Text: Luke 24: 14-16
Icebreaker: Have you ever stopped to talk to someone who didn’t remember who you were? Or were you ever stopped by someone when you didn’t remember that person?
‘As they talked and discussed … with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognising him’ Luke 24:14–16
Would you recognise Jesus if He appeared alongside you whilst you were out strolling with a friend? We need to get to know Jesus to recognise when He is nearby and to listen when He is speaking to us but sometimes we are too busy to do that, and so we miss His voice.
To recognise Jesus in our lives we need to understand few things:
Jesus is present, even in our disappointment
It becomes clear in the passage from Luke that the people walking on the road to Emmaus are disheartened, and, in fact, deeply disappointed.
Luke 24: 17 –21
‘One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days? … Jesus of Nazareth … was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel”’
They are obviously disappointed – ‘we had hoped’. Their hopes died with Jesus on the cross, as surely, they thought, there’s no way that the Son of God would have died in such a shameful way, right?
But the truth is that their disappointment keeps their eyes closed to the reality that Jesus is walking right next to them, and that hope is alive in Him.
Sometimes when we are disappointed, all that we do is complain – in the way that the disciples were doing here. But complaining does not change things, it just causes more destruction and we fail to see the good things that Jesus is doing – Jesus is present in all things, both our disappointments and our joys.
2) Jesus is patient
Jesus could have rebuked the two men as they walked along the road together. He could have challenged their faith saying, “Stop being so stupid! Don’t you remember what I taught you? Of course Jesus isn’t dead – I’m Jesus!” But, no, instead He waits patiently. He waits to reveal Himself to them by pointing them to Scripture and then later by meeting them in their home. Jesus doesn’t force Himself upon anyone, but if we’re open to listen He’s waiting to speak to us through His Word and meet with us.
Sometimes our thoughts and feelings keep our eyes closed to the reality of Jesus in our lives, but Jesus is patient in how He keeps working to reach us. Sometimes through other people (even people that we don’t like very much). Sometimes, through waking us up in the middle of the night because it is the only time that we are quiet and still enough to hear. We can trust in the patience of Jesus, and we can be honest with Him when we don’t understand – if we ask Him, He will help us to see and hear clearly.
3) How clear is your vision of Jesus?
Is your vision of Jesus blurred at the moment? - If the answer to that is ‘yes’, what could be done to make it clear again?
Are you disappointed with anyone, or maybe with yourself? Give these disappointments, and the sadness that they cause, to God and ask Him to help you let go, forgive and move forwards.
Is there anything you could do to encourage one another to read your Bible more and to apply God’s Word to your life? Is there anything practical that we could do to help each other to grow in our relationship with God?
Conclusion: Would you like to be able to hear and listen to Jesus in a very clear way? If you want to say ‘yes’ to that, then invite Him to enter your life today! Let’s pray