Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God


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5. From Heartbreak to Hope – Part 2

Luke 24:13-35

13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 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?”19 “What things?” he asked.“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

Not only was it a heart-breaking experience but second it was a:

  1. Heart Examining Experience.

It’s here in the bitter brokenness of life, that Jesus shows up to walk with us through the worry and the wounds. When Jesus showed up to provided solace to these stricken saints, we see the truth of Matthew 18:20 illustrated: “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” Sadly they did not recognize Jesus, and often neither do we, because we become so focused on our misery that we miss the Messiah. Are you missing His presence because you are giving priority to your problems? I often wonder how many miles we have journeyed with Jesus unaware of His presence. As believers in Jesus Christ we never walk alone.  Jesus doesn’t just walk with them, He also talks to them, asking two questions to get them to open up. So, they pour out their sad story to a seeming stranger because he is willing to listen. Do you realize we have a Lord who longs to listen, yet many of us never talk to Him. It’s here that we see the compassion of Christ as He listens to their sad story. He could have started by chastising them for their feeble faith. But Jesus doesn’t start with a lesson He starts with listening. It’s here that the Lord provides a lesson on how to deal with people as they go through difficult and dark times, how to help those who have lost hope. They need companionship not criticism; they need a listening ear not a lecture. The Lord love them by listening, and so should we, there will be time later to point them to the way of hope, to the One in whom hope is to be found, but first things first. So often in my parenting I have made the mistake of advising instead of asking. Of pointing out the problem without ever listening to the person. So as Jesus askes His first question, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”it stops them in their tracks. Scripture says that they stopped short, with sadness written across their faces. As their feet falter, their faces fall. They’re sad because they are caught up in the circumstances of the cross instead of the reality of the resurrection. They are focused on the crucifixion and not the cure. In their minds, Jesus was gone, and all their hopes with Him. Why were they depressed because they were living like the Deity was dead. Do you realize that anxiety is really atheism in action? What are we advertising when we live in anxiety, it’s not the Almighty. What about you are you advertising your fears or your Heavenly Father? They are so caught up in their circumstances that Cleopas is almost critical of Christ, he can’t believe that their walking partner does not know about what had been going on in Jerusalem: “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”They accuse Christ of being clueless. How like us when we go through turbulent times, feeling like God has no clue about our crisis. It’s almost laughable, as we accuse Jesus of not only not knowing what we are going through but not getting it. Yet wasn’t Jesus the one who went through the suffering? He not only gets it He is the One who got it, so we wouldn’t have to. We need a proper perspective on pain, the disciples were spectators to the suffering, Jesus was the participant in the pain. When we focus on the junk it’s easy to miss Jesus. What are you focused on today? Are you focused on the problems or His on His presence?