Easter3A: The Road to Emmaus: Walking Through Confusion Into Understanding

The one thought to be outside the boundaries of God’s protection, mercy, and love… is God’s own self.


For the third Sunday in Easter, Adam and Lindsey read one of the most underrated stories in all of scripture: The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35). “Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.”

This isn’t just one of the most underrated stories in scripture; it’s also one of the funniest. Two disciples are walking along the road when Jesus, whom they do not recognize, joins them. Jesus asks what they are talking about, and they say, “Have you been living under a rock?” (Actually, yes.)

They proceed to tell Jesus everything that has happened to him as if he’s the outsider. Which, of course, is nothing new for Jesus. He has been treated as an outsider and a blasphemer his whole life. Born outside the shelter of the inn, made a refugee in childhood, marginalized for embracing the marginalized, killed as a criminal.

The one thought to be outside the boundaries of God’s protection, mercy, and love… is God’s own self.

The disciples disciple-splain everything to Jesus, and his first words back to them are “You fools.”

I laugh… in empathy, not derision. Because I know I couldn’t do any better.

Perhaps the hardest thing in the world is being forced to re-evaluate everything we think we know, especially when our wake-up call comes from someone we hadn’t taken seriously.

The disciples hear of the resurrection from “the women” and don’t believe them. Jesus himself walks among them and they don’t recognize him. They had dedicated their lives to the one they thought was the redeemer of Israel. They probably expected battle and victory and glory.

Instead they witnessed ridicule, suffering, and death.

But now Jesus is back, showing them that there is a world beyond all of this, beyond everything they have ever imagined, as he gradually opens their eyes. Even beyond death, there is hope and love.

And even before they recognize him, they listen and are changed, because they offer radical hospitality even when they still think he’s a stranger.

That is the Gospel opening up in a nutshell.

The Olive

Take A Breath with Us

Our weekly newsletter creates a space to take a breath. Once we slow down, we can see the way desire, imitation, and conflict operate in our lives and in the world, and begin to create peace. In addition to the newsletter, you will receive the free "Unlearn the Bible" ebook when you subscribe.

And we invite you to ponder and pray with us not only on our podcast, but  every Wednesday, live, at 11 am CT/ 9 am PT on the Raven Foundation Facebook page.