Luke 24: 13-35
A verse by verse discussion of Jesus’ care-giving techniques
On the day he rose from the dead, Jesus quickly began his last 40 days work on earth. He appeared before two men on the road to Emmaus. This is a beautiful story, and it illustrates the way we can care for others in their time of need. I will give a brief discussion of each verse, and the care-giving principles that Jesus displayed.
v.13 “ … on the same day” – this was on Resurrection Day. The two were walking together, trying to comfort one another, heading to Emmaus. One was Cleopas, the other, very possibly Luke himself.
v.14 they were processing the events with one another, trying to work out their grief and bewilderment
v.15 – 16 as they walked together, Jesus appeared. Often our help comes from places we do not expect, or from people we do not expect. They did not recognize Jesus. He comes in the form of people we think are unlikely to be able to help us. Jesus made himself available to them.
v.17 Jesus inquired about their need. When he did that, they were confronted with having to share their pain with another person. Speaking it out loud sometimes makes it too real and painful. They looked down and stood still.
v.18 Cleopas’ answer may have revealed a lot of things. Was he sensitive and angry? He might have thought to himself “Man, have you been living in a cave for the past few days? How could you miss such an event?” Cleopas, in his self absorption may have been unable to see how someone could miss what was so important in his own life. Or, he may have been taking out anger which is part of grieving. Jesus was the patient outlet for this. So are we as caregivers sometimes.
v.19 Jesus asks Cleopas to say more about the events. Jesus shows interest, and a willingness to invest time in comforting Cleopas. Cleopas was all over the map in his rambling grief. Jesus patiently waited for him to finish his statement, then he spoke to him about the truth of the situation.
v.19 – 24 How much do you think Jesus may have wanted to say to Cleopas “Don’t worry, your problems are over! It’s me, Jesus, I am resurrected like the women said!” Why didn’t Jesus do that? He had bigger plans for them. He did not want to distract them, perhaps with something they would never have believed. He did not intervene too soon, rather, he met them where they were in their ability to hear the truth. For example, I often know that a person will be able to use his/her pain to help others in the future, but it is too soon to say this when they are in the midst of grieving. We need to let them grieve, and gain credibility as a comforter before we can be their guide for the future.
v.25-27 Jesus explained the present reality. He reminded them of what they had read, and put it into context. He became to one who comforted them with the truth.
v.28-29 Obviously, Jesus had done a great job at telling them the truth to comfort them, because they begged him to stay with them. Jesus then stayed with them. In fact, Jesus would appear to six people or groups of people that first day of Resurrection, yet he stayed with them to help them through grief to joy.
v.30-32 Jesus took on the role of priest and head of the family when he broke the bread. It was at this point that they recognized him. Perhaps it was the way he spoke as he broke the bread. At any rate, the spirit within them came to the “aha experience”, and immediately, they saw that this was the lamb of God, slain for them, and risen again.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus for your loving care for us! Help us to spread that wherever we go.