The Stranger on the Road, Part 3: The Hands that Invite Us to Follow

The Stranger on the Road, Part 3: The Hands that Invite Us to Follow

Luke 24:13-28-35

13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened. 15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” 18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” 19 And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

This morning we’re going to get back to the disciples at Emmaus. And we want to discover why they were able to finally recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

Luke 24:30 says, “When he [that is, Jesus] was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.”

And in Luke 24:33, it says, “[T]hey rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And … they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.”

So, what’s the deal with the breaking of the bread opening their blind eyes? It has to do with much more than the establishment of the Lord’s Table. It is much, much bigger than that. It’s going to set the stage for the teaching of the rest of the New Testament and weave together all that Jesus had ever said about what it means to be a disciple.

These men thought they knew Jesus, but they knew nothing as they ought to have known it. Jesus, whom they’d walked with and talked with and ate with and studied under before the crucifixion, was very much a mystery to them.

They reckoned Him a stranger. So, let’s look at the passage again.

Jesus, the Stranger

1) Now, let’s be clear about what’s going on. These two travelers are walking down the road disheartened and talking about the events of the past few days. Apparently, they were discussing what in the world had gone wrong! The Greek words reveal that this was no leisurely Easter-stroll, but a heated discussion. Jesus joins them as they walk, seemingly unnoticed until He asks them what they’re discussing.

Now, you must understand this: these men are not unbelievers; they are followers of Jesus. But they are, like many Christians today, unbelieving believers. They had set their hopes upon Jesus. In Luke 24:21 one of them says, “We had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel.” They believed in Jesus, these unbelievers! They were disciples of His, disciplined students of His, followers of His.

And yet, in verse 18, they reckoned Him a “stranger.” The Greek word translated stranger here is παροικέω, a word that can mean someone who lives nearby, which would render the phrase, “are you the only one living near Jerusalem who doesn’t know what happened there these last few days?’[1]

But it can also be used to indicate a sense of distance: those who “inhabit a place as a foreigner, be a stranger” – those who are among us, but not of us, disconnected. Philo of Alexandria used it in this sense of those who “live as strangers on earth, far from their heavenly home.”[2] The idea here is of one who lives “in the midst of others … as a stranger.” [3]

So, I think the NKJV rendering of this is far more consistent with the underlying text that is the ESV which translates it “visitor.” There is definitely a sense of distance here between the disciples and this Stranger on the road!

2) The point is, they thought they knew Him, but they knew Him not at all. They were disciples of His, students of His, yet they reckoned Him a “stranger.” They talked with Him, were conversing with Him, discussing spiritual things with Him, yet they reckoned Him a “stranger.” They walked together with Him for nearly seven miles, yet they reckoned Him a “stranger.” Jesus was with them sharing their journey, yet they were “sad” (24:17).

How to Miss Jesus, Part 1: Walking by Sight

1) And here’s the sobering truth, many believers – even those who have walked and talked with Jesus for many, many years – still reckon Him a stranger. They are believing unbelievers – or unbelieving believers – walking only by sight and unable to comprehend invisible realities. There are two things that will most assuredly keep us from recognizing Jesus as the Stranger who’s on the road with us and one of them is a lack of faith.

And a lack of faith is precisely what these two disciples, Cleopas and his companion, were experiencing at this time. That’s why, in Luke 24:25, Jesus called them “foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe!” They were able to “get” the cross, because they could “see” the cross, but they couldn’t get the resurrection, even though Jesus had clearly told them all to expect it, because that would require faith!

We can never see the invisible with our eyes, but only with the eyes of faith. But faith is no illegitimate means of perceiving truth! Rather faith is evidence, the EVIDENCE of things not seen, of the INVISIBLE!

So, a Christian man says, ‘You know, I really struggle with the whole Creation story as it’s found in the book of Genesis.’ Well, of course he does!

Hebrews 11:3, says that it’s “by faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God …”

Trying to comprehend such things without faith in the absolute accuracy of God’s written Word is like trying to scoop up the ocean in a paper cup!

Psalm 33:6 says that it was “by the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.”

 Hebrews 1:3 declares that Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power.”

