This week we hear about Cleopas and Simon who are heading to Emmaus from the gospel of Luke. Jesus walks along with them, his identity unbeknownst to them. At first the two fail to recognize him, even as Jesus interprets the scriptures for them.
We then move with Cleopas and his companion where they have just begun telling the eleven disciples about their encounter with Jesus on the road. The text tells us that “While they were talking about this,” Jesus himself appeared among them.” Yet despite having heard the women’s story of the tomb and Cleopas’ story of the road to Emmaus, the eleven cannot grasp that it is the resurrected Jesus who stands before them. Terrified, they think they are seeing a ghost. They cannot believe that the power of life has overcome the dark shadow of death.
Curiously, Jesus does not begin by explaining the scriptures to them, as he had done with the disciples on the road to Emmaus and as the angels had done with the women at the tomb. Instead, he begins by showing them his hands and feet. Yet, as we will hear, they still struggle to believe that this could actually be their beloved Jesus.