Maiandra GD – Sometimes I wonder who are the people just mentioned only once in the Bible. Those with the small roles. I wonder why they are significant in the grand picture of it all. Perhaps it is them we can learn from most. The vast majority of us will never have the oppurtunity to stand out. When YouTube made it possible for everybody to get their fifteen seconds of fame, it made it impossible for that fame to mean anything or to be used in a way that changes things.
The vast majority of us have only a scene in the movie and one line to say. I think the reason we can learn the most from these people is because we’re most like them. We’re not Paul’s, former religous enforcers now working on the side we once persecuted. We’re not Timothy’s, excluded sons living among a people. We’re not like most of the Biblical figures we’ve met over the years.
We’re more like Cleopas. He was among Jesus’ lesser known followers. You know, not the dozen disciples chosen by Him, but one of more than seventy followers that chose to go with Jesus. We don’t know how long he’s been following Jesus, or anything else for that matter. We just know he’s had a horrendous week.
The dozen disciples chosen by Him have locked themselves inside, fearful of what people outside might do to them. There’s talk that some of them want to go back to fishing, after all, they all have families. Cleopas and an unnamed disciple are walking to a nearby town called Emmaus. It seems that Cleopas has been in the shadow of big names all his life. After all, his own name means “son of a renowned (famous) father.” Then, he’s been following Jesus for some time, and there’s no bigger name than that right now.
And yet, these two disciples meet a stranger who seems to not know. He seems to not know that a week ago all Jerusalem welcomed Jesus on a donkey. He seems to not know that Jesus drove out money changers from the temple. He seems to not know that this Passover Week, Jesus was brought before all the city. He seems to not know that the people chose the release of a murderer named Barrabas over Jesus. he seems to not know that Jesus had been paraded in the streets before he was crucified. And so Cleopas and this unnamed disciple tell this stranger everything, including that the women have just today reported that the tomb was empty, this was corroborated by one of Jesus dozen disciples.
The stranger may not know the news, but he has a knowledge of scripture and he lays it all out, how Jesus had to be the Messiah, how he had to suffer, be beaten, and killed in a travesty of justice, and how he had to be raised again to save people from their sins. He could do this because he was not only a man, but because he was the Son of God and he was God, the Son. Only when they broke bread that evening did Cleopas and that unnamed disciple really see who they were with – Jesus himself!
This was the sort of good news that couldn’t wait, even though it was late, at once they got up and went back to the disciples in Jerusalem. Even though they aren’t mentioned, they must have still been in the room when Jesus appeared to the disciples there, to the dozen. Interesting order isn’t it? First to the women, then to the disciples that chose to follow, and lastly to the disciples who were called.
So what can we learn from this anonymous son of a famous father? That our hope in Christ is very real. You see, when that day began the women were going to the tomb to prepare the body of Jesus. The disciples, all of them, believed that he was dead. Dead as in not comming back. The disciples were eager to move on and forget this chapter of their lives. They stood nothing to gain having followed a now dead teacher or standing by him any further. The women found the first evidence, an empty tomb and folded burial clothes. Cleopas and this unnamed disciple found the second evidence, a road trip and shared meal with Him where He taught them the scripture they needed to hear, and the third evidence was when Jesus appeared before the disciples. Now that the disciples are convinced that he’s back, we can be, too.