“…Jesus himself came up and walked along with them.”
Luke 24:15 (NIV)
Rare is the hermit who delights to always be alone and shuns any company whatsoever. Almost all of us are wired for company. We enjoy being with people for the most part, and occasionally welcome brief times of solitude.
There is a generally recognized principle that we become like those we associate with. Hence we agree with parental concern about their children socializing with particular people who are known for deviant behaviour. We want only good role models to be friends for our family members.
An old expression goes something like: Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are. It is very true that subtle though powerful influences from our friends are able to shape our thinking and behaviour.
The two disciples referred to in the context of our verse today had been dealt a severe blow when Jesus was publicly executed contrary to their expectations. They had hoped for a deliverer who would throw off the Roman occupational forces and re-establish Israel as an independent nation.
But their Deliverer was executed and so their hopes were dashed. Some of their women amazed them by saying they had seen a resurrected Christ but they were too upset to believe them. Wonderfully, Jesus draws alongside the two heartbroken disciples and walked with them. It is not clearly explained just how it happened but they were prevented from recognizing Jesus.
Soon enough Jesus would reverse their sorrow and turn it into pure joy as He first explained to them what the Bible had prophesied about His first coming and the death He had to suffer for the sins of His people. He went on to point out that the resurrection was also spoken about in the Old Testament so they should not have been devastated by the events of the past three days.
Finally, after some possible hours, Jesus’ identity was revealed to them and they were full of excitement. This small scene in the lives of these two disciples is an illustration of what happens when a person is brought to faith in Jesus. God reveals the work of Jesus to the person through the Scriptures and opens their eyes to see the truth about Him.
All of us are on a journey through this life. We may have our lives torn apart as these disciples did when Jesus was arrested, tried and finally crucified. Everything may seem hopeless and we may feel that life cannot be put back together again. We need to have Jesus come alongside us and explain His mission to us.
Jesus came to rescue us from our own messed up lives. He came to give us abundant life. We all need to have Jesus as our travelling companion in life. Will you receive Him today and turn from your own way to follow His? Jesus invites those weary of life and its issues to walk with Him and He will give them grace to deal with whatever grief they have. (Matthew 11:27-30)