We do a lot of walking in South Africa. Most everything we need is within walking distance from Oceans Retreat Center. So at the end of the day Patty and I have a friendly competition and check our walking app to see who got the most steps in.
The other day I was reading the story in Luke 24 about two people walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus, which was about 7 miles. That’s a lot of steps, so being a little obsessed with steps I calculated the journey to 15,555 steps. That’s a great day, it beats our average.
But what is even more amazing than their step count is whom these two were walking with. For several reasons I believe these two are likely husband and wife. I visualize them in a deep conversation discussing the events that transpired that weekend which was news of the death of Jesus and the reported resurrection.
In the midst of their pondering Jesus shows up as a stranger and joins the dialogue. Jesus must have been smiling on the inside as He listened to them recapping one of history’s greatest events. I wonder how far along they were in the journey when they paused and Jesus took over the conversation, but whatever step they were on most certainly they would never forget those sacred steps nor should we.
Jesus opened up all the Scriptures to them and shared how all of this pointed to His glorious work on the cross and the victory of the Resurrection (vs. 27). What happens next is absolutely amazing, as Jesus was invited into their home for a meal. The visitor became the Host, which is exactly what happened at the Last Supper before His death.
“He took bread, gave thanks, and broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.” (vs. 30-31)
What a gift! This couple encountered a personal revelation as Jesus fed them the truth of His everlasting love. And as He vanished from their sight they described they experienced “burning hearts.” Hearts sealed with Heaven’s love.
As I quietly replayed this story in my mind I wondered why Jesus chose this couple to walk with Him and have the first communal meal with them after His death? It occurred to me that this is what Jesus wants for all His children to grasp. Even though we don’t always get it in our busy, distracted and doubt filled world. Jesus is beside us. He walks every single step with us through out the day. And just like the couple in the story we may not always recognize Him-BUT He IS present!
Jesus’ perfectly completed work opened up our hearts to His Kingdom and our hearts are now a dwelling place for His Holy Spirit. His Spirit teaches us and daily opens the truths of Scripture. The Spirit comes through the broken bread and the cup and reveals the gift of the Father’s love in the sacrifice of His own Son to forgive us and heal us.
This post resurrection story is a reminder from Jesus to us that every step we take throughout the day is precious because our Savior through His Spirit walks with us. As you take your steps today listen for His voice. What is He trying to say to you? How is He seeking to encourage you? Remember even in your valleys, doubts, and misunderstanding you never step alone!
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20