Silently walking in the early morning hours outside Jerusalem, two despondent travelers ached with despair.
Despite the looming uncertainty, the birds lifted their songs in praise of God’s provision. Wafting past, the clouds arrayed His covering protection. The fragrances of spring declared their steadfast adoration of the King of Creation.
But these particular travelers, shrouded in the bleak greyness of grief, were oblivious to Creation’s collective celebration song.
Back in Jerusalem behind locked doors, alone with their dashed hopes and ruined destinies, Jesus’ disciples coped similarly, suddenly Kingless and jobless.
In the wait, although unaware that’s what they were doing, they surrendered to fear. But as they soon discovered,
Uncertainty and assumption make terrible counselors.
While trepidatiously waiting for they didn’t know what, suddenly, surprisingly, Jesus’ presence brought the emerging clarity they desperately needed for a redefined destiny.
He neither scolded nor cast blame, but stretched out His nail-pierced hands as proof.
Jesus brings peace, not finger-pointing, with His presence.
He understood their reality rested in what they knew up to this point. Illuminating the darkness and doubt plaguing their exhausted and disheveled minds, all would finally be fulfilled; it was time.
Breathing on them, He opened their minds to His Spirit and eternal presence: His with-ness.
But the two hopeless ones on the road missed the reveal party. Jesus had more unveiling to do, more with-ness to share.
On their way to Emmaus, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. (Luke 24:15)
“But God kept them from recognizing Him.” Not Jesus, but the Father cloaked the Son, unrecognizable.
What was His Father up to?
We know it’s something good, because He is good.
Jesus walks and talks with them, taking “them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself,” vs. 27.
Nearing their destination, “Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, ‘Stay the night with us since it is getting late.’ So he went home with them,” vs.28b-29.
Now I wonder, what was Jesus up to?
There’s a point during grief and loss when we become desperate, aching for His presence to soothe, heal, and comfort. However, sometimes,
The circumstances we face aren’t nearly as important as the conclusions we draw. Levi Luskow
He bore their grief, lifting the weight of a story they believed but was untrue.
Divulging the reality of His presence a little more with each step until their hearts and minds fully awakened, He ministered to their forsakenness, inaccurate beliefs, and grief.
The moment they fully saw and understood all He declared through the Scriptures, the Spirit opened their eyes. When His Father knew they were ready to believe, He revealed His Son wholly.
“Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment He disappeared!
They said to each other, ‘Didn’t our hearts burn within us as He talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?’” vs.31-32.
Their hearts “burned within” them, and “within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem,” vs.33.
I too often need time to fully receive, believe, even relish, in His nearness. I’m so often distracted, chasing cultural solutions to my soul problems or choosing protection over connection.
But when I’m fully aware of His presence with me, I can embrace the mind of Christ, being open to His Words in Scripture as well as His whispers of love, adoration, and my next steps with Him.
Cloepas and his friend had next steps too; “Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them…”
How about you? When uncertainty looms, filling you with anxiety, to whom or what do you turn?
- mindless scrolling
- Netflix numbing
- comfort food or drink
- throwing yourself into projects or work
Guilty! I have done these and more. But I’m learning to turn to Jesus. Not perfectly or consistently, but He’s a patient, gentle Savior, desiring to open my mind to His Words of life and will for my life.
What about you? Does chronic uncertainty and the pace of our culture exhaust and overwhelm you?
This week, ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you as He did the travelers on that lonely road. He will reveal His tender love and concern, opening your eyes to your next steps with Him.
Whatever it is, you can be certain Jesus will go with you, revealing more of Himself at the right time and in the perfect way.
With His Spirit in us—comforting, counseling, guiding—we can embrace our destiny in full reliance and confidence in Jesus’ goodness and mercy.
Surely Your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6
40 Days of Decrease is a fantastic devotional to encounter Jesus in any season.