The Gentle Jesus

“He asked them,
‘What are you discussing together
as you walk along?’”
Luke 24:17 (NIV)

Whenever tragedy of any sort strikes us we find it necessary to talk to people and repeat over and over the painful details of our situation. Listeners can often mistake the need to rehearse again and again the sorrow as evidence of not accepting the new reality. Nothing is further from the truth.

In order for the person to gradually blunt the cutting edge of the shocking situation they need to repeat what happened many times. Through repetition comes integration. People learn to take into their lives the new circumstances because of the often repeated history of how it happened. So talking is good therapy.

Good listeners will quietly listen as the one speaking goes over the detail of the trauma again and again. The listener knows what will be said next but quietly waits for the familiar to be repeated once again. Sometimes this is the best therapy that the person who suffers can receive.

The context of our verse today is the scene of Jesus drawing alongside two disciples as they all travelled on the road toward Emmaus. The disciples were prevented from recognizing Jesus. Jesus asked them what they were so intently talking about. The two people stopped and looked at Jesus apparently astonished that He was coming from Jerusalem and did not know the only topic of conversation in the city at that time.

Jesus knew very well what the entire city was discussing. The people were all taken up with the idea of His reported resurrection and if the reports were true or not. One of the disciples, Cleopas, wondered out loud how Jesus, a stranger in Jerusalem, could have left the city not knowing what was the great topic of conversation.

It was apparent from the look on their faces that the topic was deeply troubling them. While the Lord knew very well what the topic was, He gently asked them to tell Him about what was causing them such sorrow.

Sometimes we may wonder what the purpose is in telling the Lord what He already knows. However, our verse today is a clear indication that the Lord still desires us to tell Him in spite of how very well He already understands our pain and sorrow.

The depth of our Lord’s concern for us is the fact that He gently and patiently wants to listen to the sorrow and pain of our complaint. Friends and family can become weary of our expressions of suffering but never Jesus.

The lyrics to Johson Oatman’s  Gospel says:

Jesus knows all about our struggles; He will guide 'til the day is done:
There's not a Friend like the lowly Jesus: No, not one! no, not one!

How very true it is that if Jesus is your Guide through life, He will go on travelling with you until your journey ends in heaven.

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