The Unbelief of the Two Disciples

09 Sep
Unbelief of 2 on way to Emmaus

from Google Images

As two of his disciples walked to Emmaus, Jesus asked them what they were discussing so seriously (Luke 24:17). The two seemed astonished with Jesus’ question, and one named Cleopas replied, wondering how there could be even one pilgrim in Jerusalem who didn’t know about the recent events that occurred there (Luke 24:18). It is, therefore, implied that the stranger (Jesus) was coming out of Jerusalem, so the city was still in view. Therefore, Jesus had joined them very near the time in which they had departed the city themselves. So, consequently, it was perceived by the two that Jesus couldn’t have been coming from any other direction. This makes Jesus’ appearance to the two men not long after they left the other disciples in the Upper Room. So it was still very early in the morning, perhaps cir. 6:30 to 7:00 AM as we measure time today.

Jesus replied asking what events they had in mind (Luke 24:19). The point of Jesus’ response was to get his disciples thinking about the facts, not their theories or doubts that confused the facts. It seems that both disciples began to relay the facts about the events that occurred over the past few days. They mentioned that Jesus was a prophet approved of God and the people, and they also told about how he was arrested by the Jerusalem authorities and turned over to the gentiles to be crucified (Luke 24:19-20).

Moreover, they confessed that they had hoped (G1679) Jesus was the one who would redeem Israel (Luke 24:21). That is, they hoped (G1679), but they didn’t believe. If they had really believed, their eyes wouldn’t have hidden Jesus from their view, as they walked with him toward Emmaus. The scripture says that faith is the evidence of things hoped (G1679) for (Hebrews 11:1). Since the two didn’t believe, they lacked the evidence to support their hope (G1679).[1]

The two men knew three things concerning the testimony of the women (Luke 24:22-24). First, they knew the body of Jesus was missing from the sepulcher. Secondly, they also knew the women claimed they saw a vision of angels at the tomb, who claimed Jesus had risen from the dead and was alive. Finally, they knew that a certain number of male disciples (John says two) went to the tomb and found it empty, but the two had not seen **him** (i.e. the angel who spoke with the women). It cannot mean they hadn’t seen Jesus, because that would have been redundant. They already said the tomb was empty, implying Jesus wasn’t there. So, the word **him** must refer to the angel who told the women Jesus was alive.

The women were at the tomb before the sun rose over Mount Olivet, and before the Wave Sheaf Offering ceremony, which occurred in the Temple, cir. 6 AM (according to how we reckon time today). The gravesite was just over one half mile from the Temple. Mary Magdalene was at the tomb and hurried to the city to fetch Peter and the other disciple. She returned to the tomb with the two disciples, before the Wave Sheaf Offering ceremony took place at the Temple. However, Luke’s group of women were then already on their way to Jerusalem with the message that Jesus had risen from the dead. It doesn’t appear that either Mary or Peter and the other disciple met them on the way, so the two groups must have taken different routes. By the time the men returned to Jerusalem from viewing the tomb, Luke’s group of women were there telling what they saw, but Peter and the other disciple denied their witness. The men saw the tomb was empty, but they didn’t see any sign of an angel. This was what the two disciples on their way to Emmaus knew and believed. Therefore, their departure from Jerusalem couldn’t have occurred before the Wave Sheaf Offering (cir. 6 AM) and probably took places shortly after the ceremony or about 6:30 to 7:00 AM.


[1] See my earlier studies: The Third Day and The Unbelief of the Disciples

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Posted by on September 9, 2018 in Gospel of Luke


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