Notes for 3rd Sunday of Easter, April 26, 2020 LUKE 24: 13-35 TEXT NOTES
This story, unique to the Gospel of Luke, reveals several themes/metaphors which Luke has used before.
Maybe it was because he was a travel companion to the apostle Paul, but journey seems to be a familiar framework for Luke to tell the Gospel story. The journeys are literal, but Luke sees them as also spiritual journeys. Think of Mary’s journey visit to Elizabeth, or the family’s journeys to the temple, especially the time when twelve year old Jesus stays behind to discuss the scriptures. The central portion of the Gospel (9:51-19:48) is a travel narrative of Jesus physically and spiritually moving toward Jerusalem. Questions we might ask of this story: Why are these two leaving Jerusalem? What is their mood? Does their mood contribute to their not recognizing Jesus? What had been their initial destination? What became their final destination? Have you ever had a journey, literally or figuratively, where you ended up at a place different from your initial destination?
2) SEEING AND NOT SEEING
These two people are incredulous that this stranger doesn’t know about “the things” that have happened. This raises a sense of irony in this scene as to who of them truly knows about “these things.” Their perspective echoes the words of Jesus, especially as they speak of “the third day.” See 9:22; 13:32; 18:33; 24:7 Will their own words bring to mind what Jesus said?
The theme of seeing and not seeing is heard as they report about the women who saw, and the disciple who “did not see him.” The tension in this story is whether these two people will ever see; both in recognizing the one who teaches them and the truth of the Scriptures.
When has your view of some events or persons kept you from seeing the full picture?
What helped broaden your view of things even when you felt sure you knew the full picture?
3) THE SCRIPTURES
“Slow of heart” The heart refers not so much to mental comprehension as to an inner commitment, the attitudes which determine a person’s life. Jesus most likely was not informing them of scriptures of which they had never heard. He was interpreting scriptures which they knew and interplaying them with “the things about himself.” Later they will speak of their “…hearts burning within us…while he was opening the scriptures to us.”
In what ways might the scriptures remain essentially closed to us even though we may know much about them?
How might we better practice a heart informed approach to scripture study?
4) THE BREAKING OF THE BREAD
Meals were teaching and revelatory moments for Jesus. He eats at the house of a Pharisee reminding the guests of basic hospitality(14: 1 ff); as well as at the house of a tax-collector declaring that salvation had come to his house.(19: 1 ff) The meal actions most closely resembling this moment in our story is the feeding of the five thousand (9:16). The actions of Jesus closely resemble the Lord’s Supper.
What was it that opened their eyes to recognize Jesus?
How do you think the Bible lesson on the road, prepared them to recognize Jesus at this point? How does participating in the Lord’s Supper help make Jesus present for you?