Recognizing the Stranger

Bible:

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. 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?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. Luke 24:28-35 ESV

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all. II Thessalonians 3:16 ESV

Reflection:

A long time ago Duke William of Normandy took his troops and invaded England, and there was a great battle for the control of England. At one point during the battle the Norman troops heard rumors that their leader, Duke William, was dead, and they became discouraged. The Norman line began to retreat and the English soldiers started to chase them. But then William, who had not died, rode furiously at his soldiers and threatened them with his spear. He pulled off his helmet and shouted, “Look at me, I’m alive and with the aid of God I will gain the victory!” When his troops saw his red hair, they knew their leader and realized he wasn’t dead. This was the turning point of the battle, and the Normans went on to victory.

The two followers of Jesus had walked along the road to Emmaus with the stranger who had explained to them the meaning of the Bible and how it all pointed to the promised Savior’s death and resurrection. When they reached their home, their companion pretended he was going to continue his journey, but they urged him to stay at their home because it was getting late. So he came into their home with them, and the three of them sat down to eat dinner. The stranger picked up the bread and blessed it by thanking God, and then broke it and gave each of them a piece. This is what the host of the meal would usually do, but instead their guest did this, and as soon as he did, they realized it was Jesus! It wasn’t the color of his hair or any special way he looked, but instead the way he acted as their host that made them recognize him. As soon as they did, Jesus disappeared from their sight. But they knew the truth, that Jesus was alive and that everything that had happened to him was according to God’s plan. They said that his teaching along the road had made their hearts burn with joy, and full of that joy they hurried all the way back to Jerusalem to tell the others. In the meantime, Jesus had also appeared to Peter, but the Bible doesn’t tell us anything more about that.

We know that Jesus is also with us even though we can’t see him. There is a saying that many Christian homes have used for a long time: “Christ is the head of this home, the unseen guest at every meal, and the silent listener to every conversation.” His death paid for our sins so that we could be his people, and his resurrection means that he is always with us. Jesus’ presence is good news for us, because he knows our needs and our sorrows and is able to help us. He forgives our sins and teaches us through his word, the Bible. We look forward to the day when we will be able to see him face to face.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, thank you for being with us. Help us to always know you are there. Amen.

Source:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/normans/1066_01.shtml

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Much More than They Needed

Bible:

A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. And Elisha said, “Give to the men, that they may eat.” But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred men?” So he repeated, “Give them to the men, that they may eat, for thus says theLord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” So he set it before them. And they ate and had some left, according to the word of the Lord. II Kings 4:42-44 ESV

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:20-21 ESV

Reflection:

Have you ever been at a Chinese wedding banquet? If you like Chinese food, it’s really a wonderful thing to experience. There is lots of food for everyone, and many different kinds of dishes. It’s a matter of honor for the host to put out more food than anyone could possibly eat! A good Chinese host will have all kinds of leftovers, whether it’s a wedding banquet or a dinner for friends. Other cultures have similar customs. When people from many cultures around the world are hosts to others, they will make all kinds of food and continue to urge their guests to eat more and more. There will be more food than all the guests could possibly eat, and lots left over.

God is that kind of host. When Elisha received a gift of 20 small barley loaves of bread and some fresh grain, he told his servant to give it to his guests who were with him. But his servant was worried. There wasn’t nearly enough food for one hundred men! It would be embarrassing for Elisha to not have enough food to serve. But Elisha had heard God’s word on the matter, and he knew that there would not only be enough for everyone to eat, but that there would be some left over. He knew that if God was the host, he would be the best kind of host and provide everyone with more than enough. And that’s just what happened. All the men ate as much as they wanted, and there was still more food left!

God not only provided more than enough food to Elisha’s guests, but he also provides more than enough love and grace for us. No matter how bad our sins are, God has even more grace and forgiveness. Jesus’ death on the cross has our sins completely covered, and there’s more than enough love and forgiveness for us and for all people. We can always come to God for help and for grace, and be sure that there’s more than enough for us.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us more than enough love through Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.