Questions are funny things. A question can really be an accusation. Why did you do such and such? Didn’t you know? I still remember in kindergarten one day when my mother was observing, the teacher asked me what day it was. Petrified at being pointed out, I blanked. The teacher feeling my embarrassment, gave me a clue, “It sounds like ‘thirsty.’” I could not come up with the name and have not forgotten that humiliating moment. Jesus, however, always asks questions to draw a person out to help them understand more. As he comes along side Cleopas and friend walking to Emmaus on Easter evening, he politely asks what they are chatting about. Luke 24:17-27. They counter with a question, “Don’t you know what has been happening in Jerusalem?” Of course he knew but he wanted them to share how they understood the events, so he asks, “What things?” That question opened the floodgates of their hearts.
It seems to me that this little scenario involves two aspects worth reflecting on. If Jesus were to join you and a friend chatting and were to ask what you are chatting about, what would it be? How much of our conversations are about food or movies or friends, possibly current events. Think about a conversation you might have had yesterday and ponder what insight Jesus might have brought to your discussion?
On the other hand, what might we ask Jesus to explain were he to join a conversation? Cleopas and friend were talking about events that needed to be understood in terms of their historical perspective and future implications. All that had happened to Jesus was predicted in the Old Testament. What appeared random actually was prophesized. My first son visited this weekend and we chatted about his three daughters, my granddaughters, and how their character was forming and becoming and where that might lead. We laughed and reflected about my thoughts of what my children might become and where they are today. Some I was right on and others have pleasantly surprised me.
Jesus is not asking Cleopas and friend questions to accuse them but to draw them out so he could inform them, give them historical context and a foundation for the reality they were living through but so little understood. I find it deeply comforting that when life feels so random and out of control, God understands and walks with me through the chaos. Full disclosure might be more than I can handle now but believing that he holds the whole truth and some day we might talk about it, is comforting. Then again, maybe events are not about me but are unfolding for the sake of another and I am the “best supporting actress.” That is worth an Emmy also!