There are times in our lives when Jesus goes undercover. He doesn’t let us recognize Himself. Why? There are tons of reasons – most of it personal. Take for example this story:
Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven milesfrom Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.
He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.”
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Jesus wanted to know what was in their hearts first. He didn’t reveal Himself outright. He seemed like only a visitor or a foreigner – an outsider who doesn’t know what’s going on in your life. Often times it seems like that doesn’t it? It seems as if our God doesn’t know what’s happening in our lives – as if He’s left us alone in our troubles and problems. What we don’t know is that He is with us. We are just kept from recognizing Him.
Why go undercover?
Jesus didn’t want the two to recognize Him because they wanted their hearts to be open. He wanted the both of them to be themselves when they didn’t know God was with them. He was sort of testing them in what was troubling their hearts. Jesus wanted to know what those two thought of Him.
And sometimes this is true in our lives. Jesus goes undercover in order that He might see what we would do when we suddenly are faced with problems – our faces downcast. He wants to see what’s in our hearts and what we think of Him.
When we think Jesus isn’t there
Sometimes He wants to let us feel like we have to do things on our own. He is there indeed, but sometimes He would let us feel abandoned – to make room for our faith. That is why it is so important to know the truth of God’s word. So that even when sometimes we feel abandoned, we know the truth that God is there with you all along!
It is often in these times when our faith is stretched. It is in these times when God would test us in our faith in Him and our knowledge of Him.
Even if we don’t recognize Him
There will be times when we seem like we’re at the end of our rope and God is still nowhere. It is during those times when Jesus will ask us to invite Him in. He will break us – just as He broke the bread. When we let ourselves be broken by Him – when we render ourselves defenseless against God by letting Him shatter our pride – THAT IS THE TIME WHEN WE GET TO REALIZE – Hey, it was Him all along!
And somewhere along our journey with our Lord, will not our hearts hearts burn within us as He reminds us of His grace and mercy in our lives? And what a joy it is when He is revealed and we recognize that our Lord did not leave us all this time!
There are a lot of times in my life when I have been broken by God. Those are the moments when I weep and when I see and feel His glory and power in my life. Those are the times when I see myself too focused on something else other than God and I have to get back on track. Those are the times when God tells me “I’m here. It’s alright”.” Those are the times when I need Him the most.
Have you ever felt abandoned by God? I want to know. Please do leave your comments below.