Have You Met Cleopas?

Cleopas was one of two men who walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus on the first day of the week and the very same day Jesus rose from the dead (Luke 24:13-35). While Cleopas and his friend were in a deep discussion, Jesus “drew near” to them and asked what they were discussing. The two men stood there “looking sad.” Having been kept from recognizing Jesus, Cleopas asked a question, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days” (Luke 24:18)? In other words, “Where have you been? How is it you have not heard?” Cleopas said, “We had hoped he was the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21). The translation is they had given up on that hope. Cleopas preceded to explain about the life of Jesus, His crucifixion and finally the rumor of His resurrection. Cleopas admits that he has heard of some women who went to the tomb and found it empty. In spite of all of these things, Cleopas and his friend were sad, and on their way out of Jerusalem. Finally Jesus responded, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25)! Now it’s Jesus who has a question for Cleopas and his friend. “Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory? And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Luke 24:26-27). Wow! It is no wonder Jesus said they were foolish and slow of heart. In spite of the words of the prophets, and all they had heard from Jesus, and the testimony of the women about the empty tomb, these were sad men who were attempting to head away from the resurrected Christ. Jesus asked, “Was It Not Necessary?” They had failed to accept God’s plan. Their preconceived ideas kept them from recognizing truth. One lesson from this story is our need to look for the God who is. We must accept God as revealed to us by Scripture rather than the God of our own expectations and inventions.

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