Introduction: Remember the children’s story of “Goldilocks and the
Three Bears?” What the mother and father bears owned was either too
much or too little, too hard or too soft — it was never just right
for Goldilocks. Only the possessions of the “little bear” turned out
to be just right. This week our lesson guides us towards a hope that
is not so bright it burns out and not so dim it fades away. Instead,
let’s dive into the Bible to find out how to have a steady, solid
“little bear” hope!
- Read Luke 24:13-16. Did these two travelers have some
business that occupied them other than just talking about
Jesus? (The goal seemed to be to get to Emmaus rather than
- Read Luke 24:17. This is a nosey stranger, right? “Hey
boys, what are you talking about?”
- Why do you think they stopped walking to answer
Jesus? (Our opening text sounds like these two had
something important in their life other than just
discussing Jesus. However, this interaction shows the
most important thing for them was what had happened
to Jesus. It was so gripping, they could not discuss
it and walk at the same time. They postponed whatever
was waiting for them in Emmaus to discuss Jesus with
- What was their mood? (They were visibly sad.)
- Let’s read on. Luke 24:18-19. Is this a correct
description of Jesus?
- Why did they use the past tense to describe Jesus?
(They described Jesus only as a “prophet” – and a
dead prophet at that.)
- Read Luke 24:20-21. What was their hope for Jesus? (That
He was the Messiah.)
- In their opinion, was that hope realized? (No. Jesus
was just a dead prophet. That was why they were so
- Why did they let their hope go? (Notice the reference
to “the third day.” In Matthew 16:21, and other
places, Jesus had foretold that He would rise from
the grave on the third day. The third day was here,
and these two had not seen Jesus.)
- Read Luke 24:22-24. Are these facts consistent with their
hope or their dashed hope?
- What conclusion do you think they should have reached
from these facts?
- Notice that they refer to the angels’ message as a
“vision.” What does this suggest they concluded about
what the women reported? (The complaint of these two
is that nothing is concrete. There is no hard
evidence. It was in a “vision” that the women were
told Jesus was alive. In verses 23 and 24 they repeat
their complaint that neither Jesus nor His body can
- These two had facts that were consistent with their hope
and also with doubt about their hope. They concluded that
these facts better supported their doubts rather than
their hope. Let’s read what Jesus said in response to
their conclusion. Read Luke 24:25-27. How did Jesus label
their “underhope?” What did Jesus call it?
- These two travelers rested their wrong conclusion on
the lack of solid proof – a body. Why did Jesus start
out by giving them Scriptures rather than solid
- Or, are Scriptures solid proof?
- Read Luke 24:28-31. Why did Jesus now give them “the
- What does this teach us about how Jesus will deal
with us when it comes to our hopes? (Jesus gave them
every proof they could require. He started out with
the Bible predictions. Someone who is not (v.25)
“foolish and slow of heart” should be satisfied with
the Bible prediction and the fulfillment of that
prediction – without the need for any body. But,
Jesus gave them every proof because they were foolish
and slow. It gives us hope, doesn’t it?)
- Read Luke 24:32-34. We just learned in verse 29 the day
was almost over. Why rush back to Jerusalem in the dark
like a couple of maniacs?
- Our lesson suggests (Sunday) we can have too much hope. Do
you agree? Let’s read 2 Thessalonians 2:1-2.
- The problem of our two travelers to Emmaus was that
they did not connect the facts with their hope until
they actually saw a body. What is the problem for the
believers in Thessalonica? (They were “over-connecting” the facts. Disputed “facts” and reports
were taken as fulfillment of prophecy.)
- Is “overhope” a problem today?
- Or, is “underhope” our main problem?
- If you agree we can have “overhope,” what is the main
danger here? (If you jump at every report. If you
keep reading the Second Coming into every event, you
may become desensitized to the truly significant
events or suffer burn-out.)
- Going back to our two travelers who are rushing back to
Jerusalem, is this an example of “overhope?” Is it an
extreme swing from “underhope” to “overhope?” (It
certainly is an extreme swing. I don’t see the mad rush to
Jerusalem as being “overhope.” They had solid evidence
that Jesus was alive and that He was the Messiah. It
would seem unnatural to me to just keep that to yourself
until you got a good night sleep.)
- Getting It Just Right
- Let’s continue with our story in Luke 24. Read Luke 24:35-37. Did the “Eleven” (the disciples) have the same problem
was the two travelers to Emmaus? (It was worse. Jesus is
there in body and the disciples think He is a ghost.)
- Read Luke 24:38-41a. Jesus specifically disproves the
“ghost” theory. Verse 41, the first part, tells us the
Eleven still did not believe. Why? (“Because of joy and
- How can that be?
- What does this mean? (It seems they had conflicting
emotions. They were filled with joy because this
seemed to be the fulfilment of their hope. On the
other hand, faced with the facts, they were having
doubts that this could really be happening.)
- Does this mean their hope was not real?
- Does this mean that unlike the “little bear” in
Goldilocks, we can never have our hope “just
- Let’s finish reading verse 41 and read through verse 43.
Do you think Jesus is really hungry? (He is giving them
more proof He is not a ghost.)
- Read Luke 24:44-48. What formula is Jesus using so that
the Eleven get their hope “just right?” (He is coupling a
review of the Scripture (in this case the Old Testament)
with a review of His words to them (the New Testament). He
then adds in solid proof that their hope has been
- Is this the same formula we should use for our hope?
- How about teaching hope to others. Is this the
formula we should apply?
- Read Luke 24:48-49. Jesus calls them to be witnesses to
the fulfilled hope that He is the Messiah. He adds another
ingredient to the “just right” hope formula. What is it?
(“Power from on high” – the Holy Spirit.)
- Read Luke 24:50-53. What else does Jesus give them? (His
blessings. I like this picture: Jesus leaves them while
in the process of blessing them. Jesus last act here on
earth was to give us a blessing.)
- Friend, Jesus calls us to a proper hope. He calls on us to
share that hope with others. Will you apply the “just
right” hope formula to your life: study of the Word of God
coupled with solid facts and the overall inspiration by
the Holy Spirit? God will bless that formula! The result,
according to Luke 24:53, is that we break out with praises
- Next Week: A Living Hope