"The Road to Emmaus" - Oil Painting by Robert Zund, 1877
"13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
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.
22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread."
On the road to Emmaus, Jesus - in His post-resurrection body - appeared incognito to two of His followers, giving them a 7-mile Bible study (the distance between Jerusalem and Emmaus)
concerning the prophecies of the Old Testament which were fulfilled in His death and resurrection! Can you imagine the privilege of being one of those two disciples? What would you or I not give for a 7-mile personal Bible study with the resurrected Christ?
The disciples’ reaction to Jesus’ lesson was one of deep conviction of the truth of what He was teaching. “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked?” they ask each other (Verse 32). Their physical eyes were blinded to the identity of Jesus, but their eyes of faith were being opened as Jesus reasoned with them, giving them revelation as He opened their understanding to the Scriptures.
Following this account, Jesus appears to His other disciples, removing all doubt that He was alive. Jesus had promised that He would show Himself to those who love Him (John 14:21), and this is exactly what He does on the road to Emmaus.
One especially interesting aspect to ponder within this story is how they finally recognize Jesus - in the breaking of the bread. What would have caused them to recognize Him at this time? What else could it have been other than them seeing the nail scars in His hands as He broke and handed them the bread? Later, the doubting disciple Thomas gets the opportunity to thrust his finger into these scars, fulfilling the unique prophecy of Zechariah 13:6.
The story of the disciples on the Emmaus Road is important for many reasons. First, it provides an emphasis on the Old Testament prophecies related to Jesus, allowing us to understand the prophetic words of the Lord, "in the volume of the book it is written of me." (Psalm 40:7/Hebrews 10:7). Second, it provides evidence regarding an additional post-resurrection appearance of Jesus.
Luke 24 is often seen as a model of the journey that Jesus makes with many of us today, as He opens our eyes, points us to the Word, and reveals Himself along life’s walk as the resurrected Savior and Lord.