Recognizing Jesus

July 20, 2015

Luke 24:16, 28-31

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

This is another Emmaus Road incident involving the same three who were featured in Friday’s blog – Cleopas, an unnamed disciple (perhaps Mrs. Mary Cleopas – see John 19:25), and Jesus.  As we learned on Friday, the two disciples were discouraged, defeated and sad.  In their minds they had lost their beloved leader – Jesus the Nazarene.  Even the ‘rumors’ (proof – if they would accept it!) of His resurrection did not seem to make a difference to these two.

The problem was what I just stated – in their minds…!  They were trying to make sense out of all that had happened by their own minds!  Paul wrote in II Corinthians 5:7, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.

•      Hebrews 11:1 and 6 tells us what faith is and how we come to God by it:

      Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
      seen….But without faith it is impossible to please [God]…for He who comes
      to God must believe that He is [exists in all His revealed fullness], and that
      He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Walking by faith means we live our lives according to the revealed will of God, whom most of us have never seen this side of heaven.  Faith, we learn in Romans 10:17, is built up through intake of God’s Word, the Bible!  That Word tells us three times “…the just shall live by faith…” (Habakkuk 2:4; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38).  Those who are just are made so by coming to God through Jesus Christ, accepting Him by faith as Savior of their lives personally.  Then they are to live out their Christian lives by faith – obeying Jesus as their Lord.

•      Walking by sight is what we all have done before coming to Christ.  We interpret life by our five senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch – and by our own minds as best we can.  Paul describes such living in Ephesians 2:1 and 2 as being “…dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to…the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience….

Obviously, walking (living) by sight is the opposite of walking by faith!

These two on the Emmaus Road were walking by sight before Jesus dined with them at suppertime.  That’s why they were discouraged, defeated and sad.  They were not ‘seeing’ by faith the One who – impossible to comprehend by sight – arose from the dead!  Even when He talked with them and “…expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself…” (Luke 24:27), “…their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.” (Luke 24:16).

What made the difference?  It is recorded in Luke 24:28 through 31:

      Then they drew near the village, where they were going, and He indicated
      that He would have gone farther.  But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide
      with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.”  And He went in to
      stay with them.  Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He
      took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.  Then their eyes were
      opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

It was only when they were in close fellowship with the Lord that their eyes of faith were opened!  Four things happened that moved them from walking by sight to walking by faith:

•      Luke 24:29 – “… they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us….” ”  It says in verse 28 that “…He indicated that He would have gone farther.”  But they constrained Him!  It means they compelled Him by entreaty (Strong’s).  Jesus will not hang around where He is not wanted!  As He said in Revelation 3:20:  “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.  If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”  He knocks, but we have to open the door!  If we don’t, He will go away and not bother us!

•      Luke 24:30 – “…He sat at the table with them….”  This is close fellowship – eating a meal with someone you have invited in!  Jesus shared the Last Supper with His disciples – close fellowship!  The early believers in Acts 2:46, were “…continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart…” – close fellowship with the Lord and with one another!

•      Luke 24:30 – “…He took bread, blessed and broke it….”  Jesus does things for us so that we may be reminded that it is Him from whom these blessings come!  He did the same thing at the Emmaus table that He had done in the upper room in Jerusalem just the Thursday before – “…He took bread, gave thanks and broke it…” (Luke 22:19).  And every time we take communion, He told us, “…do this in remembrance of Me…” (Luke 22:19), so that we may be reminded of our fellowship with Him!

•      Luke 24:30 – “…He gave it [the bread] to them.”  He is always giving!  Does not it say in Psalm 68:19, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation! ”?  And the greatest gift He has ever given is what is mentioned in that same verse – our salvation!  Jesus had told His disciples in John 6:51:

      I am the living bread which came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this
      bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which
      I shall give for the life of the world.

So at the Last Supper, He said of the bread, “This is My body which is given for you…” (Luke 22:19).  This same giving of bread was the eye-opener to these two disciples at Emmaus!

All together, these four things indicate close fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ!  And it is through close fellowship with Him that your faith is strengthened, and you will be Recognizing Jesus!  You will know He is the living Lord who…will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5).

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