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Gospel according to Luke 24: 13-27 (NIV)
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognising him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is 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.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Even after his crucifixion, these disciples of Jesus were not able to understand what he had been teaching and telling them in recent months. They regarded him as a “prophet” but not, it seems, as God-incarnate. They recalled his promise that on the third day he would rise. They had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel – but did they believe it? They had even heard the account from the women who had gone to his tomb early that morning – and found it empty.
“How foolish you are …”. Was Jesus gently chiding them, smiling because he knew that sooner or later they would realise with whom they had been walking and sharing their grief? Was he saddened that they would not believe what the prophets had spoken?
How wonderful for them that Jesus himself was the one to explain to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself! How wonderful it would be to experience that for ourselves!
We can know that experience. Every time we open the Scriptures we ought to be praying for the Holy Spirit to be our guide, our interpreter, our explainer, our teacher and – yes – our Comforter. With a genuine desire to have the Word of God opened to us and with a patient attitude which deliberately strives to free ourselves from all the distractions of this world, we may hear the softly-spoken voice of God as he brings his will into our lives through the reading of his Word.
Loving God, teach us to hunger for your Word and to know the purpose you have for each one of us as we read it, we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.