Luke 24: 13-35 – The World Behind the Text

rootedchristThis week in our encounters with Jesus, post-Easter, we will be looking at a text that is a favorite passage for many, the encounter on the way to Emmaus.  This is found in Luke 24: 13-35.  I’m not going to include the entire passage below as I’ve been doing, because it is longer than others.  Click on the link above to read it, or I’d encourage you with this to be reading along with your own scripture.

This passage has a lot of meaning for me, and for all who have been a pilgrim on a Walk to Emmaus.  This passage captures that beautiful story of Jesus walking with His followers, teaching them the truth found in scripture, and revealing Himself to them, specifically through the breaking of bread.  This is such a powerful passage, showing to us the importance of community, of scripture, and of communion (the breaking of bread).

Today we’ll look closer at the word behind the text.  The Gospel of Luke is the first book in a two-part history.  Luke and Acts were both written by the Gentile doctor and companion of Paul – Luke. The Gospel tells the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, and Acts tells the story of the Early Chuch.  These two books, when read together, give us a picture of what life was like for the earliest of Christians.  One of the things to remember about Luke’s Gospel, in comparison to the others, is that Luke was not an eye witness to any of the events of Jesus’ life.  Mark was present in the Garden, but Luke did not enter into the story until much later in the book of Acts.

What Luke lacks from an eye witness perspective is made up for in the depth of research that Luke does.  No other Gospel is as thorough or as well accounted for.  Luke has multiple eye witness accounts and even captures the internal dialogue for several of the people in this account (Mary pondered things in heart, and today we see the depth of details for the conversations).  Luke is giving a detailed account to a skeptical audience.  He knows that a Gentile Roman crowd would not be as impressed by the Old Testament quotations and illusions that Matthew uses.  Luke uses historical markers, details, eyewitnesses, and a “high level” version of Greek.  When you read this, you see quickly that Luke is not one to be trifled with.  He knows his stuff.  His account must be taken seriously.

Today’s story of Emmaus is detailed, thorough, and shows us that Jesus is who He said He was and lays the groundwork for some fundamental truths and practices of Christianity.

Tomorrow we’ll look deeper at the world of the text of the walk to Emmaus.

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