Hebrews 11:27 (Berean Study Bible) says that it was “by faith Moses … persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.”

So, how do we see the invisible? By faith and by faith alone. The Apostle Paul wrote – and please don’t miss this! – that “This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18, brackets mine).

In 2 Corinthians 5:7, “we walk by faith, not by sight.” That is, we order our steps as we walk through life, not according to what we see but according to what we don’t – according to the evidence which faith supplies. We walk in invisible truth! “Unseen,” and therefore “eternal” things!

2) If my Jesus is still in the tomb back in Jerusalem, I’ll never know the rest that is mine as a child of God. Only if and when I mix those promises with faith will I ever know them as an experiential reality. Before that, they’re just an abstract possibility. It’s faith that allows me to “benefit” from the promises of God (Hebrews 4:2)!

A bag of cement is not a sidewalk, it’s only a potential sidewalk. When I mix that bag of cement with the other necessary ingredients, it becomes a sidewalk – something usable, something that I can walk on.

In the same way, the rest that God offers to His children eludes most of us because we never mix those promises with faith. As a result, we’re unable to go to Jesus when we’re weary to find rest.

“Come to Me,” Jesus said, “all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (Matthew 11:36-37).

But we don’t experience this supernatural rest. Why? Because we don’t really believe it’s there for us, no matter what we profess. This rest can only be apprehended by faith. God’s Word is clear: without faith we should never expect to experience God’s promised rest.

Hebrews 4:2 says that the “good news [about entering into God’s rest] came to us just as to them [the children of Israel], but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who heard” (brackets mine).

The “good news [about entering into God’s rest] came to us just as to them” [the children of Israel]! “But the message they heard DID NOT benefit them.” Why? Because it was “not united by faith with those who heard.” God’s rest is true and it’s there for you and me, but it’s only apprehended by faith. God’s peace is available, God’s rest is available, but only those with a Risen Christ, a bigger Jesus, ever experience it.

3) The same is true of the wisdom we need for life. If my Jesus is still in the tomb back in Jerusalem, I shouldn’t expect to receive God’s wisdom for my life.

James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways!”

Again, this isn’t addressing unbelievers, but believers! Who is wise then? Job 28:28 says the “fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.” Fearing the Lord means that we’ve come to the place where we so trust the Lord – where we so believe Him – that it actually changes our behavior – we “turn away from evil.”

4) But, O, please don’t miss what faith can do! It will allow us to see God, to see Him who is invisible, just as it did for Moses in Hebrews 11:27, which says, He “endured as seeing him who is invisible.”

Although He had all the treasures of Egypt within his grasp, faith gave him the strength to refuse “to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:24-25).

Furthermore, by faith, He “considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, for he was looking to the reward” (Hebrews 11:26).

Besides that, it was “by faith” that “he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27). That’s what faith lets us see too: the invisible things!

And further, “By faith [Moses] kept the Passover and sprinkled the blood, so that the Destroyer of the firstborn might not touch them” (Hebrews 11:28).

So, how can I recognize that that stranger who’s walking the journey of life with me is none other than the Risen Jesus? Only by faith.

5) It was “by faith [that] the people crossed the Red Sea as on dry land, but the Egyptians, when they attempted to do the same, were drowned” (Hebrews 11:29, brackets mine). God is still opening the seas for His people, Church, but only those who trust Him enough to walk through the walls of piled-up water on the left and on the right ever get to see the glories of the other side!

Until our faith allows us to step into the dried-up seabed between the walls of water, we’re still very much in Egypt, in slavery to the world, in bondage. No one ever saw the glories of the promised land before first walking through the Red Sea.

On the Egypt side of the Red Sea is worldly slavery in the devil’s brickyard – more bricks, less straw. But on the other side of the Red Sea is the continuing journey of faith that eventually leads us to the Promised Land, crossing the Jordan River.

Don’t get me wrong, after we pass through the Red Sea there’s still a lot of journeying to do – there will be plenty of desert and waterless days. There’ll be days when we’ll take the Manna that the Lord graciously provides for us for granted. There will be days of victory and days of defeat. We’ll take many steps forward, but we’ll also takes some steps back.

