Week Five - Day Two
What is Truth?
Luke 24:13-18 - 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. But their eyes were kept from rec- ognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
Luke 24:25 - And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!”
Can you picture the scene? As Jesus joins the disciples on their walk, he casually asks what they are discussing. The two men are so surprised their companion is naive, they actually stop walking. “Are you the only visitor who does not know?” they ask. As evidenced by their re-telling in verses 19-24, these men know the facts. They even describe the empty tomb and an angel telling of the resurrection (vv. 22-23). If these men had understood Jesus’ words about his death and resurrection, they would not be confused, sad and defeated - they would be rejoicing! Despite the fact that Jesus repeatedly told his followers that he would rise again (Mark 8:31, Mark 9:31, Mark 10:33-34, John 2:19, John 11:25-26), they didn’t wholly understand. Mark 9:32 says, “But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.”
Jesus’ followers were expecting an earthly king that was prophesied about in Gen- esis 49:8-10 and 2 Samuel 7:16. For their Messiah to su er, die, and resurrect did not fit the Jews’ expectation for their king. It did not fit their understanding of ”truth” even though it had been foretold many years before Jesus was born.
Isaiah 53 is a text that speaks prophecy about the coming Messiah. Isaiah describes a Savior who su ers and dies; but, in verses 10-12, he also describes this Savior to “see his o spring” (v. 10), have a long life (v. 10), and be given a hefty reward for his work (v. 12). These are not things of a dead Savior, but one whose death has brought victory. It is possible that the Jewish concept of the Messiah being a political king was an Old Testament understanding mixed with the beliefs of neighboring nations. Moses prophesied a Savior similar to himself, with leadership of the nation. It had been promised to David that the Messiah would be from his royal line. But, the whole understanding of who the Messiah would be was not understood by the two disciples on the road. It required Jesus to correct their understanding with the Scriptures.
- What false "truths" (acceptable social opinions, political ideologies, scientific theories, etc.) are you clinging more to than God's word about himself?
- What would happen if you believed all of what the scriptures say? If this is difficult to understand, consider some of Jesus' teaching in Matthew 5-7.