Cleopas and another disciple were deep in conversation as they walked the Roman road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Their steps were slow and labored. Their conversation was so intense that they hardly noticed the stranger who drew near to them and joined their dialogue.
The stranger immediately perceived their depression and inquired as to its source. To this the disciples responded, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” (Luke 24:18).
The men went on to explain how they had put their hope in the man Jesus, who had demonstrated the power of God in His Word, demeanor, and deeds. The disciples were further disillusioned when their own religious leaders arrested Christ and delivered Him over to death.
Then they explained to the stranger the newest additions to the story. Women, who they knew, had gone early that morning to the tomb and found it empty. The women reported seeing angels who asserted that Jesus was alive. Other disciples went to the tomb and found it empty, but did not see any angels.
The stranger then gently rebuked the confused disciples, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” Then the stranger (beginning at the books of Moses and continuing through the Old Testament) “expounded to them in all the Scripture the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:25-27).
They constrained the stranger to eat with them. At the table when the bread was broken, suddenly Cleopas and the other disciple recognized Him. It was Jesus. At that instance Jesus disappeared from their midst.
Jesus had led Cleopas and the other disciple through the Word while on the road to Emmaus. Jesus had showed them the surety of the Word of God. Jesus had expounded to them the Scriptures that He Himself fulfilled. It was only after the disciples had been in the Word that they were able to recognize Jesus.
Herein is the remedy for discouragement, disillusion, and depression: the examination of the Word of God. While meditating on His Word, there is the necessity of reviewing the fulfilled work of God, the promises of God, the principles of God, and the character of God. Only after returning to the Word of God does Jesus become visible, even in life’s most horrific circumstances.