Returned Hope-Luke 24:13-21, 30-32

Luke 24:13-21, 30-32 “Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 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?” 19 “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. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 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. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

Luke 24:13-21,30-32 “Due di loro se ne andavano in quello stesso giorno a un villaggio di nome Emmaus, distante da Gerusalemme sessanta stadi; 14 e parlavano tra di loro di tutte le cose che erano accadute.15 Mentre discorrevano e discutevano insieme, Gesù stesso si avvicinò e cominciò a camminare con loro. 16 Ma i loro occhi erano impediti a tal punto che non lo riconoscevano. 17 Egli domandò loro: «Di che discorrete fra di voi lungo il cammino?» Ed essi si fermarono tutti tristi. 18 Uno dei due, che si chiamava Cleopa, gli rispose: «Tu solo, tra i forestieri, stando in Gerusalemme, non hai saputo le cose che vi sono accadute in questi giorni?»19 Egli disse loro: «Quali?» Essi gli risposero: «Il fatto di Gesù Nazareno, che era un profeta potente in opere e in parole davanti a Dio e a tutto il popolo; 20 come i capi dei sacerdoti e i nostri magistrati lo hanno fatto condannare a morte e lo hanno crocifisso. 21 Noi speravamo che fosse lui che avrebbe liberato Israele; invece, con tutto ciò, ecco il terzo giorno da quando sono accadute queste cose. 30 Quando fu a tavola con loro prese il pane, lo benedisse, lo spezzò e lo diede loro. 31 Allora i loro occhi furono aperti e lo riconobbero, ma egli scomparve alla loro vista. 32 Ed essi dissero l’uno all’altro: «Non sentivamo forse ardere il cuore {dentro di noi} mentre egli ci parlava per la via e ci spiegava le Scritture?»

Two men were walking on the road to Emmaus. It would be a long walk with frequent rest stops along the way. After the resurrection, Jesus joins them and proceeds to quiz them about their conversation. There are many important points to be made in this text but initially is the fact that they didn’t recognize the risen Lord. As followers of Jesus, their last image of Him was as the beaten and bleeding hope of Israel. What is even more fascinating is that Luke specifically mentions one of their names, Cleopas. Cleopas was the brother of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, but he doesn’t even recognize Him now. Since they didn’t believe He was alive, why would they expect to see Him as a stranger walking down the road? In referring to this occasion, Mark 16:12 says Jesus appeared in a different form.
Why does Jesus do this? Verse 21 gives us some insight: “we had hoped that he was the one…” “and what is more, it is the third day.” Just like the other disciples of Jesus, their hope was gone and the prophecy had not come to pass like they thought it would. But Jesus doesn’t leave us when we face confusing times in our life; when our hope is fading and what we thought would happen doesn’t materialize. If we will continue to hold on to what hope we have left, Jesus will do something to open our eyes afresh.
For these two men, Jesus did three things to return hope to them. First, He used the Word of God to awaken their senses (“didn’t our hearts burn”). Secondly, with a simple gesture, He broke bread with them like He had done many times before to awaken their memory. Then thirdly, He opened their knowledge of Him by awakening their sight. Who among us has not felt blinded at times by discouragement and questions? But Jesus will be there all the time and as we stay the journey with Him, He will restore hope and faith in us in His special way.

Pray with me: Lord, I admit that at times I am just like the two men on the road to Emmaus. I let the worries and cares of the world and of my day overcome me so that I miss Your gentle presence. Awaken my heart by Your Word, my memory by Your reminders and my sight to see that You are always with me!

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