But understand this: as long as we stand on the Egypt side of the Red Sea and refuse to go forward, as long as we continue to lack faith and discount the promises of God, as long as we fail to mix God’s promises with faith, they will never profit us, they will never benefit us! They’ll remain a ‘potential’ sidewalk!

We remain stuck on the muddy side of unbelief because we refuse to step onto the terrifying dry land between the walls of water. And many Christians spend their entire lives and even die standing on the Egypt side of the Red Sea looking longingly towards what might have been if only they’d had the trust in God to step forward.

They die as unbelieving believers whose lives never impacted their world for Christ. They’ve lived only in the realm of self-preservation. They were never willing to die, that they might truly live.

So, one thing that will keep us from recognizing Jesus is a lack of faith.

How to Miss Jesus, Part 2: An Impure Heart

1) So, one thing that will keep us from recognizing Jesus is a lack of faith. But there’s a second thing that will keep us from recognizing that the Stranger on the road with us is Jesus Himself: an impure heart.

Just a few minutes ago, we looked at James’ instruction to those who would seek wisdom from the Lord. James 1:5-6 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God … But let him ask in faith, with no doubting …”

And we also looked at Job 28:28, which reminds us that the “fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.” Fearing or having reverence for the Lord means that we’ve come to the place where we so trust the Lord that it changes our behavior – we actually “turn away from evil.”

2) Do you remember the Luke 8:18 passage that we examined last week in its proper context? In it, Jesus taught us that anything that we heard from Him that does not change us, that does not result in us shining our light, we heard wrong!

The Christians who walk in wisdom are those who revere the Lord and His Word, and because of that, they “turn away from evil” (Job 28:28).

They’ve heard correctly, and we know that because they’ve been changed by what they’ve heard. The Word washes them – it purifies them.

3) This is the essential component to seeing Jesus as He truly is: having a pure heart. When David’s sin had separated Him from God, He prayed: “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me” (Psalm 51:10). Purity of heart came to David just as it comes to us: by agreeing with God that our sins are offensive to Him and have separated us from Him. We call this confession.

The Greek word for confess essentially means to agree – literally, to have the same word with God (ὁμολογέω). Notice how 1 John 1:7-9 brings these two ideas of confession and cleansing together:

“If we walk [present active subjunctive of περιπατέω] in the light, as he is [present active indicative of εἰμί] in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses [present active indicative of καθαρίζω] us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If [conditional conjunction ἐάν, which “fundamentally introduces a situation in which given X, Y will follow”[4]] we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:7-9, brackets mine).

If we confess our sins, that’s “X”, then cleansing, that’s “Y”, will follow. The condition of confession caries an absolute promise: If we’ll only do this, then God will do that – IF we’ll humble ourselves and agree with God about our sin, He will cleanse our hearts.

What is the thread that runs through this whole passage which deals with confession and cleansing? Walking in the light with Jesus! Jesus is walking with us – just as He was walking with the disciples on the road to Emmaus – whether we recognize Him or not.

Just as walking by sight rather than by faith will hide Jesus from my eyes, so most certainly will continuing in unconfessed sin. Walking in darkness, drifting through the days preoccupied with myself rather than with God, with my agenda rather than His – all these things can keep me from recognizing that the Stranger on the road is Jesus Himself.

By this I mean I won’t recognize the doors He’s opening for me; I won’t see that the opportunities set before me are actually divine appointments; I won’t see His fingerprints on the mundane and routine parts of my life; I won’t understand that there’s a God-ordained purpose for every trial He leads me into and so I’ll never be able to “count it all joy”; I won’t sense His presence with me in difficult days, I’ll feel abandoned and alone; Simply put, I won’t recognize Him, I’ll reckon Him a stranger.

Now the world will do everything possible to convince us that striving for purity is an impossible chore and an unbearable burden. But that’s a lie. God calls us to a deeper purity of heart because He loves us. He wants us to know Him in a deeper way. He wants us to experience a deeper life – a resurrection life, an I’ve-passed-throug-the-Red-Sea-and-I’m-standing-on-the-otherside-with-Jesus life.

