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The Man They Did Not Know

New words:
Important: Something or someone that matters very much.
Messiah: The leader God promised to give the Jewish people. The Christ.
Passover: An important Jewish holiday.
Prophet: A person who God tells what to say. A prophet speaks for God.
Ruler: A government official. One who tells others what they must do.
Traveler: A person who goes from one place to another.

It was the end of an important religious holiday. Many Jewish people were going home from the holy city of Jerusalem. The holiday was the Passover. God had made their people free on the Passover many years before. They went to the holy city to eat and remember the Passover each year.

People walked in those days. Walking was the most important way they had to get places. Walking was slow, but it was easy for friends to be together.

Two people did not walk with their friends. These people seem to have been from the same family. We do not know if they were brothers, parent and adult child, or husband and wife. They walked sadly and by themselves. They didn’t look like people going home from a holiday. They didn’t look like people after a holy day. They looked like people whose faith had been broken. Their faith had been broken. Their best hopes were gone.

Another person came up to them. He wasn’t from their town. They didn’t know who he was.

The man they didn't know was friendly. He said, “What are you talking about as you walk along so sadly?”

They said, “Are you new to Jerusalem and don’t know what happened there?”

What happened?” said the man.

They said, “There was a well-known prophet. His name was Jesus. He was from Nazareth. He was very unusual. We believed he was the leader God promised to send us, the Messiah. Our rulers asked the Roman government to kill him. He has been dead for three days. Now it is even worse. Some of his other friends say he is alive. They say he is alive, but they have not seen him.”

Their words were plain, but their hearts were all mixed up. The worst thing that could happen to their faith had happened. Every one could see Jesus was a man of God. He never did anything wrong. His whole life was full of love. He cared for hurting people. His teaching brought them close to God. Jesus lived his whole life for God. Then God did not help him when he needed help. The Romans killed him in a cruel way. God did not help him. Jesus hung from a cross trying to breathe. God did not help him. Jesus' blood ran down to the ground. God did not help him. Jesus said sad words before he died. He said, “My God, my God, why have you left me?” His very last words were, “It is finished.” Now it was finished. Their faith had died on a cross.

Their words made the new man angry. He said. “You are too slow to believe God. Here is what God said through His prophets.” Then he told them words from the Jewish Bible. (The Jewish Bible is the Old Testament in the Christian Bible.) The Bible words he gave them showed what God planned for the Messiah. The Messiah was not like they thought. The Messiah had to die. He had to take the punishment for all people's sins. He said the people who said Jesus was alive were right. They should know the Messiah could not stay dead.

What he said came from the Bible. It sounded very true. It was also different from everything they thought before that day. Jesus' death was God's plan to save all people from their sins. They could have their faith back if this man was right.

They came to the town where they lived. It was late. The new man wanted to walk on by himself. Jesus' sad friends asked him to stay with them. Their people often kept travelers at night. Robbers hurt people who walked alone at night. It was safe for travelers to stay with good people. They really wanted him to stay with them. He could go on his trip again the next day.

Their new friend said he would come home with them. They went into their town. They came to their house. We do not know much about their house. We do know what houses were like in those days. They were small. They were plain. They were made of stone. They had flat roofs. Some of them had stairs that went to the roof. People used the stairs so they could sit on the roof.

The travelers and their new friend sat down to eat. The new man took the bread. He broke it into pieces for them to eat. Then, he said a prayer. Something happened when he prayed. Something had kept them from seeing the man clearly. They could see him well when he prayed. His face and the sound of his voice came together. They already knew this man! It was Jesus himself! He really had come alive from the dead! He was praying in their home! Jesus Christ was not a dead man with a missing body. He was alive again! He was alive and surprised they didn’t believe it.

Then, Jesus was gone. He didn't seem to leave. He just wasn't there any more. But they were not afraid. They did not think it was strange. They knew he went away by the power of God. It was the power that brought him back to life.

It was dark. It was not safe to travel, but they left for Jerusalem. They remembered the people who said Jesus was alive. Those people had not seen him. They had seen him. They had to tell his other friends!


Jesus was unhappy when people did not understand. They could see his life. They said they believed in him. Then they thought it was strange when he did what the Son of God should do. They did not have strong faith. They knew who Jesus was. They still thought his boat might sink. They should know him better than that. God sent angels to say Jesus had come back to life. His friends did not believe the angels' words. They should know him better than that. Jesus was God in a human body. Everyone saw him do things only God can do. Everyone could tell who he was. There was no good reason not to believe in him. It made him sad when they did not have faith.

It takes much faith to believe a dead person could come back to life. We know dead people cannot live again, but one dead man (Jesus) is alive again. That same man says we can live again when we die. We can live again if we believe in him. We must not let small faith stop us from believing what Jesus has showed us. If Jesus is who he showed us he is, he has power over death. It is very foolish not to take His power over death for ourselves.

What about you? Have you found the power of Jesus Christ in your life? Do you have faith that he will bring you back to life someday?

And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. (Matthew 8:24-26)

Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. (Mark 16:14)

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures. And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:45-47, happening after the events depicted in this story)

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (John 11:25-26)

To learn how to experience Jesus' power in your life, click here: How to Have a Relationship with God.
For the same information in easier English, click here: Jesus and You

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