“Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, ‘Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?’ ” (Luke 24:18).

A recent study pitted humans against computers in the ability to identify familiar voices. When recordings of voices with acoustic similarities were played, computers could correctly identify the target voices with about 92 percent accuracy. Humans, with their complex sensory memories, fared much better with a success rate of 99.9 percent after hearing only two words spoken by a relative or close friend.

Since humans have such a remarkable ability, why didn’t Cleopas and his companion recognize the voice of Jesus as He walked with them on the road to Emmaus after His resurrection? Since He didn’t want to be recognized immediately, did He somehow disguise His voice? Or was it simply the utter discouragement of these disciples that kept them from recognizing their Saviour’s voice?

It was only the third day since the crucifixion, and Cleopas and his friend were confused, devastated, and grief-stricken. When the Stranger asked what they were talking about and why they were sad, Cleopas seemed astonished that there could be anyone who didn’t know what had happened in the past few days.

They proceeded to relate the story of the crucifixion, adding, “We were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21).

Cleopas must have been shocked when Jesus said,” O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” (Luke 24:25, 26). But his shock turned to hope as the Lord spread out the truth about the Messiah as revealed in the prophecies of Scripture.

When Cleopas finally recognized Him as the risen Lord, his heart overflowed with joy. All through their sad journey, Jesus had been right beside them!

How many times have we failed to recognize the presence of our loving Saviour? How many times in our discouragement do we lose sight of Jesus standing right beside us with compassion in His eyes?

Dear Lord, You have kindly promised to stay with me and guide me at all times. Thank You!

For Further Study: Luke 24:13–35; Hebrews 13:5; Matthew 28:20

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