THE JUNCTION | 19.4
The Road To Emmaus
Hey everyone and welcome to this week’s Online Junction session!
Over the next few weeks we are going to dig into the stories of those people that encountered the risen Jesus. Did you know that literally thousands of people saw Jesus after he rose from the dead on Easter Sunday? When people saw Jesus again they were completely changed and their lives were never the same again. When we encounter Jesus today I believe that we too are changed forever. There’s a phrase: “come-to-Jesus” moment. Basically it means that they have had a defining moment when they felt that a complete turn around was needed. You might remember some testimonies you’ve heard that have moments like this. Or even the story of Saul (who became Paul after his come-to-Jesus moment) where he literally had a come-to-Jesus moment!
Hvae you seen that picture of Jesus face on a pancake?
- What do you think about these images?
- Do you think these are real or do you think someone has created them?
- Sometimes people ‘encounter’ Jesus in a strange place in that they feel His presence – have you ‘encountered’ Jesus like this e.g. in a thought, or a feeling etc.?
- If you could ask one thing of Jesus today what would it be and why?
Today we are going to be looking at an encounter that two of Jesus’ disciples had with Him after seeing Jesus killed on Good Friday. These men were not sure if He was alive or not, even though His body was missing from the tomb. They had heard the rumours that he had been raised to life but hadn’t stuck around to hear if they were true. Jesus meets with them on a walk and it is only later on in the encounter that the disciples recognise who the ‘stranger’ really is.
The Road To Emmaus | Luke 24:13-35
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“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. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 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. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 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?”
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
Things to think about…
How many deep conversations have you had lately?
I think in this time spent socially isolating it’s been a strange, mixed, answer to that. It almost feels like some of my conversations have been deeper than before, while others become more trivial. It’s great to talk about trivial things… shoping, the weather… where is Carol Baskin’s husband? (Tiger King reference, very sorry) but is there a substitue for a really good, deep, meaningful conversation?
I love how, when Jesus joins them, he asks “what are you talking about?” Jesus is looking for a way into the conversation. He still does this for us. He wants in on our conversations. It can feel a bit daughnting to have a Jesus conversation with a friend but it can be the most natural thing… I’ve found that when people tell me they are going through things I ask them if they’d mind if I prayed for the (shhh don’t tell them I’d do it anyway!) sometimes they want to talk about it or say “yes please!” It’s natural. Especially when it comes from relationships.
Also, wouldn’t it have been awesome to hear a Bible study, about Jesus, FROM Jesus?!
Why didn’t they take notes?!
The funny thing is that actually, we live in a time where we have the scriptures… they were still in it. Many people around Jesus didn’t “get it.” The next part of the story, the sending of God’s Holy Spirit, means that we have that encounter with God personally when we come to believe. Bible studies are great and for many people they are how they encounter Jesus’ presence. How do you feel closest to God? There is no substitute for His presence.
Although these two followers didn’t know it at the time, they invited Jesus in. He wouldn’t gatecrash but he is waiting for an invite.In our lives today we have that same choice… to invite Jesus into our lives or not. As followers of Jesus we believe that he walks with us, through His Holy Spirit. Guiding us. Leading us and shaping us into His image.
What do you think about the story of the road to Emmaus?
Where are you in the story?
Are you finding more about who this Jesus was? Are the pieces taking shape? Are you filled with joy? Are you thinking about inviting Him in?
‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.’
‘O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water’
Spend some time in prayer, seeking God’s presence in your life.
We can do this by asking in prayer.
You can even just reflect on the story and where you feel you’re at.
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