He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?" They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?" "What things?" he asked (Luke 24:17ff).
The two disciples (one named, Cleopas, the other unnamed) had a lot to talk about because so many confusing and bewildering things had happened in Jerusalem. So they talked while they walked. Then Jesus came up and joined them and in the midst of their perplexing conversation, and asked them a question. The disciples had not recognize the stranger as Jesus yet.
Jesus first asked quite a simple and reasonable question - "What are you talking about?"
This question seemed to be easy to answer. But the question stopped the disciples in their tracks. Dumbfounded, they stood still, their faces downcast. They were not ready to answer a simple question. Finally one of the disheartened disciples posed a question back to Jesus.
In this account we learn how God desires to have a conversation with us. Jesus asked a question that opened up the hearts of the troubled disciples. And then after the disciples struggled to respond to his first question, Jesus asked another question: "What things?" That question gave the disciples an opportunity to open up and talk about their mixed feelings. And what did Jesus do? He listened.
By asking questions and listening, the door was now open for Christ to explain things to the disciples who could not make sense of the confusing events in the past three days.
Today we too can experience the God who asks us questions in our lives. The Bible tells us about the many questions Jesus asks and invites us to reflect and respond such as: "Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?" (Mt 6:25b); "Who do you say I am?" (Mk.8:29); and so many more.
And as we journey along this Emmaus road just like the two disciples, let us respond to the question Jesus asks us, "What things?" May this question be a starting point for us to pour all the issues, confusion, burden, and despair to the God who not only asks us questions but also listens to us.
Lord, the questions you ask us may cause us to be dumbfounded or open up our hearts to you. Today as you ask us this short, simple, yet deep question, "What things", we pray that you will help us to open our hearts and commit all our burdens into your loving hands. Amen.