The Road Home to You Podcast
Mini #3 "Lessons from the Road to Emmaus"
Originally aired July 24, 2018
Brandy: Hi. Welcome to The Road Home to You. I'm Brandy Goebel.
Thank you for joining us as we have been on our summer series that we're calling Lessons From the Road. Today, it's just going to be me talking to you real quickly about a little road trip that two guys took on their way to Emmaus.
So, without further ado, let's get into it.
This story, we're going to be look at from Luke, chapter 24. It does get referenced in a couple other places as well in scripture. I'd encourage you to check those out. But let's get a little bit of background knowledge first and foremost.
That is to say, this is a few days after Jesus was crucified. The morning of this event, a couple of women had gone to Jesus' tomb with herbs and spices and burial cloths and were going to prepare Jesus' body. They got to the tomb and found the stone rolled away and found that it was empty.
So they had run back to the disciples and told the disciples what they had seen. And some of the disciples went and checked that out and others were probably kind of dismissive or unsure about exactly what that meant that the tomb was empty. Nobody really quite knew what to make of that.
So that day, a man named Cleopas and a friend of his, I've heard it suggested that it might have been his wife. Could be. Who knows? All we know is a dude named Cleopas and somebody else were walking along the road to Emmaus. As they were walking they were talking about everything that had happened over the past few days.
So we're going to read the story actually, from Luke 24. We're going to pick it up in verse 13:
"And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus,
which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each
other abou all these things which had taken place. While they were talking and
discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began travelling with them. But their
eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.
And He said to them, 'What are these words that you are exchanging with one
another as you are walking?' And they stood still, looking sad.
One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, 'Are you the only one
visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these
And He said to them, 'What things?' And they said to Him, 'The things about Jesus
the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and
all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the
sentence of death, and crucified Him.
But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides
all this, it is the third day since these things happened. But also some women among
us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find
His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that
He was alive.
Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the
women also had said; but Him they did not see.'
And He said to them, 'O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the
prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and
to enter into His glory?'
Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the
things concerning Himself in all the scriptures. And they approached the village
where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. But the urged
Him, saying, 'Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly
over.' So He went in to stay with them.
When He had reclined at the table with them. He took the bread and blessed it, and
breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and the
recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.
They said to one another, 'Were not our hearts burning within us while He was
speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?
And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found and gathered
together the elven and those who were with them, saying, 'The Lord has really risen
and has appeared to Simon.' They began to relate their experiences on the road and
how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread."
So here we've got this story; a story about two guys walking on the road after some of the most tragic events in their lifetime. I've never been to Jerusalem, but I've seen pictures and I've heard from people who have adn I imagine this road to Emmaus, this 7 mile trek these guys were walking was probably a pretty dusty trail.
So here they are. They're walking along on a no doubt hot and arid, dusty kind of day. It's three days since Jesus has died and they haven't heard hide nor hair from Him. All they know is the one that they thought was going to save them all, is gone.
So Cleopas and his buddy are walking along and they're talking about everything that's gone on the past few days. I imagine they were kind of hanging their heads pretty low, not really looking around, paying attention to the scenery. It's probably a walk they've done a million times before. They've seen the bushes, they know the scenery.
They're walking along and they're clearly looking pretty downtrodden. All of a sudden, this stranger appears. This third person just shows up in their midst and starts walking along with them. For some reason this doesn't seem to faze either Cleopas or his walking buddy. They just go along with it.
And this new guy says, "Hey, what are you guys so bummed about? What's going on?"
And they stop. They stop dead in their tracks, looking dejected and sad. And they say, "Man, you must be the only person here in Jerusalem who doesn't know what's been happening the past few days."
Jesus said, "What? Tell me."
So they recount the story of Jesus' crucifixion and they say, "On top of that, it's been three days since we've seen Him. It's over. This is no good. Our supposed savior's gone."
And Jesus says, "Man, you guys. Have you not listened to the prophets? Are you so slow to believe what they have said? Everything you've been taught - all these years, your entire lives - did you just forget everything? Because if you remembered what the prophets said, you'd know. Christ had to suffer. He had to die. He's coming back."
And then Jesus starts recounting everything that the prophets taught, from the time of Moses to that very moment that He is standing there with them.
And they're walking along and they're listening to this stranger beside them, relaying all of the teachings of the prophets. They enter into town and they invite Jesus, whom their not recognizing still, to come and stay with them. So they sit down, they have a meal together and as Jesus begins to break the bread, suddenly they recognize Him.
It's possible that they recognized Him because of something in His mannerism. No doubt, these two had seen Jesus. If they didn't actually know Him as friends, they at least had seen Him perform miracles, break bread at the Sea of Galilee or with His disciples. They had seen Jesus in action.
