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Jesus Walks to Emmaus

13 Later that same day, two of Jesus’ disciples were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus,[a] a journey of about seventeen miles. 14–15 They were in the midst of a discussion about all the events of the last few days when Jesus walked up and accompanied them in their journey. 16 They were unaware that it was actually Jesus walking alongside them, for God prevented them from recognizing him.

17–18 Jesus said to them, “You seem to be in a deep discussion about something. What are you talking about, so sad and gloomy?”

They stopped, and the one named Cleopas[b] answered, “Haven’t you heard? Are you the only one in Jerusalem unaware of the things that have happened over the last few days?”

19 Jesus asked, “What things?”

“The things about Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a mighty prophet of God who performed miracles and wonders. His words were powerful and he had great favor with God and the people. 20–21 But three days ago the high priest and the rulers of the people sentenced him to death and had him crucified. We had all hoped that he was the one who would redeem and rescue Israel. 22 Early this morning, some of the women informed us of something amazing. 23 They said they went to the tomb and found it empty. They claimed two angels appeared and told them that Jesus is now alive. 24 Some of us went to see for ourselves and found the tomb exactly as the women had said. But no one has seen him.”

25 Jesus said to them, “Why are you so thick-headed? Why do you find it so hard to believe every word the prophets have spoken? 26 Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to experience all these sufferings and afterward to enter into his glory?”

27 And beginning with Moses and all the prophets he carefully unveiled to them the revelation of himself throughout the Scriptures.

28 As they approached the village, Jesus walked on ahead, telling them he was going on to a distant place. 29 They urged him to remain there with them and pleaded, “Stay with us. It will be dark soon.” So Jesus went with them into the village.

30 Joining them at the table for supper, he took bread and blessed it and broke it, then gave it to them. 31 All at once their eyes were opened and they realized he was Jesus! Then suddenly, in a flash, Jesus vanished from before their eyes!

32 Stunned, they looked at each other and said, “Why didn’t we recognize him? Didn’t our hearts burn with the flames of holy passion[c] while we walked beside him? He unveiled for us such profound revelation from the Scriptures!”

33 They left at once and hurried back to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples. When they found the Eleven and the other disciples all together, 34 they overheard them saying, “It’s really true! The Lord has risen from the dead. He even appeared to Peter!” 35 Then the two disciples told the others what had happened to them on the road to Emmaus and how Jesus had unveiled himself in the breaking of bread.[d]

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  1. 24:13 The Greek text states that the distance from Jerusalem to Emmaus was sixty stadia = seven miles in the majority of manuscripts. However some patristic writers such as Eusebius, Sozomen, and Jerome, as well as a few Greek manuscripts read one hundred sixty stadia which would be seventeen miles. There is an ancient site in modern-day Israel identified as Hamat (Emmaus) that is seventeen miles from Jerusalem and is known for its hot (burning) springs. The word Emmaus is taken from a Hebrew root that means “the burning place.”
  2. 24:17–18 Cleopas means “from a renowned father.” Some scholars believe this could be the Clopas mentioned in John 19:25.
  3. 24:32 As translated from the Greek text. The Aramaic manuscript reads, “Were not our hearts dull as he taught us?” This is also the translation of the Latin text. The Aramaic words for “burning” and “dull” are almost identical.
  4. 24:35 Luke’s Gospel begins and ends with similar stories. In the beginning of Jesus’ life we have the story of his parents walking off from Jerusalem and leaving him in the temple (Luke 2:41–52), unaware that they had left Jesus behind. Luke ends with the story of Jesus walking alongside two disciples and they weren’t aware of who was walking next to them. Both accounts were after the Feast. In both stories they were leaving Jerusalem. And both the Jewish scholars in the temple (Luke 2) and the two Emmaus road disciples (Luke 24) were astounded at what Jesus taught them.

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