Have you ever reached a time and place of something God has promised you and the outcome just didn’t look the way you thought it would? Jesus at Christmas is often called A Child of Promise, and the angel’s announced His birth to the shepherds saying, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11
For thirty years this promise of a Savior remained to be seen. And then Jesus died. It didn’t make sense. It wasn’t the outcome everyone was waiting for because it didn’t match what they had been told about Jesus as a Savior and King. Or did it?
Sometimes we’re blind to the fulfillment of the very promises we are seeking, and we just need some time with Jesus to let Him reveal what He has been and is doing.
“Now behold, two [past disciples of Jesus] were traveling that same day to a village . . . while they conversed and reasoned . . . Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, ‘What kind of conversation is this . . . ?’ . . . [They] answered and said to Him, ‘Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days . . . concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened . . . ’ ~Luke 24:13-21~
Jesus’s life hadn’t held the kingly saving they expected. Not only that, but so far as these disciples could tell, the promises Jesus Himself made, seem to have come to nothing as well. Because after all, it was the third day. (Luke 18:31-33 “Then He took the twelve aside and said to them . . . ‘They will scourge Him and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.’”)
These two men are traveling away from Jerusalem on the third day since Jesus’s death, and they are sad and discussing what their hopes had been and what they thought would happen, which has now seemingly come to nothing. The outcome they had been looking for wasn’t the one walking beside them, because they were looking for an earthly Savior and King, and their eyes were blinded to the eternal Savior and King who was and had been walking right beside them the whole time.
“Then [Jesus] said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?’ And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself . . . He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. ~Luke 24: 22-33~
And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem . . . “ Luke 24:22-33
When you get discouraged about the outcome of His promises in your life and you’re wondering why they don’t look the way you thought they would, particularly in this season where Christmas is approaching and the year is drawing to a close, maybe take some time to walk with Him and let Him reveal what you aren’t seeing. Because sometimes we’re so busy looking at the lack of earthly results that we miss the eternal results that He has and is accomplishing.
My favorite line in this passage from Luke is what they say after their encounter with Jesus. “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us . . . ?” I love this comment, because it reminds me how the revelation of His truths stirs up passion and how He takes the time to interact with us on a personal level.
Challenge: Seek out Jesus, for He is “a light to bring revelation to the Gentiles.” Luke 2:30