"As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if He were going farther. But they urged Him strongly, 'Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.' So He went in to stay with them." (Luke 24:28-29, NIV)
I confess that I am somewhat of a recluse. Many people who know me might not see the introvert in me. However, the fact is that continuous “people-time” drains me. There are few—very few in fact—whom I would urge to stay on with me after having spent time with them. I gain strength through silence and solitude—and sometimes through conversation with a trusted friend. In fact, there are times when I am desperate for the company of that “replenishing” friend.
Cleopas and his friend were weary as they walked the Emmaus road. To say that they had had a bad week would be the understatement of understatements. Their entire world had come apart. The death of Jesus had destroyed them. They had wept until they had no more tears to weep. The rumors about the missing body of the Lord confused them. The last thing in the world they needed was to exchange pleasantries with a stranger.
However, the One who joined them now was no “stranger” although He was unrecognizable to them. He showed a deep concern that was familiar to them. He asked questions that drew out their thoughts and feelings while He said little about Himself. The familiarity niggled at them.
Yet it was the bold way that He challenged them, as friends do who love each other, that really gave them a feeling of déjà vu. "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" Then He led them in the most powerful, convincing exploration of the messianic texts of the Bible imaginable. And in just the space of a seven mile walk, Cleopas and friend went from being drained to being full, from being cold to being on fire.
“Stay with us,” they urged. The company of this One was so precious, so sweet, so surprisingly nourishing that they couldn’t think of letting Him walk on alone in the dark. Indeed, by inviting Him in, they were turning on the light in their darkness. His presence was more nourishing than the bread they were going to break together. "Stay with us, familiar stranger!”
“Stay with me, Familiar Stranger. There is so much that runs me down. I am desperate for conversation with You. I need the questions You put to me. I need the exhortation to believe the Scriptures. Please, don’t leave me until I have been fed by You! Stay at least until I have seen You in the breaking of the bread! Nourish me with Your presence and Your words, that I might in turn have something to give to those who are counting on me! Amen.”
Warmly in Christ,
"He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Deuteronomy 8:3, NIV)
Are you hurrying along your “Emmaus road” alone? Is there a trusted companion whom you might allow to join you in your spiritual journey?
How would you answer Jesus’ question, “What things have you been talking about as you’ve been journeying together with others?”
How desperate are you for the Lord’s company? Are you desperate enough to give Him the time needed to know you and for you to know Him?