This Sunday Andrew Hendrickson is preaching at Primrose on the Emmaus walkers. He sent some of his text and I got permission to share it as our devotional today. He has some great insights, especially how good of a listener Jesus is.
If you have time, read Luke 24:13-35, before you read this devotional. God bless, Dan
When “the going was good” and the leader was there, the disciples were by Jesus’ side. Even in the days prior, during the last supper, they argued among each other who could possibly deceive Jesus and which one of them was the greatest disciple. Their hopes were high … they were all in … Then, in what must have seemed like an instant … everything they believed in, and hoped for was gone. Jesus had just been crucified on the cross. They … were … crushed … and lost. They had seemingly forgotten … lost sight of his love … and his promise.
How often do we come to church on Sundays, holidays, and special occasions and feel his presence? You're sitting in the Pew on a warm spring day and the sun rays pour through the stained-glass windows … the people that you know and love are sitting all around you … you just sang your favorite him … you just know, he is right there with you.
Or … you see that perfect sun set … you experience your child or grand-child being born … These new and special times … Jesus is here and you know it.
But, times get tough … life gets hard. If you’re lucky enough to have work, the job gets tough. Even within a week, I find myself drifting at times. Thank God I have this church to pull me back in, ground me, renew my strength, and teach me through a new lens each week. But still, when not completely immersed in worship, all too quickly, it is easy for one to focus on life, not Jesus.
That is the easy stuff though. A little tune-up at church on Sunday will get you right back into shape, right? But … what about those really hard times? What about those big events, or life-long struggles that continue to pull you down each and every moment. They hurt. They tear you apart and can leave you hopeless … In these times, if Jesus even crosses our minds, we wonder “Jesus, where are you?!”
I’d like you to look at verse 15 again: “While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them” … Jesus himself came near and went WITH them. In the next few verses, Jesus asks questions and listens … in fact, about half of the reading today is about Jesus listening to the disciple’s troubles. They essentially laid their burdens down before him and he listened … he heard their struggles and their pains. And the amazing thing is, is that they didn’t even know he was right there in front of them listening. I can imagine them thinking: “Jesus, where are you?!”
How often, just like the disciples, when the going gets really tough … do we forget and lose sight of Jesus? The pain is so great, the odds are just too tough, or there is just simply too much to do and too little time, that we simply can’t see what is right in front of us. We forget that Jesus is walking beside us in every painful moment, genuinely listening to us.
Reading further: “When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.
After Jesus listened to them, he communed with them. He waited until they were calmed, he broke bread with them, and only then was he revealed. Not until the disciples rested their minds, calmed their spirits, and communed with Jesus, could they see him.
In our busy lives, through our most troubling times, Jesus is right there beside us. He is walking with us … He is listening to us. When we are ready, he is there to break bread with us. He is the risen Lord; who listens, carries our burdens, and forgives us of all of our sins.