In Matthew’s account of the Ascension, he emphasises the authority that Jesus has given to his followers, Luke chooses to focus on the power of the Spirit. It is this theme that closes Luke’s Gospel and opens his sequel (Acts). The (Holy) Spirit has been a thread throughout the Gospel of Luke: the events surrounding the birth of Jesus, the baptism of Jesus, temptations of Jesus, his inaugural sermon in the synagogue, his prayer life are all infused by the presence of the Spirit. It is no different for us today – we need to be led in and into the power of the Spirit.
Praise God that Luke chooses to include the story of what has become known as ‘the road to Emmaus’. This is a great story in which to position yourself; to enter into through your imagination; to picture yourself in the scene. Conveniently only one of the two disciples is named: Cleopas. It’s an invitation for you to step into the frame as the ‘other’ disciple.
Imagine yourself at the beginning of the story. You are setting out from Jerusalem. Who are you journeying with? Who is your ‘Cleopas’ or in your story are you on your own? What are the circumstances you’re coming from today; what does your ‘Jerusalem’ look like? Now, imagine Jesus joining you. What do you want to talk over with him? How are you feeling? Talk to him about your joys and/or your sadness. Share your disappointments with him; the thoughts which you wrestle with; the difficult situations; your struggles to believe in Him; your doubts and unbelief; your confusion.
What does Jesus want to say to you, today, right now? Listen for His voice. Trust what you hear. If you’re squeezing this bible reading into a small window of time then of course he can speak to you in the immediacy of that. But you may need to carve out some more time, lie down, put some music on, go for a walk, find a way to somehow spend time with Him tuning in to His voice.
Have you had an Emmaus moment? Have your eyes been opened to a new perspective or insight? Now ask the Father to fill your heart with the first of His love by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The two friends charge back to Jerusalem – it’s late at night, dangerous and 7 miles away but they can’t wait to tell the others all about it. Their perspective on Jerusalem is totally changed by what happens in Emmaus. Tell someone how, if he has, Jesus has made himself known to you during this time.