The story of the road to Emmaus is a powerful story of recognising Jesus, we hope you might encounter him anew through your worship together this week.
Read Luke 24.13-35: Jesus takes time to explain his own story.Our story
Bring in a few autobiographies for the children to see, explaining that people love to share their personal stories, and some people write them down. What kind of things might a person put in a book about their life. Write down the key words that the children suggest.
The Bible passage we have today helps show us that Jesus takes time to tell his own story. Read it together, and write down the key words that explain this story about Jesus.
Who was the mysterious man on the road to Emmaus? That’s what Cleopas wanted to know. Cleopas and his friend had been walking away from Jerusalem, talking about Jesus’ death, when the man suddenly appeared with them. ‘What are you talking about?’ the man asked. Everyone in Jerusalem was talking about Jesus. Where had this stranger been?
Cleopas said, ‘We’re talking about our friend, the prophet Jesus. We thought he was the Messiah, the one sent by God to save Israel, but he was killed three days ago, and now we don’t know what to think.’ There was something familiar about the stranger, but Cleopas couldn’t put his finger on it.
Cleopas’ friend said, ‘This morning some women went to Jesus’ tomb and told us the body was gone. They said they saw angels, who told them he was alive. The body’s definitely gone. The disciples checked. But what does it mean? Where’s the body?’
Then the stranger began to speak about the Old Testament prophets. He explained how the Messiah’s life and death had been predicted a long time ago. ‘You are slow and foolish not to see it,’ the stranger said. ‘The Messiah had to suffer before entering his glory.’
They all arrived in Emmaus as evening approached. ‘Come in and eat with us,’ Cleopas said. The stranger accepted, and when he broke the bread, Cleopas suddenly knew who he was. It was Jesus! Back from the dead!
Jesus disappeared and Cleopas and his friend couldn’t contain themselves. They rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the 11 disciples what had happened. When they got there, the disciples were talking about Jesus. ‘He appeared to Simon. He has risen!’ Cleopas told his story and how he had recognised Jesus when he broke bread.
Talk together with children
- Why do you think the two friends may not have recognised Jesus
- Are there any times in your life where you have learnt something about Jesus’ story?
- How might we take time to share Jesus’ story with our friends?
Make storybooks for the children using A4 paper (instructions), and invite everyone to draw things inside their book which are important to them.
Everyone has a story to tell, so let your group tell their story. Give each person exactly one minute to tell you a story from their lives; remind everyone to be respectful of each other. You could try to include rules such as no repetition or hesitation during the one minute.
Remember that God is interested in every part of our story
You will need: paper, pens.
- Give each person a piece of paper and a pen. Ask them to write their name in large letters down the left-hand side of the paper.
- Then, using each letter of their name, encourage everyone to write something they want to thank God for, or would like his help with. Invite them to include some things that are part of the story of their life.
- Then ask everyone to swap their papers with someone else in the group, and spend some time quietly praying for the person whose sheet they have. Encourage everyone to take the sheets they are holding home and pray for that person through the week.