We’re looking at the well known story of the two disciples on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:13-35). We know that one is Cleopas (v.18), who tradition suggests could be Jesus’ uncle, the brother of Joseph. The other we don’t know. He could have been one of the twelve. It’s worth remembering though, while Jesus had an inner circle of 12 disciples, his wider circle of friends and disciples was at least 70 (Luke 10). So these two were very well acquainted with Jesus, and genuine disciples.
Our main question is: why did he call them “foolish and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” (24:25)? Why would he say that? These are not joking or throw-away words. For several reasons the two were way out of line with good discipleship, and our study here is looking at the four reasons evident in the text.
Why bother? Because growing spiritually involves learning from others’ mistakes and, choosing to live a little better. Choosing to obey all that Jesus taught us (ala Matthew 28:20)
2. The disciples gave up hope incredibly quickly!
In their downcast state the disciples told Jesus “21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what’s more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
Wow, this is impatience and distrust on a grand scale. OK, OK, I include myself, I’m guilty too. That’s why I’m studying this story, to learn from others’ mistakes 🙂 This is not deep biblical hope. This is simply human preference. The “hope” the disciples are expressing is more like – “I hope it’s sunny tomorrow.” Godly biblical hope trusts Jesus with deep surety and certainty (Hebrews 11). And this is based on his trust-worthiness. Like I said last week, they knew him, they’d heard him, they’d seen his miracles and believed his promises.
What’s more, they had trustworthy friends testify that the tomb was empty, AND that angles had explicitly said Jesus is alive! But wait. There’s more! Even more disciples had verified that the tomb was empty and that the women were telling the truth. But these two still did not believe. They had given up hope in spite of the evidence. AND, in spite of the fact they were still in the third day. Jesus’ promised deadline (for want of a better word) was not even up yet. Impatience.
How to avoid being foolish and slow? Trust the evidence. Trust Jesus. Trust your friends who are truth tellers. Think about the promises and look at the evidence. Don’t give up. Practice patience by giving God and other people longer to come through. Err on the side of generosity when you’re waiting for others’ appearance. Pray for patient endurance. And one more thing –
Pray for supernatural eye-opening.
This is not a cheap shortcut. This is what it took for the disciples to realise who Jesus really is. They saw him break the bread with their natural eyes (24:30), and their eyes “were opened” (v.31). That is divine action on the “eyes” of their minds’ by the Spirit of God, and we all need it.
May you and I, our FEBC broadcasters, our partners and listeners, be sure and certain that Jesus Christ is Lord and God. Pray for the Holy Spirit’s illumination of reality. Pray for wisdom and quick hearts to believe all that the prophets have spoken.
More next time. Take courage,