"Recognizing the Lord"

Ps Randy Bain

“Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him.” Luke 24:31

What do we do when we don’t know what to do? We do whatever seems right at the moment. We do whatever seems right in our own eyes. The Book of Judges describes a time of chaos and anarchy in the history of the nation of Israel. In Judges 17:6 and repeated in 21:25, the scriptures say, “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.”

When I was a new Christian, a classic verse on vision in the King James Version was, “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18a). I had heard many sermons on this verse. Many of us quoted it as a reminder that we needed to hear from the Lord regularly. What do we do if we do not hear from God? The Message translation reads, “If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves.” What a good description of the confusion during the time of the Judges. What a good depiction of the times in our lives when we do whatever seems right at the moment—we stumble all over ourselves.

After the death and burial of Jesus, His disciples were confused and did not know what to do. Many of them stayed together in hiding in the Upper Room. Two followers hung around for a couple days, but then on the third day, they gave up their hope in Jesus as the Messiah and returned home to Emmaus. They had not heard from Jesus in three days, and now it appeared He
was gone.

As they walked along the seven mile trip to Emmaus, Jesus joined them and began to talk about the events in Jerusalem. Jesus then revealed everything to them. “Beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures” (Luke 24:27). Jesus was walking with them and speaking to them, but they did not realize it.

As they reached Emmaus, it was getting late, and Jesus acted as if He would travel farther. The two disciples asked Him to stay with them. As they ate their meal together, Jesus broke and blessed the bread and gave to them as in Holy Communion. “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight” (24:31).  They recognized Jesus and knew exactly what to do. They immediately returned to Jerusalem and rejoined the Disciples.

A couple lessons may be learned from this post resurrection visit by Jesus. Jesus goes with you even when you do not appear to hear from God. Do not lose hope because things seem bleak; God has a plan and will carry you in those dark days. When you do not know what to do, do the last thing the Lord told you to do. When walking in the valley, continue to follow the vision you
received on the mountaintop.

When the disciples recognized the Lord Jesus, they knew exactly what to do even though Jesus vanished from their sight. They returned to Church (the gathering of disciples probably in the Upper Room) and were encouraged by the testimony that Jesus was indeed alive and appeared to Peter. Someone reading this article needs to return to the Lord and do what you were doing
before discouragement hit you. Someone may need to return to church and be encouraged. May the Lord open your eyes and reveal Himself to you in a new vision. Jesus is still alive and is still with you. ♦

For more by Pastor Randy Bain, visit his blog, and be sure to read the local Our Town where he contributes regularly.