Luke 24:13 – 20 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“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. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him.”
Boy. This is some powerful dialogue. It’s the stuff great stories are made of. I can just see these guys, walking along, sad and dejected over the loss of their beloved Messiah. But there He was, walking with them, and they didn’t even recognize Him!
How could they not recognize Him? After all, He had said He would come back to life. They should have been looking for Him, instead of shuffling along in defeat.
And did you notice, they were headed to Emmaus? That’s the opposite direction from Jerusalem, where most of Jesus’ followers were congregated. You’d think they’d have wanted to be near others who believed as they did.
But no. They were sad and depressed, so they separated themselves. They looked only at their feet. They had lost hope, when hope was right in front of them. All they had to do was look up.
I’ve done that, though. When things don’t go the way I want them to, when my plans seem dashed, I just get depressed. I lose hope, and I stop looking for God. I separate myself from others who might encourage me.
Why do I do that?
Why do I pull away from people who can help me through the tough times? That’s what our Christian brothers and sisters are for. When we find friends who love the Lord and love us, we should do all we can to build those friendships! We should cling to them in the hard times, and let them cling to us when they need to. We should stay close, so we can laugh and cry and live together. It sure beats being alone.
And no matter how difficult things may seem, I never have reason to lose hope. Jesus always keeps His promises. He has promised to never leave me. He has promised to give me strength and peace and abundant life. He’s promised to come back and get me someday.
Quite often, all I need to do is quit focusing on myself and my losses or failed plans, and look up! There, I will find that Jesus hasn’t left me at all. There, I’ll find hope.
Dear Father, Thank You for keeping Your promises. Thank You for putting up with me, even when I forget those promises, even when I get so caught up in myself that I don’t see You standing there. Help me to remember to look up.