Home » Early Church » Church Fathers on The Men on the Road to Emmaus

Church Fathers on The Men on the Road to Emmaus

The Sermon I heard preached this morning was on the Road to Emmaus story and hearing it I wondered what Church Tradition said these two were, so after a quick look, here’s what three Church Fathers say.
Eusebius in his Church history mentions that after death of James, the brother of Christ, that Symeon becomes the next bishop and here includes a little detail concerning Cleopas.
They all discussed together who ought to succeed James, and all unanimously decided that Symeon, son of the Clopas mentioned in the Gospels, was worthy of the bishop’s throne [in Jerusalem]. It is said that he was the first cousin of the Savior, for Hegesippus relates that Clopas was the brother of Joseph.- Church History, 3.11
Hegesippus, according to Eusebius, makes Cleopas the uncle of Christ, whose name is mentioned in John Gospel, (his wife, another Mary, stood at the cross).
Cyril of Alexandria in his Commentary on Luke, chapter 24 relates a little more, that both men were of the seventy disciples, and were named Cleopas and Simon. he relates:
As two of the disciples walked to a village called Emmaus, they talked about Christ, regarding him as no longer living but mourning him as dead. As they conversed, Jesus drew near and went with them, without being recognized by them, for their eyes were restrained, so that they should not know him. You must know that these two disciples belonged to the number of the seventy, and that Cleopas’s companion was Simon—not Peter or the one of Cana—but another Simon, of the seventy.
Origen also referred to the two as Cleopas and Simon in his Commentary on John’s Gospel 1.5.30:
But Simon and Cleophas too, “talking together of all things which happened” to Jesus, say to the risen Christ himself, although they did not yet know that he had risen from the dead, “Are you alone a stranger in Jerusalem, and do not know the things that have been done there in these days?” And he said, “What things?” and they answered, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet, mighty in work and word before God and all the people’ and how our chief priests and princes delivered him to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we hoped that it was he who would redeemed Israel.”
In 1.8.50 he further relates

Simon and Cleophas testify to this power and say, “Was not our heart burning on the road as he opened the Scriptures to us?”


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