” Now these two men appear to give a compiled response between them to the question Jesus asked. At first it is like Cleopas is the one responding. Jesus asked THEM, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” What follows is an account given from both of them together. Just as was the case with the women, they seem to be taking turns in sharing the story between them. Only in this case they were not excitedly telling what happened. Now the tone changes.
Remember the question Rachel asked, why do they refer to Jesus as a prophet and not the Son of God (or even a son of God)? That is a deeper question than I believe Rachel realised. Jesus from Nazareth is now the term by which He is recognised. Gone are the grand statements from the disciples as to who He is. Now things have been reduced again to the lowest level. Interesting to note how they talk to “the stranger before them” and refer to Him as a visitor to the city. How did they know He was a visitor? Was it His Galilean accent that made them think that?
This man who is at the centre of the things that happened is described as Jesus, a man from Nazareth,
- a prophet,
- a powerful miracle worker,
- a mighty teacher.
This man from Nazareth is a prophet. He is not even described as The Prophet who is coming after the kind of Moses, the one who is predicted in Scripture. No! He is just a prophet. Without the Resurrection Jesus is just indeed a prophet. He is just one more in the line of those who came bringing hope that maybe He was different from the others. But this prophet was a cut above the others in that He was mighty in word and deed. He was mighty in [ergon] and [logos].
This One brought together the Word of God and the Power of God. This was unusual. He was not your run of the mill prophet. Remember Paul’s words, the Kingdom of God is not a matter of mere words but power too. Where were the accompanying signs that God was with this particular prophet? Well they were present too. God confirmed this Prophet’s words by His accompanying deeds. This Prophet’s words were confirmed by accompanying deeds, miraculous signs which attested to the fact that God was with Him. And of course that did not include the most remarkable of all which these two disciples are omitting – His Resurrection from the Dead. That of course is the moot point of the moment. These two disciples add to the attributes above, the fact that all of this was attested to by God and by the people. Note the order: God first, then the people.
How did God attest to this being true? Well the fact that there were miracles which accompanied His words points to the fact that God Himself must have been with this Prophet. But we know that Jesus was and is way more than just another prophet in a long line of prophets. This One is the One for whom they were all waiting. But they don’t push that side of the argument very convincingly. Yes there were miracles, yes there were healings but what else? I am sure you could gather the evidence better than they did. I am not going to spell it all out for you but suffice to say there is way more evidence than these presented to attest as to Who this Prophet is. Let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they had only just left Emmaus and gone to the Jerusalem for the Passover week. Assume that they had not been travelling with the band of disciples who had been with Him since the ministry in Galilee. Even if they hadn’t they would have heard about it. They say themselves that everyone is talking about the events surrounding this Man from Nazareth. Let’s just focus on the last week and the evidence of what has happened. How quickly things turned from triumph to tragedy and yet He seemed to predict it all. How while hanging on the cross He was in control of His own death. How at the moment He gave up His Spirit God gave His Own signs as to who this One was. Darkness, Earthquake, Graves Opening and the dead walking around, the temple curtain being torn in two from the top. Do you not think they would cite these examples too. These things that happened right before their own eyes and ears? But no! It is all very bland and ordinary. it is like these two have given up the hope they held on to.
How did people attest this being true? They followed Him en masse and cried out their belief that He was the long awaited Messiah. The crowds in support of Him were swelling in numbers as He went along until He entered into Jerusalem and they started singing the song or chanting the words – Blessed is He Who Comes in the Name of the Lord. And on the very day that Daniel had predicted it would happen and they were a part of it. But suddenly everything turns dark (and I am not referring to the light fading). What was to be a joyous time rapidly descends into their worst nightmare. This One the people were praising and lifting high has been convicted, condemned and killed. Where are those who applaud Him now? Well a Roman Centurion still sees something remarkable in Him. His disciples? What about them? The way Luke tells the story they seem to be struggling with it all.
Now the two disciples look at the evidence on the other side of the story. Notice the way they tell the story puts all the blame on the chief priests and religious rulers. They delivered Him up. But I thought Judas did . . . No the blame is laid at the feet of the priests and religious leaders. To them is also attributed the fact that He was condemned to death. Not Pilate, nor the Roman occupying forces . . . but the Chief Priests and religious leaders. The punishment and death sentence came from them. Pilate, representing Roman authority wanted to pardon Him and set Him free. But the Chief Priests and religious leaders objected. Pilate then wanted to give Him a lighter, token sentence and release Him after a few lashes . . . but the chief priests objected and incited the masses to call for His crucifixion. And so He was crucified at the instigation of the religious leaders.
But We . . . note the contrastive use of the “ but we”. We two or we disciples as a collective, or we could broaden it still further to become “we Christians”. We . . . had hoped – continuous action – in the past tense. The durative imperfect tense. Indicating there was at one time on going hope which persisted that This One – the “He” is in the emphatic position in the sentence. But the construction of this sentence indicates that this hope is no longer held. WE no longer hold this hope. His death has brought an end to our hope.
We had hoped – He was the One to REDEEM Israel
But . . . It’s now the third day.
and what’s more
- . . . Some of our women astounded / confused us
- . . . They were at the tomb early and didn’t find the body
- . . . They came back with stories of angels saying He was alive
- . . . Some of us went but didn’t see Him at all.
What a sad little report! Does this remind you of other sad reports in the Bible?
I will leave you to ponder these a little deeper before we move on. I will leave you at this point with the two discouraged, hopeless disciples. Is that where you belong or are you destined for greater things than that? You should be because you have the benefit of a wider perspective than they had. As I said above – the Resurrection changes everything.
Live to the max what is, let go of what was and have faith in what will be.Anon
The only difference between a good day and a bad day is your attitude.Dennis S. Brown
If You Desire To Experience A Full Life You Must 1st Learn To Live An Empty One.Robb Thompson
I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.Mahatma Gandhi
Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of God’s project not to snatch people from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven!Rick Godwin