Encouraging Us As We Walk
Read Luke Chapter 24
Lk 24:13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing Him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked Him, “Are You only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” He asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified Him; 21 but we had hoped that He was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.
In this passage, two men were walking along a road from Jerusalem, headed toward Emmaus. This was the same day that the empty tomb was discovered, causing Jesus’ followers to wonder what had happened to Him. Even though Jesus had repeatedly told His followers that He was going to have to die, they felt despair and hopelessness after it came to pass. These two men were downcast as they walked and talked about recent events. Their demeanor said, “Well, what’s the use. It was all for nothing. Our zeal was misplaced. Our Savior turned out to be less than He claimed to be.”
We humans are a thick-headed lot. We tend to take circumstances at face value rather than seeing the full picture. Our first reaction to anything that seems to be bad is to hang our heads in defeat. I find myself doing that often, and each time I find that things weren’t always as they seem. I think about the many times I worried over whether I was saved. The many times I fretted over some circumstance, when God was in complete control but I couldn’t see it. These disciples should have been rejoicing over the fact that salvation was now available to all who believed in Jesus.
Our same-sex attractions are indeed a difficult trial of life. There are many obstacles that we have been forced to deal with as we groped along in life, trying to make some sense out of what has happened to us. All those difficulties bring us to the point that the men walking to Emmaus were feeling. We sense our despair and hopelessness and wonder, “What’s the use?” We can continue to focus our thoughts on the troubles we face, or we can allow Jesus to help us see our bright future.
The men in our passage today discovered something wonderful. There was no reason for them to be downcast. There was a bright and glorious future awaiting them. Their faith and trust in Christ was going to be rewarded. There was a great ending to their story. Such is our destiny as well. There is a great and glorious future awaiting us. We will have to face some more trials and tribulations along the way to that future, but the ending is going to be fantastic!
These men also had a lot of bumps in the road to face as they lived for Christ for the remainder of their lives. But they had a different attitude when those times came along. Instead of allowing themselves to feel defeated, they remembered the sure promises that Christ had foretold. Their salvation, their victory, was a sure thing. No matter what they faced in life, they knew it was only temporary, a tiny blip in relationship to eternity. That’s the kind of attitude we must learn to adopt. There is nothing we can face which can take away our joy, if we will just remember.
Lk 24:25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther.
Let us think about Jesus joining us along our own personal journey to Emmaus. He talks to us about our sure future. He reminds us that the tribulations we now face are temporary. He assures us that we are on the right road, and to just keep headed in that direction. He also chides us for our slowness to believe. We sure are slow to believe!
Prayer: Yes, Lord, we are slow to believe. We confess our weakness in faith. We have all the sure promises we need to hold our heads up high and be elated over our future. Help us to remember Your word, Your voice as we walk this rough road to Emmaus. Thank You for Your faithfulness to complete what You began in our lives. Thank You for walking beside us all the way, and staying with us even when You pretended to leave us, as You did with the men in this passage.