By 3 pm Cleopas, one of the followers who had joined the Bethany group, left for his home in the village of Emmaus [7 miles northwest of Jerusalem], with another disciple. He agreed to stop in at the upper room in Jerusalem to deliver the message that some of the Bethany gathering would join them in Jerusalem for the evening meal.
After Cleopas delivered the message, he, and his companion, continued their journey north towardEmmaus. They expected to arrive well before dark [after all it was only a two to three hour walk]. They were confused, and were discussing the events of the last few days in order to try to understand what had happened and what it meant for them and for Israel.
They passed many people on the road, and some even passed them because they were not in a hurry. They finally became aware that one man, who seemed to be walking at the same pace they were walking, seemed to be paying attention to their conversation. When Cleopas looked directly at the man, the man said, ‘What is all this talk about this fellow Jesus?’
Of course they were surprised that anyone did not know about the turmoil and crucifixion. So they summarized for the stranger all the events related to the death of Jesus, and to the confusion following his death. But they confessed that they did not have the wisdom to understand what it all meant.
So The Christ, the Word of God, God’s Wisdom made visible, enlightened their minds as to the meaning of these events that had been prophesied. Just as the sun remained in the sky an extra day to help Joshua see [in the nearby Valley of Aijalon], now the “Light of the World”, took the time to began to dispel the spiritual darkness.
After walking north from Jerusalem for about an hour, they came to the crossroad where they needed to turn west to Emmaus. The stranger appeared to be planning to continue north toward Galilee, but Cleopas urged him to come to Emmaus, only an hour detour, and spend the night with him and his household. After all, the sun was about to set. So The Christ went with them and continued to enlighten them.
After sundown, around 6 pm, supper was served at Cleopas’ home in Emmaus. The stranger had earned the respect of all, for his wisdom. So the stranger began the meal with the “blessing over bread”. He broke it and handed it to Cleopas. They suddenly realized that this stranger was no less then The Christ [Jesus returned]. Yet the moment they realized who he was, he was no longer physically present with them.
Now that they understood what had happened, they decided to immediately return to Jerusalem and tell the combined gatherings what had happened.
So it was about 6:30 pm when they grabbed a handful of food and began their return to Jerusalem, where they knew many Apostles and disciples would be meeting. It would still take them about two hours to make the journey, but when they arrived they were welcomed. DAB