“What things?” Jesus asked. Luke 24:19
Do you think Jesus had a sense of humor? Or was that he occasionally liked to be a smart-aleck? Jesus asks this very question of two followers of his. Yet they did not recognize him.
See, they were talking about all the things that had happened in the past week in Jerusalem. Specifically, they were talking about what happened in the final days of Jesus before his trial, execution and burial. Little did those followers (of Jesus) know that He (Jesus) was raised from the dead earlier in the day and was now walking with them.
Jesus was not recognizable for some reason and so he played dumb and asked them what they were talking about.
This evoked a fairly strong response from Cleopas. “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” Luke 24:17
I can just picture Jesus smirking and quietly egging this guy on by asking “What things?”
Jesus received a passionate response regarding…well…himself. Cleopas talked about who Jesus was and what happened to him. He even relayed the rumor about the empty tomb.
Finally, Jesus receives an opportunity to reply. He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. Luke 24:25-27
Now think about that for a second. Jesus literally goes through the Hebrew Bible (verbally) and points out all the things that were prophesied about Him over the past 1500 years. To put it plainly, he schools them. I would love to hear Jesus explain the scriptures!
Imagine for a moment we took only the most important things said about Jesus in the Hebrew Bible and tried to determine the probability of Jesus doing those things.
A number of years ago, Peter W. Stoner and Robert C. Newman wrote a book entitled Science Speaks. The book was based on the science of probability and vouched for by the American Scientific Affiliation. It set out the odds of any one person in all of history fulfilling only eight of the sixty major prophecies found in the Old Testament concerning the Son of God.
Stoner and Newman worked on that math problem and here is what they came up with: The probability that Jesus of Nazareth could have fulfilled even eight such prophecies would be only 1 in 1017. That’s 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000.
Jesus spent time on the road to Emmaus explaining to those two followers (who did not recognize him) all the things said about him in the Hebrew Bible and it became abundantly clear that Jesus fulfilled the things said about him.
By the math alone, the probability of someone randomly fulfilling just eight of the prophecies written about the messiah is astronomically small. That is just short of impossible. Yet, Jesus shows those two disciples (without the math) that someone did in fact fulfill the things said about the Son of God.
It wasn’t random, or blind luck. God dropped hints for over 1500 years about one who would come and redeem the world. God did this so that people would recognize the Son of God when he arrived. Sadly, many did not. However, this is a reminder to us so many years later that Jesus is the Christ and our Lord and Savior! We don’t need math for that but it does show us that there is a reason to believe!