He wants us to SEE HIM clearly on the road! So, what did Jesus promise in the Sermon on the Mount?

“Blessed [nominative masculine plural of μακάριος, ‘happinesses to’] are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8).

Do we believe that, Church? If we do, let’s pursue it with all of our hearts!

The Bread that Opens Blind Eyes?

1) Well, finally we come to it: the mystery of the bread that opens blind eyes, that lets us finally recognize that the Stranger on the road is Jesus!

It’s quite a bold thing to claim that the breaking of the bread in this passage is much bigger than the Lord seeking to establish the importance of His Supper among His disciples. The Roman Catholic Church believes that these verses point to the importance of the eucharist. I don’t believe that it’s pointing to anything of the sort! In fact, I don’t believe that this event has anything to do with the Lord’s Table at all.

Jesus established His Table at the Last Supper, and Paul confirmed it in 1 Corinthians 11:23-31.

In that great passage which we read on the first Lord’s day of each month, Paul looks back to the Last Supper, when “the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, 24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, “This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 25 In the same way also he took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” 26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

In speaking of the Lord’s Table Paul brings us back to the Last Supper, not this meal with the disciples at Emmaus. Furthermore, at this meal there’s no mention of wine – one of the two elements of the Lord’s Table – only bread. Why not? Because this meal has nothing to do with remembering Jesus’ death – it has to do with their deaths.

I believe it is a call to true discipleship – and the call to true discipleship call to those who have found eternal life in Christ Jesus to lay down their own lives that they might truly experience living! That’s when we begin see Jesus, when we finally die to self.

2) In salvation we come to the cross and finally understand Jesus’ death, that it was for us. In discipleship, we pick up our own cross and follow Jesus with it. We die, so that we might live. Listen to Paul’s testimony in Galatians 2:20 carefully:

“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Also, Romans 6:1-4a:

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.”

    • This is the very thing that the ritual of water baptism symbolizes: that we have died with Jesus, been buried with Him and now walk with Him in resurrection life.

3) The desire for self-preservation is at the heart of why we go through life failing to recognize that the Stranger on the road is Jesus Himself. Do you want to know why many, many Christians spend their entire lives, and even die, standing on the Egypt-side of the Red Sea looking longingly towards what might have been if only they’d trusted in God and stepped between the walls of water? The answer is simplicity itself: they don’t want to die!

They still like their life in Egypt and they’re not willing to give it up yet. This betrays an impure heart – one of the two things that will keep us from recognizing Jesus as the Stranger on the road.

Or perhaps they’re afraid – they aren’t willing to chance the waters of the Sea closing in upon their heads. But, in Lamentations 3:54-58a, Jeremiah wrote:

54 [The] water closed over my head;

I said, ‘I am lost.’

55 “I called on your name, O Lord,

from the depths of the pit;

56 you heard my plea, ‘Do not close

your ear to my cry for help!’

57 You came near when I called on you;

you said, ‘Do not fear!’

58You have taken up my cause, O Lord!”

God is faithful to deliver us safely to the other side, but first we have to be willing to die, to pick up our cross and follow Jesus – and that means death. But yet, some believers are afraid to step between the walls of water. This betrays a lack of faith – the other thing that will keep us from recognizing Jesus as the Stranger on the road.

One betrays an impurity of heart while the other betrays a lack of faith – and both of these traitors will keep us from seeing Jesus clearly.

The bread that Jesus broke for these disciples showed them their death. It was a call to true discipleship!

Luke 24:30: Jesus “took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.”

The two disciples at Emmaus were astonished. In the breaking of bread His true presence was revealed to them. No, I don’t believe that there was some unique eucharistic mysticism in the ‘way’ He broke the bread – He simply dined with them, ate with them, was with them.

But their “Jesus is Dead” faith needed a little help. Here’s my theory about the breaking of the bread that day. While it’s not stated in the text, I believe that as Jesus stretched out His hands to offer Cleopas and his friend the bread, they saw His nail-scarred hands and the light went on.

