Matthew nudged his friend, Abel. Once Abel looked at him, Matthew discretely nodded his head towards the man walking with them. They had asked his name, but the man had simply smiled.
"Wow!" Abel whispered.
"I know!" Matthew shook his head. "He just explained the Scriptures to us with ease. And what about his explanation about Jesus, about how he had to suffer these things! Wasn't that what Jesus used to say?"
"Yeah, it is!" Abel frowned. "But he called us foolish," Abel mumbled.
"It's not like Jesus didn't say that to us when we were being foolish." Abel reluctantly nodded his agreement. Matthew squinted and shielded his eyes with his hand. He could just make out the village ahead of them. It stretched across the horizon like thick, black ink.
"We are nearing the village," the stranger said. "I'm afraid we will be parting ways there, as my business will take me further."
Without thinking, Matthew whirled to face the stranger. The three of them stopped abruptly. "Stay with us. The day is spent and evening is near."
The stranger started to shake his head in protest, pointing beyond the village, but Abel jumped into the conversation. "Stay with us. We've enjoyed talking to you, and truthfully, we want to hear more."
After a moment the stranger nodded his head in agreement. Relieved, Matthew led the way into the village. They were going to spend every minute they could talking with him.
Based on Luke 24:13-34
"While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him." Luke 24:15-16
"When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, 'Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?'" Luke 24:30-32
I wonder how stupid these guys felt after realizing that they had spent the day with Jesus, and didn't even recognize Him. I know, I know, it was kept from them at the time. I'm not condemning these men. I just know that if it had been me, I would have felt like an idiot for not recognizing the man I had been following around for the last few years. For not realizing that He was talking about the same things as the last few years. For not recognizing that burning in my heart for a knowing it was Him.
I would be shattered. I would beat myself up. I would be forced to take a long, hard look at my relationship with Him.
Do we immediately recognize God for God, or do we have to wait for God to give us a mental slap?
When John the Baptist was a baby inside his mother's womb, he recognized God for God. That's how I want to be. I don't want any question about whether someone is of God or not. I don't want any doubt over the words that God has given me to speak. I will know because I know because I know that that's not my voice, but God's guiding me. Can you imagine being so in tune with God that you know it's Him, all the time, every time? That's how our relationship needs to be with God.
What if those guys had recognized Jesus? The time spent together would have been far different, but instead, Jesus was covering the same topics as before. John the Baptist's relationship went deeper. He had the kind of faith were he just always knew it was God and who Jesus was. That's the dream.
I have a question for you guys. Does your heart go PING within you when God is near?
V. Joy Palmer