Jesus had died and now two of his disciples are traveling on a road that leads to a small town called Emmaus. It was about a two and a half hour trip, so there would have been plenty of time for discussion. And when he came up to them, they were talking and he began to overhear their discussion. When Jesus asked what they were talking about, they thought He must have been the only person in Jerusalem who didn’t know what was going on. So they told him. They told him how Jesus was crucified, delivered by their chief priests and rulers to be condemned. They told him how women had gone to his tomb and didn’t see his body and now it was the third day when Jesus was supposed to rise again. Then they said these words, “But we trusted [or hoped] that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel”: they hoped Jesus was the Messiah but their circumstances said something different.
Then how does Jesus respond to these discouraged disciples? Does He say, “it’s okay … I’m right here”? Does he reveal himself to them? Does he say, “I love you, thank you for missing me so much”? No, he rebukes them for trusting in their circumstances rather than trusting in God. “O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (Luke 24:25). That seems so insensitive, Jesus. They were sad because they thought you were dead, can you cut them some slack?
Why did Jesus say this? Because our hope is not to be in our circumstances—even the sweetest frame. Our hope is in God and in His promises, even when our circumstances would have us think otherwise. Or to use the words of Edward Mote: “all other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand.”
Jesus confronted them because they inverted their hope. Their circumstances were their hope rather than God and His promises. O fools and slow of heart. Don’t hope in your circumstances—even if they are good ones. Hope in the promises of God.
Copyright © 2014 Greg Gifford
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