Why do I believe this? Because this is the pattern Jesus usually followed when He appeared to His disciples. This is precisely the way Jesus will reveal Himself to the “gathered group” in Jerusalem, as we’ll see next week in our final message in this series.

Jesus will appear and say, “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself … When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet” (Luke 24:38).

In John 20:27, this is the way Jesus will reveal Himself to Thomas when he could not believe.

He told him, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe” (John 20:27).

And I believe this is just what happened with these two disciples. Jesus was made “known to them in the breaking of the bread” (Luke 24:33) – yes. But it wasn’t because of the bread, it was because of the nail-pierced hands that broke it and gave it to them.

4) The instant they recognized that it was Him, He vanished from their sight. Why? Because once they could see Him, they now had what they needed to walk with Him without seeing

It’s a lesson that Jesus will teach Thomas when He appears to Him eight days later. Jesus shows him the holes in His hands and side. He invites Him to put his finger in the holes! He says to Thomas, “Do not disbelieve, but believe” (John 20:27b). Well, Thomas does! But he believes because he saw. He says to Jesus: “My Lord and my God!” – an astonishing declaration of Jesus’ deity (John 20:28). But, “Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29) – that’s you and me and every other post-apostolic Christian who has ever loved Jesus!

This is what Peter meant when he wrote admiringly to the brothers and sisters: “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory …” (1 Peter 1:8).

Understand this: in breaking the bread, Jesus was breaking traditional etiquette; He acted out of turn. The privilege of serving the bread belonged to the host, not the guest. Jesus broke this protocol because He had a lesson to teach them.

Those nail-pierced hands that broke the bread and gave it to them were beckoning them to their own cross – inviting them to follow Jesus’ example to die so that they might truly live. They were calling them to true discipleship.

5) So, this “breaking of the bread” which opened their eyes was much bigger than establishing the Lord’s Table. But I also made the grand claim that this event sets the stage for the teaching of the rest of the New Testament and weaves together all that Jesus had ever said about what it means to be a disciple.

And here’s how. Because picking up one’s cross is the very definition of what it means to be a true disciple, that is, as Jesus defines discipleship! Everywhere we find it in the New Testament, discipleship is about putting off the impulse of self-preservation and entering into

co-crucifixion, and co-burial, so that we might at last walk in

co-resurrection, or the “newness of life” in Christ Jesus. Jesus declared this repeatedly in all four Gospels and the Apostles refined and clarified over and over again in the epistles.

It is so ubiquitous that it makes me wonder why it’s so little spoken of. It’s certainly not that it’s unclear, nor is it obscure. I don’t think people avoid it because they don’t understand it; I think they avoid it because they don’t like it.

So, I’ll leave you with just a few examples of this uncompromising teaching from our Lord’s own mouth – from all four Gospels – just to show that this is no aside in Jesus’ teaching on discipleship, it is the Jesus’ teaching on discipleship!

Matthew 10:38-39: “And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

Mark 8:35: “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.”

Luke 9:23-24: “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.”

Luke 17:32-33: “Remember Lot’s wife. 33 Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.”

John 12:23-26: “And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also.”

I hope you caught that: “If anyone serves me, he must follow me.” And Jesus will lead us through some scary places. But He will always deliver us safely to the other side where we will be astonished at His deliverance and with Him.

6) So, what did these two disciples do when Jesus vanished from their sight? They arose that very hour and made the seven-mile trip they’ve just made in reverse back to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and the other brethren and, O, did they have a story to tell! It’s in Luke 24:33: they told them how Jesus “was known to them in the breaking of the bread.”

Jesus wants to be known intimately to us too, you know. He calls to us to purify our hearts, and to walk by faith, and to pick up our cross and follow Him down the road. Anything less than that is not discipleship. It just isn’t. And, just in case Jesus had not been clear enough to this point, listen to these undeniably lucidity words He spoke in Luke 14:27: “Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”

Clear enough?

[1] Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000) 3rd ed., on παροικέω.

[2] Yonge, Charles Duke, with Philo of Alexandria, The Works of Philo: Complete and Unabridged (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1995), p. 92-93.

[3] Op. Cit., Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, on παροικέω.

[4] William Arndt et al., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 267.