There are several favorite parks where I do most of my walking. Once there, I settle in and my feet find the familiar route and I take off. I consistently learn lessons on the road because God meets me where I am.
I love the comfortable and familiar. But imagine with me, as two disciples also walk a familiar road. One they might have traversed hundreds of times. On this one particular day, the road looked the same, but at second glance, nothing would ever be the same again.
The Gospel of Luke tells the story of the Road to Emmaus. It is the same day the women went to the tomb where Jesus lay only to find it empty. It is the third day after the horrific crucifixion of Jesus. Darkness enveloped the earth but light was slowly returning. (See Luke 24 for more)
Two disciples walked along a familiar road conversing about the events that had just taken place. A man joined them matching his footsteps with theirs. In the slow awakening on the road, the ordinary transformed into extraordinary. The two disciples invited the stranger to dinner as a sign of hospitality as the day was ending.
What Luke provides in this passage is the desire and need to search for more. The disciples speak with the stranger on the road and share all the events that had just transpired. But in the sharing, the two men(disciples) hint at the idea that the story isn’t finished. The death and resurrection of Jesus did not complete the story according to what they believed the prophets had foretold. Where was the king who would reign and save them? Why did the king (Jesus) die if He was the one the prophets promised would save them?
My son, Daniel, preached this weekend about the Road to Emmaus and God bringing His kingdom here to Earth. What struck me about his words was this:
The disciples walking along the road were hungry for more. We all hunger for more and this leads us to uncovering what it is we want. One of the first things Jesus asks those He meets is , “What do you want”? Jesus addresses our hunger by inviting us to the table. Some of the most important events in the time of Jesus revolved around a meal.
The turning point in this story is the moment the disciples are sitting with the Risen Jesus eating a meal. Jesus breaks the bread, shares it and eats. Yes, Jesus eats and in this moment the disciples see the man for who He really is–Jesus!
Just as the disciples questioned and struggled believing that the death and resurrection of Jesus fulfilled the arrival of the Kingdom of God here on Earth, we also question the simplest things in order to find the one, true answer. We hunger for more forgetting that God will never leave us unsatisfied. We question all the things not believing that in God we will find all the answers we need.
As I read the passage about the Road to Emmaus again, I found some beautiful lessons on the road.
- Jesus always stands in the gap for us even when we don’t recognize Him or are aware that He’s by our side.
- It always help to walk the road with a friend. The need for connection and relationship is what keeps us going.
- Our eyes are opened when our hearts are ready to receive what God promises.
- With Jesus comes God’s saving reign. The kingdom is here and is now. We are just in the transition between what was and what will be when Jesus comes again.
- Our deepest desires are met because the kingdom is here.
Never was the phrase “God’s perfect timing” more fitting. God knew the disciples would be walking the road to Emmaus and the importance their conversation was to future believers. Jesus honored his Father by walking out the journey to the cross. We have the choice to continue the walk to and with Jesus on a daily basis.
What lessons have you learned on the road? How do you see God’s perfect timing revealing itself in your own life? Does God surprise you when you least expect it?
Thank for your grace and your sweet encouragement each week. This past week was unusually busy as I spent time with my son, DIL, and Baby Jack at their house two hours away and then they spent the rest of the week at my house. I did not get to all of your precious comments last week, but I read everyone.
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