Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

Recognizing Jesus!

Luke 24:31

Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

112015 Ray McDonaldI was at the golf course the other day and a young man walked by me. Right away he called me by name but it took me a few seconds to figure out in my brain where I knew him. His face was familiar – but you know – the context wasn’t there.

Have you ever seen someone you know you know but you can’t put a name with the face? Usually for me it is when I see the person out of the context from where I know them. Like meeting someone from church in the grocery store – you know you know them but you can’t bring their name up to your memory. Maybe that just happens to me – and maybe because I’m getting older – but I usually have a good memory for names – just ask my wife.

What keeps us from recognizing people?  Is it age?  Is it context?  Is it our relationship?  Is it something else?

Today’s passage is an example – I think – of not recognizing someone when you least expect to see him or her. Here is today’s passage in partial context. Luke 24:13–32 – 13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.” 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself. 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 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. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?

In the near future we will be talking about our relationship with Jesus in a sermon series titled In Between. We will talk about some basic spiritual principles and talk about what is in between where God wants us and where we are currently. We will look at what keeps us from recognizing Jesus at times.  Each week we will ask – What is in between where we should be and where we are and what can we do to grow spiritually?

The more we spend time with someone – the more we build on our relationship with them – the better chance we will have to know them wherever we see them. I would not have a hard time remembering my wife’s name after 36 years of marriage. I wouldn’t need time to think about my brother’s name after knowing him and spending life with him over his 55 years. In order to recognize when Jesus is speaking to us – when Jesus is leading us – we need to increase our time together – to build on our relationship with Him.  We all need to work on our relationship with Jesus so that we will recognize Him wherever He meets us!

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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March 31, 2016 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Sermons, Theology, Vision, Worship | , , , , , , , , ,

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