Jesus: the Co-Traveller
“What are you discussing together as you walk along?” (v.17).This incident took place on the same day that Christ rose. One of the two disciples in this event was Cleopas and the name of the other is not certain. Both of them were going to a village called Emmaus, which is about two hours’ walk from Jerusalem. As they travelled, they were talking to each other everything that had happened, reasoning with themselves regarding the probabilities of Jesus’ resurrection. But resurrected Christ joined them on the way.
1. Risen Christ: A Co- Traveller on the Journey of Faith.
Verses 15 1nd 16 say, “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”. They might have been talking and discussing about the incidents that happened from Jerusalem through Golgotha to the empty tomb. They did not know whether they should believe it or not. They had witnessed the crucifixion, death and burial of Jesus Christ. They knew that his body was kept in a tomb which belonged to Joseph of Arimathea. ‘What happened to the seal of the governor on the stone-door? What happened to his body kept under the custody of Roman soldiers? ‘ These questions and doubts concerning their faith were a matter of heated discussion between them. They might be doubtful about their future too. At that time, “Jesus himself came up and walked along with them.” The message is clear: when two people are having sincere doubts and genuine discussions on faith-related issues, Jesus will join them as a third person. Although His people are kept from realizing the Risen Christ, he travels with them who are on their journey of faith. Are we able to realize the presence of our Lord on every day, even when we are confused and having serious doubts about our faith and future? Can our Lord also take part in our thoughts, discussions and deeds?
2. Risen Christ: A Companion who Encourages the Hopeless
The travellers to Emmaus were sad; they stood still and their faces downcast (v. 17). They had hoped that Jesus was the one who was going to redeem Israel from Roman power (v.21). But now, they are disappointed in their expectation of him. Since their master was crucified, they had given up the cause of a new kingdom. At present, they do not know what to do. As the tomb was found empty by the women, they were to believe the resurrection of Christ (vs. 22-24). They did not yet see the risen Lord personally and their subject of discussion was Jesus. At that time, Jesus entered into a very encouraging conversation with them. For those helpless travellers, that discussion was an antidote to their prevailing sorrow. Their discussion might be a means to vent their grief and to comfort each other. But the risen and exalted Christ, as a companion, realized their grief and encouraged those hopeless disciples. It is not Christian to be discouraged and shy; rather the Christians must be happy and enthusiastic in all adverse circumstances. The great companion is with us.
3. Risen Christ: A Master who Completes the Affirmation of Faith
Christ asked the questions to the disciples: “What are you discussing together as you walk along? (v.17) and “What things” that happened in Jerusalem during those days. He wanted to hear from them their understanding about the incident. They responded by saying what they had understood and believed. That was really their affirmation of faith. They said that ‘Jesus of Nazareth was a prophet, powerful in deed and word before God and all the people; He was crucified and died; they had hoped him to be the redeemer of Israel; some women went to the tomb and did not find Jesus’ body; they told they had seen the vision of angels who said Jesus was alive; then some other disciples went to the tomb and did not see him there’. But this affirmation of faith was completed by the risen Christ. He said that the words of Mosaic Law and the prophets had come true when Christ suffered and entered his glory. All scripture about the Messiah came true in Jesus Christ. Thus the incomplete faith of the disciples became complete by this teaching of the Risen Christ. Do we understand the presence of our Lord with us who fulfils and perfects our spiritual life? Are we ready to look at our master who can help us when we are unable to have a faith in its fullness?
Word for the Day: A faith worth having is a faith worth affirming.
Prayer: O Lord, open our eyes to feel your presence with us on our journey of faith and to experience you when we participate in your table. Amen
Rev. Mathews A. Mathew, MTC, Sydney
Rev. Mathews A. Mathew, Vicar, Bethel Mar Thoma Church, Sydney.