"As they ... discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them" (Luke 24:15).
In this final and grand chapter of Luke is given to us perhaps the first
fulfillment of comforting promises, "Where two or three come together in My
name, there am I with them" (Matthew 18:20). A pastor once noted that only one
of the two was named, and he suggested that the reader take his or her own place
there beside Jesus and Cleopas. What a beautiful thought!
I would like to share this wonderful commentary from William Barclay:
This is another of the immortal short stories of the world.
(i) It tells of two men who were walking towards the sunset. It has been
suggested that that is the very reason why they did not recognize Jesus. Emmaus
was west of Jerusalem. The sun was sinking, and the setting sun so dazzled them
that they did not know their Lord. However that may be, it is true that the
Christian is a man who walks not towards the sunset but towards the sunrise.
Long ago it was said to the children of Israel that they journeyed in the
wilderness towards the sunrising (Num.21:11). The Christian goes onwards, not to
a night which falls, but to a dawn which breaks -- and that is what, in their
sorrow and their disappointment, the two on the Emmaus road had not
(ii) It tells us of the ability of Jesus to make sense of things. The whole
situation seemed to these two men to have no explanation. Their hopes and dreams
were shattered. There is all the poignant, wistful, bewildered regret in the
world in their sorrowing words, "We were hoping that he was the one who was
going to rescue Israel." They were the words of men whose hopes were dead and
buried. Then Jesus came and talked with them, and the meaning of life became
clear and the darkness became light. A story-teller makes one of his characters
say to the one with whom he has fallen in love, "I never knew what life meant
until I saw it in your eyes." It is only in Jesus that, even in the bewildering
times, we learn what life means.
(iii) It tells us of the courtesy of Jesus. He made as if he would have gone
on. He would not force himself upon them; he awaited their invitation to come
in. God gave to men the greatest and the most perilous gift in the world, the
gift of free-will; we can use it to invite Christ to enter our lives or to allow
him to pass on.
(iv) It tells how he was known to them in the breaking of bread. This always
sounds a little as if it meant the sacrament; but it does not. It was at an
ordinary meal in an ordinary house, when an ordinary loaf was being divided,
that these men recognized Jesus. It has been beautifully suggested that perhaps
they were present at the feeding of the five thousand, and, as he broke the
bread in their cottage home, they recognized his hands again. It is not only at
the communion table we can be with Christ; we can be with him at the dinner
table too. He is not only the host in his Church; he is the guest in every home.
Fay Inchfawn wrote,
Sometimes, when everything goes wrong;
When days are short and nights are
When wash-day brings so dull a sky
That not a single thing will
And when the kitchen chimney smokes,
And when there's naught so
`queer' as folks!
When friends deplore my faded youth,
And when the baby
cuts a tooth.
While John, the baby last but one,
Clings round my skirts
till day is done;
And fat, good-tempered Jane is glum,
And butcher's man
forgets to come.
Sometimes I say on days like these,
I get a sudden
gleam of bliss.
Not on some sunny day of ease,
He'll come ... but on a day
The Christian lives always and everywhere in a Christ-filled world.
(v) It tells how these two men, when they received such great joy, hastened
to share it. It was a seven miles tramp back to Jerusalem, but they could not
keep the good news to themselves. The Christian message is never fully ours
until we have shared it with someone else.
(vi) It tells how, when they reached Jerusalem, they found others who had
already shared their experience. It is the glory of the Christian that he lives
in a fellowship of people who have had the same experience as he has had. It has
been said that true friendship begins only when people share a common memory and
can say to each other, "Do you remember?" Each of us is one of a great
fellowship of people who share a common experience and a common memory of their
(vii) It tells that Jesus appeared to Peter. That must remain one of the
great untold stories of the world. But surely it is a lovely thing that Jesus
should make one of his first appearances to the man who had denied him. It is
the glory of Jesus that he can give the penitent sinner back his