When our 11 year old, Hayleigh, was around three she would get an inquisitive look on her face, cock her head slightly to the side and inquire, "Are you happy about me?" This was her innocent way of affirming that she was in my good graces, was indeed still tremendously loved and was loved just as she was. In many ways she still asks that question today. Every woman, whether 3 or 30, wants someone to see, to take note of, even to admire the person she is and the things she accomplishes.
Passed over, unnoticed, practically unnamed. All these words could describe the characters from today's passage. Today, the gospel of Luke continues in Chapter 24, Verses 1-32. After the initial recounting of the women finding the empty tomb (Praise Jesus!), the attention turns to two down-hearted, confused travelers walking to a nearby town. They were in earnest discussion about the events of the past weekend, when they were joined by a third traveler - Jesus! (Verses 13-15)
- Initially, the are prevented from even recognizing Jesus (Verse 16).
- Jesus inquires what they've been discussing and one of them, Cleopas, begins to summarize what has happened over the weekend in Jerusalem (Verses 17-24).
- Jesus' intended purpose begins to emerge, as he explains to them, using references from the entire Old Testament, who he was and is - Messiah, Emmanuel, Redeemer, Lord! (Verse 27)
- After they reach their destination, they sit down to dinner together. It is through the unique gestures Jesus makes when breaking the bread that at last, they recognize him (Verses 30-31).
None of us would consider Cleopas and his friend, with a single mention in scripture, major Bible characters, yet God used them (and continues to) in incredible ways. These two men weren't looking for Jesus, but Jesus was looking for them. Additionally, we might find it strange that Jesus would choose to hide his identity from them, however, God reveals his greater purpose for doing so. Jesus wanted to make certain they heard his message. These two men of no fame had been equipped by Jesus. They could explain in great detail exactly why Jesus was the Christ. They could have been the very ones who schooled Peter, John or later even Paul to preach the gospel using the Old Testament passages that Jesus had fulfilled (See Luke 24:33-35).
Today Jesus smiles at me and reassures, "I know you. I see you. I have a great purpose for you. And yes, I am happy about you".