Sunday, December 19, 2010

Recognizing Jesus

Today I want to share with you about the time that two of Jesus' disciples were walking along the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-33). This was immediately following Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. They were sad, because they did not understand what had happened to Jesus. As Jesus walked up to them and began traveling with them, they did not recognize Him.

How is it the disciples could not recognize Jesus? They had seen Him many times before and knew what He looked like. Did Jesus change His appearance, or did He change their ability to recognize Him? What changed – them or Him?

The Scriptures give us the answer: “But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.” (Luk 24:16). You see, it was their ability to recognize Him that was changed. Later, He enabled them to recognize Him. It says, “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight.” (Luk 24:31). So the Lord has the ability to prevent us from recognizing Him when He is present, and He also has the ability to open our eyes to recognize Him as well.

Just as with these disciples, there are times when He allows us to sense Him in a very tangible way. When He does, it's absolutely wonderful and reaffirms our faith. Yet even when we don’t recognize Him, He is always with us as believers. He said, “And I will be with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20). We walk by faith, not by sight or by feelings. During those times when we don't feel Him with us, we should dial up that awareness of His presence by faith. We need to trust that He lives in our hearts and will never leave us nor forsake us. 

And when He lives in your heart, you want to share Him with others around you. You do this with a combination of words and actions. The question is, when was the last time someone recognized Jesus in you? 

Since Jesus can open people's eyes to recognize Him, then He can just as easily open their eyes to recognize Him in us. So why not begin to pray this for specific people in your life, like your family and friends. You can even pray this for the people you have brief interactions with in the market place. You may not have time to sit and share the gospel with some people. But you can pray that during your brief time with them, such as at the check out line, that Jesus would enable them to recognize Him in you. Then live your life in such a way that they will see your good deeds and glorify the Father in heaven.

Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB. Image used by permission from John Tussey.

Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, you may also like the other posts in this blog, such as Practicing the Presence of the Lord, which are available through the Home page of this blog. Also see my daughter's poem called "The Glory of God," and this song about His presence by Mercy Me, called Here with Me. You may also access my complete blog directory at "Writing for the Master."

Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus.  Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?

“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15).  He preached that we must repent and believe.

Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"

Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International.  He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission.

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