A Solemn One Way Trip Becomes A Joyous Roundtrip! -- By: O. Kenneth Walther

Journal: Ashland Theological Journal
Volume: ATJ 14:0 (NA 1981)
Article: A Solemn One Way Trip Becomes A Joyous Roundtrip!
Author: O. Kenneth Walther


A Solemn One Way Trip
Becomes A Joyous Roundtrip!

O. Kenneth Walther

A Study of the Structure of Luke 24:13–35

Luke’s distinctive literary style and his fascinating treatment of theological themes in both his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles have been recognized and widely discussed by commentators and Lukan specialists. Anyone who is interested in pursuing the resurgence of scholarly concern for aspects of Lukan artistry could do not better than start with Studies in Luke-Acts edited by Leander E. Keck and J. Louis Martyn. Among the score of contributors of essays in this volume is Ernst Haenchen, who later completed his own commentary on Acts. Haenchen refers to Luke’s “biblical style.”1 He declares that Luke writes history by relating short, impressive, and dramatic scenes in relatively independent succession using words and phrases of the Septuagint. He further suggests that Luke’s literary intention is directed toward captivating and edifying the reader by joining these short, compact, and picturesque scenes together like the stones of a mosaic.

Chapter 24 of Luke’s Gospel is a great mosaic of these very picturesque and impressive incidents of the wonder, grandeur, and mystery associated with Easter. The reader is irresistibly drawn to identify with the perplexed and terrified women at the tomb, the despondent travellers on the road to Emmaus, and the dumbfounded disciples in Jerusalem. In the center of this final chapter of his Gospel, Luke’s three-part artistic story of the journey of the two disciples on the way to Emmaus, Jesus’ homily on the meaning of Scripture, and his breaking of bread capture the spotlight. Many familiar Lukan touches vividly underscore and add a lasting aura to the remembrance of the first day of resurrection.

On the Road to Emmaus

13Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. l4They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16but they were kept from recognizing him.

17He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast. 18One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one living in Jerusalem

who doesn’t know the things that have happened there in these days?”

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