The Jesus-appearance to Cleopas (& his Emmaus escort) reported in Lk 24 was no one’s invention (meaning it was no lie, nor literary creation, nor legend of Luke’s or Luke’s sources)..
• It is unappealing as an invented lie/legend.
• Luke confirmed the account with Cleopas.
• Jesus-bio witnesses controlled self-rumors.
In general, the author of Luke inherited his Jesus-biography from relevant witnesses.
• Lk traveled and spoke with witnesses.
• Lk knew the oral reports/details.
• Eyewitness oral traditions were not elusive.
• Most biographers preferred using witnesses.
• Lk was in contact with the witnesses.
In AD 30, the Jerusalem church was saying, “Jesus appeared to Cleopas and his companion.”
• Luke visited the Jerusalem-witnesses (and the apostles/church there).
But so what? Plausibly...
• The Jerusalem church's teachings didn't reflect what witnesses.
Shortly after Jesus’s crucifixion, a variety of different persons/groups began to testify that Jesus appeared to them alive from the dead.
• E.g. “He visited us!” says Mary & women.
• E.g. “He visited us!” says Cleopas & co.
• E.g. “He appeared to me!” says Peter.
• E.g. “He visited us!” say ‘the 12’ apostles.
• E.g. “He visited us!”say ‘The 500’.
• E.g. “He visited us!” say Acts 1 competitors.
• E.g. “He appeared to me!” says James.
• E.g. “He appeared to me!” says Paul.
• 1st church’s Jesus-bio matched witness testimony.
• The gospels Jesus-bio relayed witness testimony.