Luke 24 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“Now that same day, two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. Together they were discussing everything that had taken place. And while they were discussing and arguing, Yeshua Himself came near and began to walk along with them. But they were prevented from recognizing Him.” Luke 24:13-16
There has been much speculation as to Yeshua’s appearance to the two gentlemen on the road to Emmaus. Among the questions raised, are: Who were these men; and what does the town of Emmaus have to do with their story?
The battle of Emmaus was the turning point in the Jewish revolt against the Selucid Greeks. This was several generations prior to Yeshua’s birth. The war began when the Greek King, Antiochus IV (Who called himself “Epiphanes”, meaning “manifestation of god”) issued decrees that forbade Jewish religious practices.
A young zealot named Judah Maccabee led a small band of Jewish rebels, who drove-out a much larger and better-trained Greek army. Towards the end of the war, Antiochus Epiphanes sought to defile the Temple in Jerusalem, sacrificing a pig on the altar and erecting a statue of Zeus.
After driving-out the Greeks, Judah Maccabee, whose name means “Hammer of Judah”, purified the defiled temple in Jerusalem, rebuilding the altar defiled by Antiochus. The re-consecration of the Temple is the backdrop for the Jewish holiday, Hanukkah.
So, what does Hanukkah have to do with Yeshua’s appearance to the Emmaus road disciples?
Most probably, the Emmaus road disciples were hoping Messiah would have been a military leader, who would redeem Israel by force. Their testimony to Yeshua indicates such. Luke 24:21 After Yeshua’s resurrection, they were traveling to Emmaus, perhaps, assuming Yeshua would be appear there…the location of the turning point in the last Jewish war against foreign oppressors…to gather His army. Regardless of the well-intended motive of their journey and their willingness to fight & die for G_d & country, their instruction concerning Messiah was wrong, and thus evil. Seeking G_d's will through evil counsel always leads you on a path away from G_d’s will.
“How happy is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, stand in the path of sinners, or sit in the seat of the scornful. Instead, His delight is in the Lord’s instruction.” Psalm 1:1-2
Yeshua encountered these men who were walking away from Jerusalem, and offered His “counsel”. They listened-to and received His instruction. They sat at a table with Him as He served them a meal identical to the Shabbat elements. In response to His revelation, they returned to Jerusalem…exactly re-tracing the steps of Psalm 1:1, back to restoration.
~Steve Wiggins, Assistant Rabbi
Daily Devotional, Wednesday, June 26, 2013