Reverend Dr. William H. Curtis

Luke 24:13- (AMP)

And then, that very day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. While they were talking and discussing it, Jesus Himself came up and began walking with them.  But their eyes were [miraculously] prevented from recognizing Him. Then Jesus asked them, “What are you discussing with one another as you walk along?” And they stood still, looking brokenhearted.  One of them, named Cleopas, answered Him, “Are you the only stranger visiting Jerusalem who is unaware of the things which have happened here in these [recent] days?” He asked, “What things?” And they replied, “The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers handed Him over to be sentenced to death, and crucified Him.  But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel and set our nation free. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. And also some of the women among us shocked us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and they did not find His body. Then they came back, saying that they had even seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive! Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women had said, but they did not see Him.” Then Jesus said to them, “O foolish men, and slow of heart to trust and believe in everything that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and [only then to] enter His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and [throughout] all the [writings of the] prophets, He explained and interpreted for them the things referring to Himself [found] in all the Scriptures.

Then they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as if He were going farther. But they urged Him [not to go on], saying, “Stay with us, because it is almost evening, and the day has just about ended.” So He went inside to stay with them. And it happened that as He reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were [suddenly] opened [by God] and they [clearly] recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.

I have one question after reading this passage of scripture, and you may be asking yourself the same thing. Why did Jesus wait so long to reveal Himself to Cleopas and the disciple? They’re both carrying disappointment. They thought Jesus would be the one to save them, but in lieu of recent events, their confidence is down. Jesus has the perfect opportunity to reveal Himself and ease their fears, but He doesn’t. Instead, He walks them through the Old Testament and shows them that scripture has pointed to the coming of Christ and the need for sacrifice in order to return humanity back to God.

They walk with Jesus and they talk with Jesus, and then they invite Him to dine with them as a guest. Instead of sitting as a guest, Jesus takes over the dinner, grabs the bread and breaks it much like He did days prior. The moment they recognize Him is the moment He disappears. 

If Jesus’ goal was to reveal Himself, why didn’t He do it sooner? This question took me down other thought paths. Why is it that sometimes God intentionally withholds the release of an answer to our prayers? Why does God sometimes reveal His plans to us only after He has watched us panic and threaten to walk away? Why does He conceal His identity?

The lesson is that He wants you to know who He is. In so many struggles we face, we can’t figure out why He allows us to go through them. We can’t make sense out of the tension in our lives and discern that God is up in the mix of it all. It’s not until we’re hurt and wonder where God has been in the first place that we realize His place was right alongside us the whole time.

That’s why He had no problem taking over the dinner. It was His intention all along to reveal Himself then. All He needed was an invitation to take over. He shows just how comfortable He is inserted into tension and that He is more pronounced in our lives when we stop expecting Him to be a guest.

We often incorrectly assume that our lives are supposed to be easy, that God makes life easy, that the devil makes life difficult. Here is the revelation: everything that is easy is not because God made it easy. Everything difficult isn’t because the devil made it difficult. Every hard trial is not satanically-induced. Some trials are God-ordained to get you to see today what you could not see before. Tension can be the fertilization of soil that makes one ready to nurture seeds of increased spiritual understanding. Tension and struggle are often gifts from God. In the midst of tension, you can be open to seeing something you did not consider before, much like when Jesus recites scripture to Cleopas and the disciple.

God didn’t choose the easy way when He gave His only son. He could’ve wiped us out, reprogrammed us, and started over. Instead, He risked everything by giving His only son.

Follow the path of God. You might have to risk everything, and it won’t be easy, but it’ll be worth it. Give God the reins. Let Him lead. Surrender to His presence. How disappointing would it be to have Him so close but let Him go because you had to be in charge?

Stop not surrendering to challenges. Stop trying to ignore your tense places. Stop trying to outrun your perplexities. You miss Jesus when nothing is pressuring your life. Sometimes tension is good. It keeps you on the field fighting, pushing and seeking.

Is it time for you to find Jesus in the tension and invite Him to take over?