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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, February 20, 2015
The two followers returning to Emmaus at first missed the significance of history’s greatest event because they were too focused on their disappointments and problems. In fact, they didn’t recognize Jesus when he was walking beside them. To compound the problem, they were walking the wrong direction—away from the fellowship of believers in Jerusalem. We are likely to miss Jesus and withdraw from the strength found in other believers when we become preoccupied with our dashed hopes and frustrated plans. Only when we are looking for Jesus in our midst will we experience the power and help he can bring.
These followers from Emmaus were counting on Jesus to redeem Israel, that is, to rescue the nation from its enemies. When Jesus died, therefore, they lost all hope. They didn’t understand that Jesus’ death offered the greatest hope possible.
After the two followers had explained their sadness and confusion, Jesus responded by going to Scripture and applying it to his ministry. When we are puzzled by questions or problems, we, too, can go to Scripture and find authoritative help. If we, like these two, do not understand what the Bible means, we can turn to other believers who know the Bible and have the wisdom to apply it to our situation. (NLT)
Luke 24:13-35 – That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles out of Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. Suddenly, Jesus himself came along and joined them and began walking beside them. But they didn’t know who he was, because God kept them from recognizing him.
“You seem to be in a deep discussion about something,” he said. “What are you so concerned about?”
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”
“What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did wonderful miracles. He was a mighty teacher, highly regarded by both God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders arrested him and handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had thought he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. That all happened three days ago. Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. They said his body was missing, and they had seen angles who told them Jesus is alive! Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, Jesus’ body was gone, just as the women had said.”
Then Jesus said to them, “You are such foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted by the prophets that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his time of glory?” Then Jesus quoted passages from the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining what all the Scriptures said about himself.
By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus would have gone on, but they begged him to stay the night with them, since it was getting late. So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took a small loaf of bread, asked God’s blessing on it, broke it, then gave it to them. Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts feel strangely warm as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem, where the eleven disciples and the other followers of Jesus were gathered. When they arrived, they were greeted with the report. “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter!”
Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread.
In the beginning was the Word, . . . In him was life was the light of all people. – John 1:1, 4 (NRSV)
Terry R. Tule (Tennessee) titled his story “TOWARD THE LIGHT.” I want to share Terry’s inspiring story with you:
“My younger brother and I spent our boyhood years hunting raccoons at night in the forest near our southern Indiana home. One dark and cloudy night we forgot to set our compass. After about an hour, our two hounds had run so far that by the time we caught up to them, we were lost. We wandered in the deep woods, trying to find our way back to our vehicle. Finally, we remembered what our dad once taught us: ‘If you are lost at night, don’t wander around. Look through the trees and try to find a light in the distance. Go toward the light, and it will lead you to safety.’ So that’s what we did.
“We Christians sometimes lose our sense of purpose. Like the two disciples walking to Emmaus, we can become discouraged when we lose sight of Jesus. All the disciples needed was a little light to redirect their lives. Once Jesus revealed himself to them, their faith was renewed. They said, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?’
“The light they needed was in the words that Jesus spoke to them. Whenever we are troubled and wandering through the darkness of this life, we can look for Christ in the words that he spoke in scripture and in everyone and everything around us.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Today I will look for God’s light around me.
Prayer: O God, help us to see your light in our daily lives. May the direction we choose lead us closer to you. Amen.
Prayer Focus: BROTHERS
To read other stories in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
For more Helpful Inspirational Material:
HELP, HELPING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/help-helping/
EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCES: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/experience-experiences/
HURT, HURTING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/hurt-hurting/
OPPRESSED, OPPRESSION: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/oppressed-oppression/
SEEK, SEEKING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/seek-seeking/
CONFLICT, CONFLICTS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/conflict-conflicts/
PERSEVERANCE, PERSEVERE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/perseverance-persevere/
SECURITY, SECURE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/security-secure/
LIMITATIONS, LIMITED, LIMITS: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/limitations-limited-limits/
DISTRESS, DISTRESSED: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/distress-distressed/
MIRACLES, MIRACLE: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/miracles-miracle/
DECEIVE, DECEIT, DECEPTION: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/deceive-deceit-decption/
UNDERSTAND, UNDERSTANDING: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/understand-understanding/
May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems: https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-a-g/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-h-n/ ; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-o-u/; https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/topics-v-z/