On this blessed Sunday, our devotional reading focuses on today’s Gospel and comes from Concordia Classics: Luke.
Acts 2:14a, 36–41
1 Peter 1:17–25
On the road to Emmaus, our Lord revealed to the two travelers that He was indeed the promised Messiah, the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. May God continue to daily strengthen our faith as we cling to His Word of promise.
V. 21. The two disciples admit that they had entertained the hope Jesus would show Himself as the Messiah; this hope they imply was an illusion. If God had resolved to interfere, one should expect that something spectacular would have happened at once or very soon; but now it was the third day since the execution and no manifestation of divine power in His behalf had occurred.
Vv. 22f. The message of the women had “startled” them, it had not created belief in the resurrection; such a thought was too remote. The empty grave is mentioned as a fact, the vision and message of the angel merely as something reported. That the two disciples may not have heard the report of Mary Magdalene and the other women on the appearance of Jesus to them has been referred to above as a possibility. Another possible view is that this report appeared so fantastic to these men that they felt ashamed to say anything about it.
V. 30. An amazing thing happened: the stranger, instead of acting like a guest, took over the role of host, laid hold of the loaf of unleavened bread (it was the unleavened-bread season, lasting a week), spoke a blessing, broke the bread, and handed the pieces to His companions. Some scholars have held that Jesus here observed the Lord’s Supper with these two followers. Nothing is said about the cup or about the words of institution. It is a grave error to think that every time the expression “breaking of bread” occurs we are dealing with a reference to the Eucharist.
V. 33. “The Eleven” here is a technical term for the group of the Apostles. In reality only ten of them were present, Thomas being absent (cf J 20:24). This remark assumes that the meeting of the disciples here referred to is the same as that mentioned in J 20:19ff.
V. 34. How can we harmonize this passage reporting the jubilant announcement of the Eleven (Ten) that Jesus had appeared to Peter with Mk 16:13, where the complaint is made that the Apostles did not believe the two men who had gone out into the country and to whom Jesus had shown Himself? The news of the Lord’s resurrection appeared simply too good to be true. There was rejoicing and at the same time strong doubt.
Devotional reading is adapted from Concordia Classics: Luke, pages 489–92 © 1956, 1984 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.