“That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.” – Luke 24:13-25
Today’s Bible quote is a portion of Luke’s account when Jesus appeared to two individuals while they traveled along the road to the town of Emmaus. One of the travelers was a man named Cleopas, while the other one was unknown, although more than likely a follower of Jesus.
Although not much else is said about Emmaus in Luke’s retelling, archaeologists believe they may have found the whereabouts of this small town that is connected to the story of Jesus’ resurrection. Last week, Israeli archaeologists unearthed evidence that may have unveiled the town’s actual location.
The books of 1 and 2 Maccabees give a detailed account of Judah Maccabee and his efforts to rescue Judea from its surrounding enemies. The books also indicate that Emmaus had been secured by a bulwark during these battles.
What the archeologists discovered was a three-foot thick reinforced wall over a city that was approximately a 7-mile journey from Jerusalem (Luke 24:13).
Any information pertaining to Jesus and the early ministry of the church that is not included in the original canon of Scripture must be approached cautiously. Information outside the Bible that contains details about the time and location of events in the Bible is considered extrabiblical.
It’s important to remember that this information is historical but not the Word of God and therefore does not carry with it the same level of authority. However, just because it’s not contained in the Scriptures doesn’t mean it’s not true.
1 and 2 Maccabees’ historical reliance has stood the test of time. Although this discovery is not the silver bullet in regard to the exact location of Jesus’ appearance to the two disciples, it’s a step in the right direction. There is still some skepticism among scholars that the fortified three-foot thick walls theory should remind just that—a theory.
It’s certainly exciting any time a biblical location is discovered. Knowing exactly where Jesus ministered to others and appeared after His resurrection helps make the Bible come alive. Being so far removed from the events in Scripture, it can be difficult to understand the context in which Jesus ministered.
For those that enjoy visiting the sites of the Bible, the possible discovery of the small town of Emmaus is a story worth tracking. To read a more detailed report of the archaeologists’ findings, head on over to the Israeli News site.