What if you were walking on a dirt road, going from one destination to another, all the while deep in thought as to all that is transpiring in our country? Maybe deep in contemplative prayer or reflecting on a past experience you had with God. At some point, a man walks with you. He seems to know your very thoughts, as if you’ve shared them with him, but that’s impossible as you’ve never seen him before. He starts to relate scripture to your every experience. It’s not just this person’s familiarity with the bible that captures you, but it’s as if his experience is from firsthand knowledge. You find it a bit unsettling but realize you can’t pull yourself away. Your heart burns within you. Time seems to stop and all that matters in life is walking with you. Peace seems to rest on you in a way you’ve always hoped it would. You’ve just had an encounter like the disciples did in Luke 24 on the road to Emmaus just outside of Jerusalem. He who is everything just opened your eyes and your mind. Do not ever discount that this could happen.
Just as Cleopas, a follower of Jesus, experienced his redeemer in a way that was unexpected, so might you. Maybe it might be an angel that appears to you as a minister of the Lord. Maybe you’ll just be confused like the Apostle John was in Revelation 22. He started to fall and worship someone he’d mistaken. The one he presumed to worship told him not to do that. He said he was a servant just as John and his brothers the prophets were. He may have just been a redeemed man sent to provide John with information. Someone like that could walk with us, too.
Hebrews 13 tells us to continue with brotherly love and not to forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. I’d hate to miss that. Even those on the road to Emmaus would have missed it if Jesus hadn’t opened their eyes. Can you imagine treating Jesus in a way that would basically say you’re not welcome in my company? We do it all the time.
Jesus was an iconoclast. What if He walked into church with you and started to turn over a few tables. You might step away and say, “I don’t know this guy.” Or He may appear as He actually looked those 2000 or so years ago in Jerusalem. A very Semitic looking man. Not too tall. Bearded. He may not have had time to wash the dirt off from all His travels. Would your first instinct be to call ICE? Do you think he’s an undocumented Mexican? Or, maybe the Semitic look has you wondering. Maybe call Homeland Security? He was known as an agitator. Maybe some of what He’s saying doesn’t jive with what you consistently hear from a lot of current evangelical teaching. Yeah, there’s no way you can actually do all He’s telling you to do. Maybe you’ll stick with what many in power in the church are saying right now and consider those commandments more like suggestions. Yeah, that’s the ticket. How in heck can you truly follow all those Red-Letter teachings of Jesus in the gospels?
We need to consider we may have encountered things we are unaware of. It’ll be shown to us one day though. In the meantime, we need to do our best to show love for one another. The love He shows us. By this we’ll be known as His followers. No other way. Walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and gave Himself for us. He may be walking beside you. Blessings.