RECOGNIZING THE LORD IN DAILY LIFE
As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognising him. (Luke 24v15-16 NIV)
Here were two of Jesus’ disciples, downcast and confused about all that had happened previously to their Master Jesus. They were simply walking along an ordinary road talking together about recent events, trying to gain some understanding.
How often are we disappointed and bewildered about some recent event that seems contrary to our expectations as Christians? Like these two disciples we walk the ordinary road of life, wondering if we’re really going in the right direction, not clear about how God’s will is working out in our lives. We’re trying to understand but unable to do so.
An apparent stranger, who had great knowledge of the recent events and the scriptures concerning these events, suddenly joined the disciples. He brought fresh light onto the things that had caused their despair and confusion. The scripture, verse 16, says it was “Jesus himself” who came to them.
Note the emphasis on the true identity of this ‘stranger’. Yet they were unable to recognise him, the One with whom they had shared their lives through so many amazing situations. Why did they not recognise Him? What stopped them realising it was Jesus, their well loved Master?
Perhaps they would have been so excited at seeing their Lord again, that they would have been unable to listen and understand the expounding of the scriptures concerning the events of Calvary and beyond. They were kept from recognising Him until they had gained the knowledge and understanding necessary for their future lives for their Master.
Perhaps they assumed that as Jesus had died, it was the end and they were now alone to work things out in their own strength and confusion. A Risen Christ was not a possibility in the normal way of life, so they could not recognise Him when they saw Him.
This may well be mere speculation, but we have to ask ourselves the question: why don’t we always recognise the Lord’s presence in our everyday lives and in our bewilderment concerning life’s difficult situations and hard places?
God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us; Jesus has also promised that He will not leave us as orphans but will come to us (John 14v8). As we seek the presence of the Lord in our circumstances and seek His guidance through our confusion and doubts, then we will find enlightenment and peace as He draws alongside us by His Holy Spirit.
Like those disciples on the Emmaus Road, we may not see Him with our natural eyes, but with our spiritual eyes we will perceive His divine presence with us. By his Sprit he will comfort us, guide us, help us understand something of his eternal perspective, and enable us to go forward with confidence, not in ourselves but in Him and His eternal purposes.
Surely our hearts will burn within us as we feel His divine presence. He, the Risen Lord, draws near and walks with you and with me each day of our lives!