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There Is Always Hope June 23, 2010

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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Luke 24:13-32
We don’t walk much anymore. Our lives have become too hectic. We rush around in an effort get to places we don’t really want to be, to see people we don’t really want to be around. We don’t walk, we rush. Most of us drive or ride some public transit system. Even with my previous church office only a half mile away from my house, I drove just in case I had to leave suddenly on urgent business. Seldom did that happen. Here in Iraq, I walk almost everywhere I go, not by choice, but by necessity. There is a bus system, but it is inadequate at best. I do not have a vehicle assigned to me. In a way, I am glad. Certainly I could provide others a ride to and from this place or that, but I would be missing out on something else. I would miss out on the time I spent with them as we walked. A long journey is made shorter with good company. Izaak Walton said, “Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter.”
Here we have two people who have experienced a terrible loss. They have recently lost their friend and mentor. He was their leader and teacher. As they walked they talked of the events from the previous week. This was the first day of the week, Sunday. On the Sabbath Day, which is Saturday, Jews are not supposed to walk more than three fourths of a mile. That is a Sabbath Day’s walk. Here, on Sunday, they can walk as far as they like. Setting out for Emmaus, they had a seven mile walk ahead of them. The average person walks about three miles per hour. They probably walked a little faster with the amount of walking they did on a daily basis, but given they were having a conversation, let’s just say it would have taken them two full hours to get there. Oh, what a conversation they must have been having when all at once a “Stranger” enters their midst. With veiled eyes, they did not recognize the very One they had been conversing about. He asked
about their conversation. They guessed He must be a visitor to Jerusalem since He did not know about the recent occurrences. This speaks to the idea that it must have been quite a big deal causing no lack of a stir in the city. It certainly would have made the news. “Local religious leader is condemned and sentenced to death by crucifixion. What was his crime? Find out at eleven.” These two, like all the disciples had so many expectations about the arrival of the Messiah. He was supposed to overthrow the evil Roman empire, establish a Jewish state, redeem Israel and have an heir on His throne forever. With the death of Jesus, all their expectations seemed to be false. Because what happened was this One they expected to do all this was condemned to die and seemed to give up when He could have fought. He said if anything happened to Him, He would reappear on the third day. None of this had happened. Or so they thought.
As they neared the town, Jesus acted like He was going on without them. They invited Him to stay and have supper and probably to stay for the night as it was getting late; common practice then. As they talked, they must have felt a stirring of hope against hope, hope in spite of hope, the hope of hope, the hope of glory. For their hearts burned within them. In verse twenty five, Jesus questions their lack of faith. They still did not quite believe. I think they wanted to believe, but all the evidence was against them. Jesus explained to them all that the prophets had spoken about the Messiah beginning from Moses. When they arrived in Emmaus, they invited Him in and they ate together. It was then that they recognized Him. Their eyes were opened.
They had opportunity to spend time with Jesus. They did not know it was Him at the time, but without rushing around, without keeping Him from joining their conversation as they walked and talked about something so raw and emotional, they spent time with Jesus. Then, at the last moment, when their eyes were opened, they realized why their hearts had been burning within them.
You have experienced it. Though all hope seems lost, you still hope. Despite all the evidence against you, you still believe that there may still be a chance. Though many tell you your faith is in vain, you still believe. When the phone call comes that there has been a tragedy, you know somehow your loved one is okay. When all hope seems lost, there is still hope. There is Jesus.
Is your hope in Him?

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