To read the texts click on the texts: Acts 3:1-10; Lk24:13-35
"That very day” – This phrase refers to the immediately preceding scene in which the women who saw the empty tomb return and narrate to the eleven and to all the rest what they had witnessed. The response of those who heard about the empty tomb from the women interpreted it as an “idle tale and they did not believe them” (24:11).
“two of them” – these are not identified, though later
we are told that one of them is Cleopas (24:18). Luke could be intending that
the reader place him/herself in the position of the ones who are travelling.
“all these things that had happened” – This phrase
refers to all that has happened in the passion and death of Jesus.
“While they were talking and discussing together,
Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from
recognizing him.” – They are discussing the things that happened to Jesus when
Jesus himself approaches them. These verses also make us wonder how and when
they will recognize him. While the use of the passive tense “were kept” may
indicate that God prevented them from recognizing him, it may also indicate
that their closed attitude or their despondency kept them from recognizing
“What is this conversation…? And they stood looking
sad.” – The question of Jesus takes them by surprise so that they have to stop
“Cleophas” – now we are given the name of one of the
travelers. The fact that Cleopas was not well known in the early Christian
community, and is not in any lists of the Twelve, adds credibility to the
“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not
know the things that have happened there in these days?” – the irony is that,
whereas the question assumes Jesus is the only one who does not know of these
earth-shattering events, he is the only one who does know the meaning of all
that has taken place.
“What things?” – Jesus feigns ignorance. This simple
question of Jesus leads to a lengthy explanation.
Cleopas summarizes the events of Jesus’ life, leading
to his death. The death of Jesus, which was indeed the fulfillment of all hope,
is seen by Cleophas as the frustration of their hope. He also narrates the
report of the women, and concludes with an emphatic statement, “But him they
did not see.”
“O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe…” - Jesus
brings the irony to an end and reveals himself and the meaning of the
resurrection to them. In his explanation, Jesus insists that suffering was a
necessary condition for the resurrection.
“He appeared to be going further” – While on the
surface, it seems that Jesus did not want to intrude on their plans. On a
deeper level, it reinforces the idea that Jesus never forces himself on others.
Jesus always leaves the other free. Faith must be a response to God’s constant
revelation and grace.
“Stay with us.
So he went in to stay with them” - Jesus accepts the invitation offered
by the two disciples.
“took the bread and blessed, and broke it, and gave it
to them.” – These are the same verbs that are used at the feeding (9:16) and at
the last supper (22:19). Jesus the guest becomes the host.
“And their eyes were opened and they recognized him” –
At table they saw who the stranger was. Sharing bread with a stranger makes the
“and he vanished from their sight” – God cannot be
captured only by the external senses. We need to encounter him also in our
“Did not our hearts burn within us..?” – Any encounter
with Jesus cannot leave one untouched.
“And they rose that same hour and returned to
Jerusalem...” – The Gospel of Luke begins and ends in Jerusalem, and the
journey to Jerusalem dominates the ministry of Jesus. The return journey is
narrated very briefly. This could also indicate the urgency of the disciples in
wanting to communicate to the others their experience of Jesus. It was an
experience that they could not contain in their hearts, but had to share with
Only after the two hear of the appearance to Simon do they get a chance to share their own experience. The words “what had happened on the road” signifies the conversation that took place between them and Jesus, in which Jesus opened the scriptures to them. “how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread” signifies the meal that Jesus shared with them.