Luke 24:13-15 - That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.
This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible because of the incredible joy Jesus shows. There He is, the risen Son of God and Savior walking with two completely clueless yet beloved disciples. And they don't recognize who He is! They even ask Him, "Are you the only one in all Jerusalem who doesn't know what just happened there?"
And amazingly, Jesus plays along. "What things?" He asks, as if He hadn't been in the very center of them. And so they retell their tale of woe while He listens. Oh, so carefully He listens. They tell the tale, ending with the first witnesses of the resurrection—whose story they can't believe. They are so sad!
At this point, Jesus can't take it anymore. "Oh foolish ones," He exclaims, "and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer ..." and He takes up the rest of the walk with a Bible study. I wish I could have heard it!
Mind you, He still hasn't told them who He is—and they haven't even started to guess. Did He keep His sleeves down over the nail marks?
But He's not done playing with them. When they get to the village, Jesus acts like He's going to keep walking. Of course, they invite Him to stay. But it isn't till Jesus breaks the bread for dinner that they recognize Him—and He vanishes. And they run all the way back to Jerusalem to tell the news—only to find out Jesus has been there before them!
There is a kind of joy that comes from knowing a wonderful secret, so wonderful that it is terribly hard to keep it to yourself. Newly pregnant women know it. Newly engaged couples know it. People waiting to see a loved one open a special present know it. And Jesus knew it—the wonderful, overwhelming joy of knowing that His work was complete, that His beloved people were safe, that He had succeeded in rescuing them from sin and death and hell. And hardly anybody realized it yet!
What a time to rejoice! What a time to celebrate! Two thousand years later, it is still time to celebrate, because the aftershocks from that earthquake of joy haven't stopped coming yet. Jesus is risen, and we are saved. He is risen! He is risen indeed!
THE PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, thank You so much for giving us this great joy—that You are alive, and we are Yours. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
1. What was one of the happiest days of your life?
2. Does it surprise you that God can be happy and even play with people in joy? Why or why not?
3. Take a moment to give thanks to God for one joy He has given you, however big or small.
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