From Mark's Gospel, Luke knew about the two disciples on Easter. Some forty years later he tracked down one of them, Cleopas, and got this fine story.

Wednesday, 4/3/13

In the last chapter of his Gospel, Mark mentioned Jesus walking along with two disciples who were leaving Jerusalem for a country place on Easter. Many years later, Luke, when he was preparing to write his Gospel, tracked down the surviving one of that pair, an old man called Cleopas, and he got the story from him.

We don’t know how long that chat between Luke and Cleopas lasted; but lovers of Luke’s style have noticed that the details that registered with Luke were in accord with his big interests. Like, Luke always saw life as a journey. He was keen on hospitality. He was always keen on the superior roles of women.

Luke wrote that the walk to Emmaus measured at sixty stadia. Our English Bibles, for people like us who zip along in cars, converted that to an equivalent seven miles; but for the people who were walking up and down the hills, those sixty stadia measured out at sixty times four hundred yards. And,
if you want to join those three, in your imagination at least, you must get out of your Chevrolet.

Like many Gospel passages, this story tells us that Our Lord’s spiritual messages went over the heads of his disciples. They only followed him in hopes they would get big jobs after he led a revolution that overthrew the Romans. This pair needed Our Lord’s lesson to  show them from the Old Testament that the Messiah had to suffer, and thus enter into his glory. As a seminarian I always wished I could have listened to Our Lord’s Bible lesson. I imagined he might have recited all of Chapter 53 of Isaiah where it says, “He was pierced for our offences.”.

All the way though his Gospel, Luke championed good women. Here he had the two disciples unconsciously portraying the women as the only ones who believed and got things right.

The disciple later spoke to each other about how their hearts were burning within them when he explained the Bible. His lecture also made Christians of them. It evidenced itself in their becoming hospitable.

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