They urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them.Luke 24:29
After Jesus’s resurrection, two of his disciples were walking to Emmaus. One of the disciples was named Cleopas. His wife was one of the women who had stood by the cross (cf., Luke 24: 18, John 19: 25). The two disciples were talking about Jesus’s crucifixion and the fact that some of their friends had found his tomb empty. They did not understand that Christ had risen. They were sad. They were putting distance between themselves and Jerusalem.
The risen Christ approached them and asked what they were talking about. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing him (Luke 24: 16). Why?
One possibility is that Jesus wanted them to focus on his words. As they walked, Jesus explained to them that the Old Testament had foretold all of the things that had happened to him. Their hearts burned within them as he spoke (Luke 24: 32). Would they have listened as intently as he talked—and later been able to share those lessons with others—if they had been able to recognize him? Would seeing him as he was have distracted them and kept them from appreciating his words?
Jesus knew what was best for their learning.
When they came to their village, Jesus acted as if he was going to continue walking. But they asked him to come into their home. No, they urged him. Strongly. They lived together. (Was the other disciple Cleopas’s child?) They set food before Jesus. He broke bread, and he gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and he vanished.
When they were approaching their home, Jesus did not impose on them. He did not insist. They wanted him to come in. He accepted.
The same opportunity that was before the disciples on the road to Emmaus is before us. Will we invite the risen Lord in?
(Recent discoveries by archeologists have led them to believe they have located the site of Emmaus: www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-israeli-archaeologists-may-have-found-emmaus-where-jesus-appeared-after-crucifixion-1.7774167)