Just two guys headed back to ordinary. We really don’t know anything about them at all. The Bible doesn’t give a name to one, and the other is just as obscure. All we know about them is their journey and their short experience with the risen Jesus. Let’s start from the beginning and fill in the blanks. It’s 2,000 years ago, in Jerusalem, on the very first Easter morning. Jesus has conquered hell and the grave. He has come back to life just as he said he would on the third day, and two ordinary guys are on their way to a small town outside of Jerusalem called Emmaus. It’s a seven-mile journey, and, like everyone else in the region, they’re talking about Jesus. Their encounter is recorded in the book of Luke chapter 24.
Now, if the average walking speed of a person is 3 miles per hour and maybe add in an element of nervousness and a little heightened fear of authorities plus their lives are on the line, we could safely say they would cover one mile every 15 to 20 minutes. That’s two-and-a-half hours to make it safely out of the city of threat to the safety of Emmaus. Maybe they were trying to put as much distance between themselves and Jesus as they could muster. Could it be they were simply headed back to ordinary? Whatever the reason, they were not alone on their journey. Jesus appeared to them, and, as they discussed the events of the past few days, Jesus pressed them for information. Verse 19 through 24 gives us their state of disparity. They confessed their hearts in these verses. They believed Jesus to be powerful in word and deed. They believed him to be a prophet of God. They believed in him and so did the people he impacted. They voiced their disdain toward the high priest. They admitted that he was crucified and, in verse 21, revealed their hearts when they said “we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel.” They just told Jesus, whom they had not yet recognized, that they once had hope in him, but now that hope was ripped from them at the cross.
Ordinary, left to itself, will always drift toward hopelessness. It resides in the natural. Ordinary reduced Jesus to man in the minds of these two men that day. They heard that he was alive, they believed the tomb to be empty, and the eye witnesses of extraordinary still left them in confusion, excitement, and anxiety because they confessed in verse 24 that they had not seen Jesus alive.
Many people today can’t see Jesus as alive because they’re too focused on him dead. They can’t experience him as God for focusing their energy on him as only a man. These two men spent two-plus hours in a private meeting with the risen Jesus and still could only see ordinary and it’s because their minds, like ours, are so fixated on the natural that we fail in the supernatural.
When these men and Jesus had reached their destination, Jesus began to move on, and, in verse 29, “they urged him strongly to stay with them.” They invited Jesus in, broke bread with him, let their guard down, and their eyes were opened. And, the ordinary, fear-filled minds of two men became extraordinarily changed in an instant. They said to one another in verse 32, “Did not our hearts burn within us?”
They immediately turned and ran back into the fire. They left the safety of Emmaus and chose to associate themselves again with the newly appointed Jerusalem’s most wanted. Two obscure and ordinary guys and a seven-mile journey, trying to escape persecution had heard, seen, and experienced the risen Jesus. They became spreaders of the gospel immediately afterward. Maybe one of the first risen visits Jesus made was to women and to the ordinary because he knew that we’re all just ordinary at heart. None of you will likely become president of the United States. Most of you may never run for local offices, and many of us won’t author books or create powerful platforms of influence. Simply put, we’re all ordinary people, living ordinary lives, on ordinary journeys to ordinary places. Each of us will have an extraordinary opportunity to experience a supernatural awakening on these journeys called life with the Lord Jesus Christ, not just the man they called Jesus. Don’t allow him to remain just another man in your life. Open your eyes and see him as risen, and chase that relationship until there’s no breath left in you.
Let’s chase together this Sunday, at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., at Christpoint Church, on the square in Sparta. We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.