Jesus Stayed Behind

“Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it” (Luke 2:41-43)

Had you asked Mary and Joseph that first day as they departed from Jerusalem for home if Jesus was walking with them, they most certainly would have answered yes. Of course He was with them, why wouldn’t He be? But Jesus had stayed behind, and they were not aware of it.

What a terrible thing it is to have left Jesus behind. Worse still, to be unaware of it. To suppose that the Lord Jesus walks beside us when He does not is a tragedy, but are there not many who do just that? Some have never truly come to faith in the Lord and have never known what it was like to really walk with Him in the first place. Others walked with Him at one time but sin  has crowded in, their love has grown cold, and their steps have taken them in a different direction. And this is worth noticing: Jesus never leaves us behind, it is us who wander away.

Every one who supposes that the Lord walks beside them does well to make sure that He in fact does. And what to do should we discover that we have left Him behind? We will find Him in that very place where we left Him. Did we abandon Him when we began to neglect our prayer life? Then it is in a renewed prayer life that we will find Him. Have we stopped seeking Him through the study of His Word? Then when we dust off our Bibles and look again to the Holy Spirit to reveal the Son to us we will find Him again. Or perhaps it is some sin that we are reluctant to release. If we bring that sin to God, will He not strengthen us to be free from that sin and to walk with Him once again? Jesus can be found “about His Father’s business” (Luke 2:49 KJV), can we?

[Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.]

Were Not Our Hearts Burning Within Us?

Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Pilgrims_of_Emmaus_on_the_Road_(Les_pèlerins_d'Emmaüs_en_chemin)_-_James_Tissot

They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32)

The two travelers to Emmaus were astonished by their own unbelief after the Lord Jesus revealed His identity to them. How could they have walked so many miles beside the Savior, hearing His own exposition of Scripture and not have even recognized Him?

The Lord Jesus speaks into the ears of many, both those who are His own and those who are not. Some recognize Him, others don’t. Yet the day will come when we shall see Him for Who He truly is and wonder, like the two travelers, did not my heart burn within me as I heard His Words? How could I have failed to recognize, in so many instances, the voice of the Son Of God speaking into my life?

“And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther.” (Luke 24:28)

Jesus had appeared to these two men for the specific purpose of showing them that what had happened to Him in Jerusalem was not the end, it was only the beginning. All that had transpired was according to the plan of God. The Crucifixion, the Resurrection, all of it had been spoken of by the Holy Spirit, through the prophets, and recorded in the Scriptures.

And it was the response of the two disciples to what He had said that caused Him to tarry long enough to show Himself to them. Though He did not intend to go farther, Jesus acted as though He would. They asked Him to stay with them. Their prayer, as it were, was that the Lord might remain with them.

God is speaking to us daily; through His Word, through the preaching of His ministers, through the circumstances of our lives. He would that we would all pray Him, “Abide with me.” But for some His voice makes no impression at all and the heart remains hard and the ear closed. So He goes father, just as He has before. And with each passing the hardened heart grows colder and His voice seems all the fainter. It is never His intention to pass us by, He only acted as if He would go farther along the Road to Emmaus. No, His business and purpose was within the place where Clops and his companion were staying.

May we all stay sensitive to the voice of our Shepherd. May we recognize Him when He speaks. And may we, too, bid Him to stay with us.

To God goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]