So it's possible that something in Jesus' mannerism suddenly turned the lightbulb on in their heads and they went, 'Oh! Dude, you're Him! You're Jesus!' It's possible that's it. Whatever it is, as soon as they recognize Him, Jesus noped out of that situation and He moved on. He probably had other important things to do, I imagine. He was on a time-frame and He had people to see and He had messages to get across.
So He left them. No doubt, they were startled by everything, realizing they'd just spent and entire day with the one they were bemoaning had abandoned them, had left them. So they threw on their shoes, ran over to the disciples and said, "You're never going to believe what we've just seen." And they relayed the entire story.
What strikes me so interesting about this story is it's just a regular kind of day, but it's kind of a down day. You know? These guys are having a hard time. It's been three days since their purported savior had been crucified, brutally murdered for an entire city to see. And then He was placed in a tomb and they hadn't seen Him since.
Sure, the women had gone and said the tomb was empty, but who knows why? Maybe it was just because the guards had moved Jesus' body, hiding His new location from Jesus' followers, trying to tamp down the enthusiasm and the intensity that Jesus had brought to this city, this spiritual fervor that was going on. Maybe they were just trying to quell that and had moved Him somewhere else.
Nobody really knew why Jesus wasn't in the tomb anymore, they just knew that He wasn't and the women all said, "Yeah, we saw a vision," but did they?
I don't know about you, but when I have hard days, which let's be honest, you guys, if you've listened to our previous episodes you know that I struggle with generalized depression and anxiety issues. Man, you know I have some hard days. I imagine you do, too.
And I know when I have a hard day, it's really easy to just focus on the problem at hand. You know, you kind of get tunnel vision, right? All you can see is what is bugging you the most. It's kind of like when you're on a hike or even walking in the mall and you've got a pebble or something rubbing in your shoe. Pretty soon that outshines every other thing surrounding you and you can't see beyond.
You can't see outside of yourself because all your brain can focus on is the pain in your foot. And you can kind of picture that blister, building and growing and popping and festering and oozing.... You know, you see that. That's what you're seeing even if it's not actually happening, that's what you're envisioning because that's the thing that's pressing in on you the most.
Life's problems are kind of like that, aren't they?
You have an issue at work. You have a fight with your spouse or your kid. You see something on the news that just really gets under your skin. Or you find somebody at church that, man...they are the most annoying person and if they say that 'one' thing one more time, you might just blow your gasket.
We all have those things, right?
And when we're in the thick of that problem or we're in the thick of that moment with that person or situation it's so easy to become so focused on that one thing. It's hard even to see the good stuff that's going on around you when you're in a bad place.
For instance, right now we're trying to clear out our house and declutter some things, get rid of some stuff. And so, by virtue of that, we have some pretty large messes happening in our space. And it's really, really, really hard sometimes to look beyond the larger mess and see the bright little spots, the spots that are clean, that have been dealt with, or the spots that are at least getting better.
'Cause all you can see is the Problem. And you just want to focus on the problem. Pretty soon, that become everything.
And I kinda think that's what Cleopas and his buddy were doing that day as they're walking along. I imagine they're were hang-dog, heads down, kicking the dust, feeling pretty darn miserable about life. Man, they'd been let down again.
How many times is that going to happen? Where somebody comes along and says, "Don't worry, I've got the answers, we're going to fix this, we're all going to take care of it, I'm going to save everything, I'm going to change everything, life's going to be grand." And then they fail. They let you down in some way. And you think, 'I trusted them again. I let my guard down again. And I've been hurt...again.'
That get's discouraging, doesn't it?
I think , as they're walking on this road to Emmaus and as Jesus is talking with them and sharing with them all of the things that the prophets had said, I think they're remembering, 'Yeah, yeah, yeah...that's true. I know, yep. Got it...heard it all before. Doesn't change the fact that Jesus isn't here anymore. Doesn't change the fact that our Messiah is dead; that the world is caving in on us.'
I think the more they spent time with Jesus, the more they heard His teaching, the more they heard Jesus' truth, I think it started to penetrate their brain and penetrate their heart and remind them, not just intellectually, what they knew to be true, but it reminded their spirit what they knew to be true. So that by the time they were sitting down having dinner with Jesus, by the time Jesus was breaking the bread and blessing it, suddenly their eyes were up. Their chins were up.
And they saw Him. They really saw Him. And the recognized, 'He's been with us all along.'
How often do we do that in our own lives? Where we get so focused on our problem that we forget the truth that we know? That we forget the Savior that loves us, that we forget that we have this word that's chock full of promises, not just about our future, but about the sovereignty of God, that holds the promise that just like three days after the crucifixion, He is going to return?
The prophets have taught it. Just as they taught of the coming of the Messiah, the prophets have taught of the second coming of the Messiah. How quick are we to forget that? That in the scheme of things, our problems here, they're temporary. We're guaranteed a future, an eternity with God.
I know it's also really easy, when I start thinking about my own problems and whatever it is that's bogging me down, it's pretty easy to start feeling like my problems are so much worse than anyone else’s. Right. Do you guys ever feel that way? Just like, 'Man, nobody knows...'
