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Luke 24:1-32 "THE PERCEPTION OF THE TWO DISCIPLES"
Day 342 – Luke 24
Text: Luke 24:1-32
THE PERCEPTION OF THE TWO DISCIPLES
Just how well did these two Disciples know Jesus? On a previous occasion, Jesus once asked His Twelve Disciples a very important question.
“And it happened, as He was alone praying,
that His disciples joined Him, and He asked them,
saying, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’
So they answered and said,
‘John the Baptist, but some say Elijah, and others say
that one of the prophets has risen again.’
He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?”
Peter answered and said, ‘The Christ of God.’ “
Cleopas was not one of the Twelve. If his companion had been one of the Twelve, it would be easy to name him. He was probably not one of the twelve too. How did the other Disciples of Jesus actually regard Jesus?
The reply of Cleopas and his companion give us an important insight as to how the Disciples actually regarded Jesus. Let us take time to carefully consider what he said about his regard for Jesus.
1. Jesus as a Prophet
The two disciples had a very high regard for Jesus. There is no question about their respect for Jesus.
“So they said to Him, ‘The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth,
who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the peopleï¿½”
The opening statement of the two disciples tells us that they had a great regard for Jesus of Nazareth. It reflects the general regard of many for Jesus. He was “a prophet” in the eyes of many. This was what the Twelve had gathered as they talked to the masses.
Jesus had proven Himself to be a mighty prophet. A prophet of God was supposed to be mighty in deed and word. The prophets Elijah and Elisha were two outstanding prophets in Old Testament times who well exemplified what it means to be a great prophet of the Lord. Jesus was certainly in that category of prophets. But was He more than that to these two disciples?
2. The Suffering of Jesus
The two disciples went on with their explanation concerning Jesus of Nazareth.
“And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him
to be condemned to death, and crucified Him.”
The suffering of Jesus was something that proved to be a great stumbling block for many of the disciples, not excluding these two. Their difficulties lay in two directions. Firstly, they could not get over the fact that their own religious leaders could be so wicked that they actually delivered Jesus to the Roman authorities for condemnation. The second difficulty lay in the fact that Jesus had indeed been crucified and of course had died on the Cross at Calvary!
3. The Hope of the Two Disciples
The two disciples then went on to express the hope that they had nursed in their hearts. This was the reason why people became His Disciples at all.
“But we were hoping that it was He
who was going to redeem Israel.”
The two disciples had nursed the hope that perhaps Jesus was the One who was sent by God to redeem Israel. From the way they spoke, we can surmise that these two disciples, like many in Israel, saw Jesus as a Redeemer of the nation.
A general reading of the Old Testament prophets could lead people to conclude that the Promised Messiah would redeem Israel politically. There were many passages in the Old Testament that described Jesus as a King. In fact, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, many hailed Him as their “Saviour” or “Redeemer”. Their understanding of Jesus as a Redeemer was more political than spiritual.
The cry of the crowds when Jesus rode into Jerusalem was both plaintive and suggestive.
“Blessed is the King who comes in the Name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven and glory in the Highest.”
However, the hope nursed in the heart seemed destined to be dashed to the ground when Jesus was condemned to death by crucifixion!
AN INADEQUATE AND DEFECTIVE “FAITH”
The Disciples had not said a thing wrong thus far. They had indeed observed well. Jesus was a prophet sent from God. He was indeed mighty in deed and word. No one could deny His powerful ministry!
They were right once again when they described Jesus as One who would redeem Israel. However, they were defective in their understanding of Jesus. They could not go beyond the suffering and death of Jesus! When Jesus was condemned to death, their hopes in Him had virtually died too.
How important it is to have both knowledge and faith well balanced out. Knowledge is important, but it must be in tandem with the possession of faith! One without the other is defective and inadequate. Do we suffer from the same problem?