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We Never Walk Alone (Luke 24:28-40)

Luke 24:28–40 - 28 And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. 29 But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.” So He went in to stay with them. 30 When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread. 36 While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be to you.” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. 38 And He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. What does today’s passage say? In today’s passage, Jesus has joined two disciples walking to Emmaus from Jerusalem.  They do not have not recognized Him and as they arrive, He indicates that He will be continuing on.  They strongly urge Jesus to stay for dinner and for the evening (vv. 28-29). At dinner, Jesus takes the bread, blesses and breaks it, and gives it to them (v. 30). Their eyes suddenly open and they recognize their risen Lord Jesus, then He vanishes from sight (v. 31). Astounded, they ask each other why they had not grasped it was Jesus, thinking of the way their hearts burned as He explained Scripture on the road (v. 32). That very hour they head back to Jerusalem to inform the eleven disciples that Jesus had appeared to them (vv. 33-35). While recounting their supernatural experience, the resurrected Jesus Himself suddenly stands among His disciples inside a locked room saying, “Peace be to you” (v. 36). Terrified, believing they have seen a spirit, Jesus assures them He is their Master by showing His hands and feet of flesh and bone (vv. 37-40). How can I apply Luke 24:28-40 to my life? As followers of Jesus, we all go through times when our faith wavers and confusion reigns. Innate questions fill our minds alongside doubt and despair that seep into our souls when life takes unexpected twists and turns, or our carefully protected dreams shatter before our eyes. The two beloved disciples walking the Emmaus Road certainly felt their hopes crushed after Jesus, who they believed would save Israel, had suffered a brutal public execution. We cling to fantasies of control over our destinies, but human limitations cannot grasp or manage all the mysteries of God’s ways and complexities of a fallen world. In unguarded moments, loss and pain jade our perspective, tempting us to feel defeated. But even in the thick of disorientation, Jesus is with us - waiting for an invitation into whatever troubles our journey; ready to transform pressing doubts into steadied trust. He longs for us to recognize the sound of His voice speaking truth gently into places of fear and disillusionment within us. Here are some basic principles from this passage that we should apply to our lives:

  1. Being in the Presence of Jesus Will Build and Strengthen Your Faith (vv. 28-30): Jesus walked with the discouraged disciples as they traveled the road toward Emmaus. As they invited him into their home to eat, their eyes were opened in recognition of His true identity when He broke the bread. When we walk closely with the Lord through time set aside to seek Him and welcome His presence into all aspects of life, He reveals Himself in ways that build our spiritual insight, understanding, and assurance in who He is. Quieting your soul before God on a regular basis invites revelation of His glory that will ignite your faith, deepen your trust in His power and promises, and instill confidence to follow Him fully. If we persistently devote ourselves to prayer, study, and obedience to Scripture, meditation on God's faithfulness, and sensitivity to the Spirit's voice, our roots will grow deep in Kingdom truth. This anchors and stabilizes our faith against life's battering winds and rains, bearing the good fruit of intimacy with Jesus (Psalm 27:4, Habakkuk 2:20, John 15:4-5, Ephesians 3:14-19).

Food for thought: What needs to shift in your rhythms and focus to walk more closely with Jesus daily? How might a quieted, receptive spirit expand your vision of who He is?

  1. Encountering Christ Ignites Boldness to Proclaim Him (vv. 31-35): When the disciples finally recognized the risen Jesus in their midst, their despair turned to joyful amazement and energized purpose. Where once they felt confused and defeated by the crucifixion, now their hearts burned with the fulfillment of God's plan through His suffering, death, and resurrection. This transforming revelation of the living Lord and understanding of Scripture empowered them to boldly leave behind doubt and fear. With fresh passion, they rushed to tell others the Good News of Christ's victory over death. When we meet with Jesus through reading and obeying His Word, His Spirit enlightens our minds and sets our hearts ablaze. We gain holy courage to let go of skepticism and share with those around us the hope and salvation we have found in relationship with Him. As we grasp the lostness of humanity without Christ and His matchless worth, we cannot constrain urgency to declare the rescue and freedom only He provides (Psalm 40:9-10, Acts 4:31, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

Food for thought: How has glimpsing Christ through Scripture ignited your passion? Who needs to hear about the joy you’ve found in following Him?

  1. Cling to Christ's Constant Presence in All Circumstances (vv. 36-40): Despite locked doors and familiar surroundings, the disciples trembled in fright at Jesus' sudden appearance, thinking they had seen a spirit. But He gently calmed their fears, inviting them to see and touch His resurrected body and helping them grasp the meaning of the Scriptures foretelling His suffering and rising from death. No matter what difficult, unbelievable, or lonely situations we face, we can call to mind Jesus' promise never to leave us alone (Deuteronomy 31:6). He remains powerfully, tangibly present, speaking truth to our fearful hearts and leading us forward in ways higher than our understanding. When you feel lost in uncertainty, anxiety, or despair, thank Jesus for His faithful companionship. Listen for His gentle, certain voice saying, "It is I!" - right there with you. Let Him guide your steps with steadfast hope and trust in His victorious, unchanging character. You can count on Immanuel, "God with us", to bring strength in weakness, direction when you don’t know the way, and hope that transcends circumstance (Psalm 23:4, Isaiah 41:10, Matthew 28:20, Hebrews 13:5-6).

Food for thought: When have you tangibly felt Christ's comforting presence in loneliness? How can remembering His with-ness direct your next steps? As we walk the road of following Jesus, we must nurture consistent stillness of soul that keeps our spiritual eyes wide open to recognize Him through spiritual disciplines focused on Scripture, prayer, and attentiveness to His voice and work around us. Though the crush of busyness and hard realities try to overwhelm us, we can stand firm on His promises. Jesus is as near as the air we breathe - always ready to fan dying embers back to flame and turn mourning into dancing again. When we fix our gaze on the wonder of the crucified yet risen Lamb of God, we gain Kingdom perspective. His perfect, loving way rises above life’s fickleness. Our resurrected Savior empowers proclamation of the lavish eternal hope He embodies - no matter the forces that war against that message or the walls that surround. We never walk alone. Let’s quiet our fretful minds, open our ears, and walk in expectancy of Jesus revealing Himself through every twist and turn that today brings. Prayer Dear Heavenly Father, I pray that You would give me vision beyond this life’s distractions and pressures to recognize Your Son through intentional time seeking Your face. I long to walk closely with You daily - tuning my spiritual ears to the whispers of Your voice and fixing my eyes on Your glory revealed through Scripture and creation. Give me strength and courage to welcome Jesus fully into every messy or disappointing area of my journey. I pray You would set my heart ablaze in greater passion as I encounter Your living presence and truth, compelling me to proclaim Christ’s redemption to lost and weary souls around me. Thank You that You walk with me through uncertainty, anxiety, and pain. I pray I will hear and take courage from Your powerful promise, “It is I”. Remind me that Your faithful companionship, protection and guidance surround me as I fix my thoughts on things above rather than the churning circumstances here below. I pray these things in the most precious name of Jesus, Amen.

Luke 24:31 - Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him. With His Blessings, Pastor Corby

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