"Nobody knows the trouble I've seen. Nobody knows my sorrow." There. That was some really good singing for you. But seriously, I get that way and I sing that song - a little bit in my head - I'm going to admit. Because I feel that way. Like, 'Man, nobody understands; nobody's had it as hard as I've had it.'
Which is a crock. Because let's face it, I live in the United States of America, I have a home, I have food. I have it really, really good compared to a lot of people in this world. But when I navel gazing on all of the negative crap that's going on in my life, man, it's bleak. It's so bleak.
But when I'm reminded by something, by whatever, that I'm not alone in this problem, when I'm reminded to look up and look out, I can see that there's a whole world of people out there, some of which have problems that are so much simpler than mine, some of which have problems that are far greater than I'll ever be able to understand.
But the point is, we all have struggles, right? Every single one of us is dealing with something. That coworker that's bugging you, they've got their own baggage that they're working through. They've got their own problems, their own burdens. That spouse that you're so frustrated with, they've got struggles of their own. Your kiddo? Struggling. Struggling with something, guaranteed. Because life is full of struggle.
We were never promised that this was going to be a rose garden, you guys. We were never guaranteed that we were going to have this rich, abundant life here, on earth. We were promised a rich and abundant life for eternity with God the Father. But not here, in this temporal realm.
I think that the reason that Cleopas and his friend finally recognized Jesus was because they finally looked up. I think they finally looked at Him and went, "Huh. It's You."
It's really easy to be hang-dog. Especially in today's world, because let's face it, things are looking pretty bleak. You know? We've got economic weird things, we've got political weird things, we've got environmental weird things. I mean, things feel a little off-kilter and a little out of control.
And I don't know about you, but whenever I watch the news or see stories on Facebook or Twitter, it's a little disheartening, I gotta tell you. And if all I do is focus on that, I'm going to stay stuck in that place. Right?
But we've been given a promise. Because the prophets have taught Jesus is coming again.
Hold on. Just hold on. This is temporary. Chin up. Eyes up. Forge ahead.
Alright you guys, thank you for joining me today. I hope that these little mini episodes are being a blessing to you. I hope that you're able to take away some little bit of encouragement or thought to chew on for the week. I know that for me, they've done that and I hope it's the same for you.
If you would like to see our show notes where you can also get a link to our full transcript you can do that our website which is www.roadhometoyou.com.
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So, if you've got somebody you think would be a great guest or if you, yourself would be a great guest on our show because you have an area of expertise, by all means, seriously, let me know. I am more than happy to have that conversation with you. You can email me, and/or Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Like I mentioned in our last episode, we do have a Patreon account now, too. And, we have our very first Patreon supporter, our very first Patron, Miss Teresa Page-Ayala. That's right, my mom. The very first patron. I couldn't be more excited about it. I did threaten her, that is true. I did threaten her. I will not threaten anyone else. I will just extend the offer: you are welcome to come and join us as a Patron.
She is getting the full works because she's a Ride or Die person. That's great. I'm so excited!
So, Mom, I love you. Thank you. Your support, your encouragement, your faithfulness at encouraging your kids and your in-law kids and your grandchildren...I'm so grateful for you. And I love you enormously. So, thank you. And I'm not just saying that because she's paying me. I mean that, very, very truly.
I probably won't get so personal with the rest of you if you decide to be Patrons, but I will read your name. If you donate even one dollar a month, I will read your name, or Matt will read your name - one of us will read your name on the show and you will be famous to at least twelve people. I don't know how many listeners we have, you guys. I'm sorry, I don't know.
Anyway, I think that's all. You guys, I'm so tired. This is actually the second time I've recorded this show because the first time, guess what? It went away. I don't know where it went it just went into the ethereal internet realm and vanished. It was there and then it was gone. I don't know what happened. So, I had to re-record this and I'm sorry if it's a little rough. I'm sorry if it's a little repetitive. I don't even know what I'm saying anymore. It's really confusing.
And, to be honest, it's a little bit strange sitting in the studio without Matt, talking to his empty chair. I'm literally staring at his empty chair and it's very weird.
But, on the plus side, I painted the studio this weekend and it looks beautiful and I'm very excited, except there are some spots that I missed and I can't decide if I'm going to touch those up or not. I'm thinking I'm not. I'm just thinking I'm not because I'm just not that ambitious. And I think it's going to be okay anyway. Anyway, I'll take pictures when things are all put together and I'll post them Instagram and Facebook so that you can see.
You guys, I'm exhausted and I'm rambling and I'm going to go now. Okay, I love you, have an awesome, awesome week. As you're out and about, as your grocery shopping, running errands, going to work, picking up your mail, walking the dog, whatever you're doing, would you guys just love God and love people. That's what we're called to do.
So, eyes up. Chin up. Love God. Love people.
Love you guys! Bye!