Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Conversation (face to face) (10/07/10)
TITLE: The Master's Voice
By E.J. Swanson
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Finally, I broke the silence. “Eleazar, have you ever seen so many people in Jerusalem for Passover before?”
My friend stopped walking. “No”, he replied softly. “I don’t think I ever have. Do you think it was only because of Passover? Or do you think some knew what was about to happen?”
“Surely Peter and the others did not know that Jesus was in danger. They would never have allowed Him to tarry there.”
Eleazar reflected on my words for a moment and replied, “That is true. And you know how protective Peter was of the Master. I’m surprised he didn’t get arrested too. Cleopas, none of us is safe yet. I do not think we have seen the end of it.”
As we lingered there in the sunlight along the road to Emmaus, a stranger approached us. “I cannot help but notice that your conversation seems sad as you have been walking along.”
Eleazar and I stared at one another in disbelief. Can anyone in this whole area surrounding Jerusalem not know what had happened there in the past few days? Can he be oblivious to the chaos that engulfed the whole city? Could he not have felt that the whole Roman Army was there on horseback?
Finally I answered. “Friend, are you a stranger in Jerusalem? Do you no know the things which happened there?”
“What things?” He asked.
Eleazar began to recount the events of the last three days. He told how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Jesus up to be condemned to death. His voice broke as he told of the crucifixion.
“We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel.” Eleazar began unburdening his soul to this stranger.
I was somewhat hesitant to speak of these things with as much fervor as my friend did. I spoke in a whisper to Eleazar, “Be careful what you say. We do not know this man. Remember, you said you do not think we have seen the end of it.”
Eleazar would not be hushed. “We know that His body is no longer in the tomb where they laid Him. Some women claimed they saw a vision of angels at the tomb. We do not know what has happened. That is why we walk along the way here with sad hearts and faces.”
The stranger began to speak to us in a voice that seemed somewhat familiar. I could not place it. But we listened intently.
“Oh, my foolish friends, and slow of heart to believe in all the prophets have spoken to you. Don’t you know that the Christ had to suffer these things to enter into His glory?”
Then this gentle stranger began with Moses and all the Prophets, to expound Scriptures concerning the Messiah.
As we drew near our village He indicated that He would leave us there and go farther.
I invited him to stay and eat with us. “Friend, it is near evening. Please abide with us.”
We went into the house together as he agreed to linger awhile. Finally, we sat down at the table together and He took bread, blessed it and broke it. As He handed us the bread our eyes were opened and we knew Him. Immediately, He vanished from our sight.
“Cleopas,” Eleazar spoke first. “Did your heart burn within you as He spoke?”
“Indeed it did, Eleazar. How could we not have known the Master’s voice? Hurry!” I said, “Let us go back to Jerusalem and share the good news with His Disciples.”
The road back to Jerusalem seemed shorter and more joyous than before. We had conversed with the Master. We had met Him face to face on the road to Emmaus.
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