“They urged him, ‘Stay with us!’… So he went to stay with them” (Luke 24:29, GW).
Yesterday we soaked our souls for a bit in the Emmaus road encounter. It was on that road – on the way to that little village we probably otherwise would never have heard of – that something happened that can never be forgotten for all of eternity.
Jesus met two individuals in their devastation, and restored hope to them. He came after them, just to do this for them. Can you imagine how much the resurrected Savior had on His agenda? How much did He need to take care of, now that Christianity needed to be birthed… now that His death and resurrection needed to be preached to the ends of the earth? With an entire new faith to found, He had a whole lot on His plate. Why, then, did He bother to take an entire long chunk of His first day back alive, just to come after these two guys? Why didn’t He instead show up in the synagogue and reveal Himself to the biggest crowd possible?
He pursued these two men, just two solitary people, because their restored hope was that important to Him.
In the same way, you, too, as an individual, are extremely important to Him. He knows you by name, and He will come after you, too, to restore your hope when you need it. He will set aside running the universe, so to speak, just to make sure that your heart knows how bright your future is. He will leave behind the ninety-nine because that’s how unutterably important your hope is to Him.
Notice, though, when it was when the most critical moment happened. Notice when their eyes were opened to finally see the new hope being held out to them. Look at our verse again: “They urged him, ‘Stay with us!’… So he went to stay with them” (Luke 24:29, GW). And what happened right after that? “While he was at the table with them, he took bread and blessed it. He broke the bread and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him” (vv. 30-31, emphasis mine).
It was in inviting Him to stay with them that the understanding came. It was in entreating Him to sit and fellowship with them that hope’s revelation dawned on their hearts. It was in those moments with Him, reclining at the table, that everything came together for them and hope returned to their spirits. Jesus gave thanks and began to serve up a delicious, nutritious meal. These two received spiritual bread from His hands at the same time He handed them the physical loaf.
Have you been disillusioned lately? Has hope been snatched from your soul? First of all, realize that Jesus is very personally seeking you out, longing to restore to you the joyful expectation of His goodness in the land of the living. Just ask Him to stay and linger with you. He will come and sit with you. He will feed you the Bread of Life that will give you new strength for your journey. He will nourish you with the sustenance of His closeness, and He will open your eyes to see the very real hope that you so desperately need today.
Have you ever had the sense that Jesus was personally pursuing you? If so, how could you tell?