Bible Study – May 2024

Conversations: Jesus and … the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13–35)

Holy Spirit, we ask you for insight. Bring God’s Word alive to us, please – in Jesus’ name.

While I was out walking today (the day of writing this), I heard women’s voices coming closer from behind me. I turned to see two younger women walking quickly while speaking in a language I did not recognise. They were totally engrossed in conversation as they then walked past me, perhaps oblivious to their surroundings. Has that happened to you – totally engrossed in conversation with a friend, oblivious to anyone else nearby? Totally focused on what is being shared. I can identify with that!

What kind of focus of conversation would you be likely to share deeply with a trusted friend? (discuss in twos or threes – 4 minutes?)

Now take time to read Luke 24:13–35, and as you read or listen to this account from the evening of Jesus’ resurrection day, imagine it’s you walking in the sandals of those early followers of Jesus.

Then pause, taking time to write a few notes here on what caught your attention …

Ask for two(?) feedback responses.

A closer look

What does v16 mean to you: “but they were kept from recognising him”?

How mindful are you of the Lord’s presence, him walking with you by his Spirit? (Because he has said he will never leave you nor forsake/abandon you see Deuteronomy 31:6.)

… very aware … sometimes aware … haven’t considered it

Our reading reminds us that Jesus wants us to talk with him about what’s been happening in our day – see v17. He identifies with and meets us where we are at, in any confusion, uncertainty, grief, joy or whatever. The two disciples stand still, their faces downcast, as Cleopas responded, finding it hard to believe that this stranger doesn’t know what has been happening. Yet Jesus invites them to tell him.

John 19:25 says that one of the three Mary’s standing at the cross of Jesus was the wife of Clopas. While researching the name, I discovered that “Clopas” is a variant spelling of “Cleopas”, therefore quite possibly the same man. Luke here leaves the other traveller unnamed. Church history and art have previously assumed these two travellers were men, although some now suggest the unnamed travelling companion could have been Mary, the wife of Cleopas, which is quite feasible, although it doesn’t change the essence of the story. Or, that it may well be a strategy of Luke inviting the reader to identify implicitly with the unnamed person, to join in the conversation. See The Unnamed Emmaus Disciple: Mary, wife of Cleopas? – Art & Theology ( Posted on April 28, 2017 by Victoria Emily Jones.

Please re-read Luke 24:19–27.
Have you experienced something in the Bible suddenly making sense, with an “ah-ha, so that’s what it means” response?
Give an example. (discuss in twos or threes – 5 minutes?)

Ask for two (?) feedback responses.

Jesus told us that the Holy Spirit will teach us all things and will remind us of everything Jesus has said (see John 14:25,26). He’s the One who gives us those “ah-ha” moments, when something we have heard or know about suddenly drops into our hearts as it were, becoming embedded in us, changing us, renewing our minds, our thinking. He reveals the truth of God’s Word to us. I am so grateful that he continues to do that today!

Paul likewise said that the wisdom and revelation the Spirit gives will enable us to grow in knowing God better (seeEphesians 1:17). This word “know” speaks of closeness, intimacy, when a truth becomes real in us, no longer just “knowing about” it. As with any lasting relationship, we first “know about” and then move more and more into a “knowing” through personal experience. This is what happens as we believe, as we take God at his Word – trusting that he means what he says.

Our study in April had a focus on conversations and hospitality. Here again, hospitality and an open home are offered to this unrecognised visitor met along the road. Can you imagine these two travellers eagerly wanting to hear more?

Please re-read vv30–35. What happens to their evening of rest, and why? (discuss in twos or threes – 5 minutes?)

Jesus also invites us into his relationship with God as Father, telling us what his Father’s house is like, and making it clear that he is our connection with the Father.

Please read John 14:1–14.

  1. From what you know of Jesus, how would you describe the Father? (v9b)
  2. What happens as an outworking of our prayer? (discuss in twos or threes – 7 minutes?)

Ask for two (?) feedback responses.

Our conversations with Jesus and with others will naturally differ from day to day. Jesus desires us to include him in every aspect of our day, to talk with him and listen to him. Nothing is too big or too small to ask him or tell him about. He loves YOU!

We pray: Father, increase in us your Spirit of wisdom and revelation, that we may grow in trusting you. Holy Spirit, continue to give us insight to these things. We ask in Jesus’ name, that he may bring glory to the Father through us also.

Ruth Olsen

About the Author

Ruth Olsen

Together with Steen, Ruth is thoroughly enjoying retirement with its opportunities to do things there wasn’t time for earlier, including helping someone learn English, learning French (to practise with two of her grandchildren); and continuing many other activities such as being rostered as a singer in Sunday 10.00am worship bands, small groups, grandchildren, reading, journaling, caravanning – also interstate when borders allow etc. She has lived in Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT, New Zealand, and is now back in South Australia. There’s no time to be bored!

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