"Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him."
In comparing this with Mark 16:12, it seems most reasonable to suggest that Jesus' form was literally unchanged. However, since the eyes of these two disciples had been temporarily restrained in some miraculous way, He appeared to be in another form to them. Thus, they did not recognize Him as they traveled toward Emmaus. Geographically, the exact location of this village is unknown.
As they traveled, these two disciples discussed the current events that had transpired in Jerusalem. They were so engrossed in their discussion that they paid little attention to their surroundings. Jesus overtook them on the road and joined them in their journey. Why was their vision intentionally restrained? Perhaps so they could see the resurrection of Jesus in the Scriptures before they saw it in reality (unlike John, cf. John 20:8,9).
"And He said to them, 'What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?" (Luke 24:17). Jesus asked about their discussion and what they were sad about. The fact that they are sad clearly indicates that they did not believe the report of the women they would mention in 24:22,23 (otherwise they would have been happy). They were of the opinion that the testimony of the women could not be trusted.
"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). Cleopas, whom nothing else is known about, marveled that there could be a single man in Jerusalem who had not heard about the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.
Jesus replied - "What things?" Jesus asks this question, not out of ignorance, but to induce these heavy hearts to express their grief. The disciples respond by stating - "The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened" (Luke 24:19-21). In Cleopas' mind, redeeming Israel meant freeing the nation from Roman subjugation. Jesus did not accomplish this (and He never intended to). Jesus would redeem Israel spiritually from bondage to sin.
"Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us" (Luke 24:22). They were astonished by the claim that the women had brought back to them (i.e., that they had spoken with angels and actually seen Jesus alive). "When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive" (Luke 24:23). I find it intriguing that these two disciples did not mention the claim of the women regarding seeing Jesus alive. Perhaps they deemed it too ridiculous to mention.
"And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but Him they did not see" (Luke 24:24; i.e., Peter and John according to John 20:3,4). The last clause of this verse suggests the omitted fact that the woman had professed to see Christ.
We will continue studying this narrative in our next lesson.