One of the great joys of Christian living is the opportunity we possess to read and reflect on Our Lord. His was a life of action. His was a life of deep words. Both of these elements demand our utmost attention, and I suppose, in large measure, it is why we read the Gospels. The Christian experience has always been defined by active reflection on the person of Jesus. So here we go . . .
In one of my favorite stories in the Bible, we read about two disheartened disciples walking down the road to the village of Emmaus. Wouldn’t you be broken too? The One in whom they personally trusted, the One in whom they believed would usher in God’s kingdom, the One of whom they thought would redeem Israel from captivity, had only been crucified a couple days earlier.
It’s true that they had heard stories from some women about the tomb being empty, and the women said they had even seen a vision of angels telling them that Jesus was alive, but in these disciples’ broken state, good news about a Risen Messiah was too much to believe. How many times have we heard people say, “If is sounds too good to be true, it isn’t true”? Besides . . . A Crucified Messiah and a Risen Messiah? “Hey buddy, that’s way outside our paradigm!”
So Luke tells us in 24:14 . . .
and they were talking with each other about all these thingsthat had happened.
If you had lived through that time, chances are you also would be talking about “all these things.” Their minds were swimming with thoughts of hope and thoughts of despair. Most certainly they were thinking about the miracles, the challenges, the teachings, and most of all in that moment, the confrontations that Jesus had with the religious and political leaders. “All these things”means “all these things,”so their minds were flooded with images and ideas over and over again.
We can almost hear their thoughts: “What are we to think? What are we to believe?” And most importantly for them in that moment: “What are we to do?” (Stop and think about that one.) Their plans were gone. Their hopes were unrealized.
Yet it’s in our moments of brokenness and shattered paradigms that God delights to draw near to us. It was not an accident that in the disciples’ very moment of despair that Jesus appears to them.
While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.
Sometimes it’s the little words in the Gospels that open up new insights and greater heights of love, and that’s certainly the case in verse 15. Luke tells us that Jesus “drew near” – He drew near because He loved them. Jesus is not only a man of word and deed. He is also a man of indescribable, inexpressible love. We also see
that Jesus “went with them.” “Beside them?” Sort of. “By them?” Better. “Among them.” Of course. Yet our English “with” is intentionally less exact and definitely more mystical than these other prepositions. Jesus is mysteriously and profoundly “with” us on our journey, wherever we go and whatever we experience. There is simply no getting away from Him.
The main point from this short, little blog? To reflect on Jesus’ word and deed from 2000 years ago is to reflect on Jesus’ life today. May He bless you as you seek Him, and may He fill your life with joy each day.