Luke 24:16-20

Luke 24:16 (KJB)
But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.

At this point they did not recognize Jesus because their spiritual eyes were not opened yet. The word in the Greek text for “were holden” carries with it the meaning of “were restrained.” Now that word is in the passive voice which means that their spiritual eyes were intentionally kept closed by the Lord and not the ignorance of the disciples. At this time He did not want them to recognize Him.

Luke 24:17 (KJB)
And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?

Then Jesus begins to question them as to what type of communications or words that they are speaking to one another as they walk and making their countenance so downcast? Jesus is desiring to gain the information from them which at this point would be very discouraging but soon it would turn into joy. Since their eyes were not opened to Jesus yet, they would also not have recognized His physical appearance. They seemed to be in a mood of despair.

Luke 24:18 (KJB)
And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?

Jesus had asked them to tell Him what they were discussing so Cleopas answers Jesus with a question. If you were in Jerusalem, how could you not know what had happened over the past three days? It was like Cleopas was asking Jesus, are you the only man in Jerusalem who does not know what happened? The reality was that Jesus was the only one who really knew the significance of what happened. Soon all the disciples of Jesus would know but right now, Jesus was the only one who knew.

Luke 24:19 (KJB)
And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:

Jesus continued to lead the disciples toward an understanding of what happened by asking them “what things?” Jesus wanted to hear from their own lips how they understood what happened so they then went on to explain. Here they had called Jesus a prophet whose ministry was mighty in deed and word and His ministry was before God and all the people had been witnesses of His ministry. Now one must go beyond the understanding of a prophet because many different religions and cults see Jesus as only a prophet. A prophet cannot forgive sins as Jesus did. This is well seen in the section of John 4 concerning the Samaritan woman who calls Jesus, “sir” and then refers to Him as a “prophet” and finally she goes back to her village and tells people that she has found the Christ or the Messiah. He healed the sick, cast out devils, made the lame to walk, gave sight to the blind, and raised three people from the dead. This would go beyond the definition of a prophet.

Luke 24:20 (KJB)
And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.

Then they included in their response to Jesus how it was the chief priests and rulers who delivered Him up to be condemned and then put to death on a Roman cross. This means that the people knew it was their own leaders who were the perpetrators of this crime and this probably meant that many would not trust them again. Even before this, the people probably knew what scoundrels these leaders were but could not say anything or else they would be excommunicated from the temple.