Jesus wants to go a little further….

It’s been a while since my last post. I wrote then about Jesus’ journey from meeting Nicodemus to the woman at the well and how through those two conversations He demonstrated the move from practicing religion to encountering the I AM.  This heart felt prayer of Hosea of ‘Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him’ resonates  with me that Jesus wants to take us much further in knowing and experiencing Him than we have yet understood. For myself and the people we meet with there is a yearning to encountering  the depths of I AM in a greater, fuller way. Jesus wants that too. Luke 24  v 29 says, ‘He made as though he would have gone further.It’s from the road to Emmaus with Cleophas and another disciple that I’ve seen the different ‘stages’ Jesus walks us through and the little further He wants to take us. 

Confusion and Conversation

 It’s actually the resurrection morning, as it’s the third day since Jesus died but I’m not clear why they would be returning home.  After all :-

  • They are disciples of Jesus so had been with Him during His life and listened to His teaching: saw His miracles and shared life together. 

  • They’ve been in Jerusalem and have witnessed His death, the events He told them about.

  • They’ve heard personal testimony from the woman who found the empty tomb and were ‘amazed’ by it ( v 22) 

  • They’ve heard from the other disciples who also found the empty tomb and  explained that they’d ‘even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive.’ (V 23)

  • They expressed how they recognised Jesus as a ‘prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people. ( v 19)

  • They profess they ‘hoped’ in Him ( V 21)

 So why, with all that history and evidence do they walk away? Why do they leave to go home?   It’s one Jesus wanted to know too. they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.  And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad Their eyes were still not quite open to Jesus’ presence with them despite how far they had come in their journey with Him.

  • Perhaps it’s because they didn’t actually go and see the empty tomb for themselves. 

  • Possibly it’s because they didn’t hear the angels declare to them personally about the living Jesus. 

  • Maybe it’s because they still referred to, and limited Him, in His flesh identity as Jesus of Nazareth and not yet understood Him to be the Son of God.  

  • Could it be they still think their interpretation of events is the only way to see things?  Why else do they ask Jesus. ‘Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?  (Very Ironic as the story revolved around the one they are speaking to! He wasn’t a ‘visitor’ to Jerusalem-  it was where He belonged as His place of destiny.)

 All of these played a part along with the perspective that the story had ended and not quite worked out as they had wished for. They’d come a long way, enjoyed it all while it lasted but now it was time to go home. Plenty of us have moments like that right? We’ve been with Jesus, saw Him at work. rejoiced and enjoyed. We’ve heard the testimonies and hoped and trusted, but like Cleophas and his friend we need our own personal encounter with the Living Jesus. There are so many who clearly seem to be steeped in Jesus’ Spirit,–it is evident from the way they live and love–but they haven’t yet, for whatever reasons, recognized who He is or how close He is to them.

Coaching through the Scriptures.

The compassion of Jesus to come along side them and listen to their external processing is lovely. How He takes the time  to remind them, again, of all the promises and plans of scripture- to open up the familiar words so it’s stirring their hearts again. He gently starts at the beginning and urges them on to the glory. And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (v 27)  What a fabulous place to be having the scriptures explained. We’ve all loved it when we hear a good sermon that stirs our hearts up to ‘ wow – that’s good such insight!’  Jesus makes to go a ‘little further’ and the disciples urge Him to stay as the day has ended. Who wouldn’t want that ‘season’ to end right?  Such a great choice not to let Him walk on with out them though. A more significant invitation than they realised at the time to actually receive Jesus into their home. 

Communion.

And here is the  turning point: in their home they let Jesus host.  When he was at the table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. v 30 That simple act opens us more than their realised at the time. Finally letting go of their agenda to be in charge of events and along with it their perspectives change. They have received Jesus and now receive from Him. In that moment sharing communion their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. They tasted and saw Life in a new way, finally recognising that Jesus was with them all the time. Finally they saw the complete, alive Jesus present with them.  The little further doesn’t stop with a meal though- It’s only just begun!

Conscious we are His Body

The two disciples made a response: they changed direction. They didn’t stay home but returned to Jerusalem leaving at once at night. Suddenly at night because staying put wasn’t an option now. It’s easy to say I’ll wait till morning when I’m refreshed and have the light to walk in and not  inconvenient. Perhaps it’s easy to be satisfied with conversation, teaching and fellowship.  They went forward, not back, to Jerusalem. Forward because it’s not the Jerusalem that they had left defeated and confused but the new Jerusalem where Jesus is alive. The bible says lots about the ‘new Jerusalem’ but it’s enough here to say it’s the place of a full manifestation of God’s goodness. It’s the completed work that Jesus has bought appearing. That’s what we get when we eat the Bread and eyes are opened to Jesus being alive. That’s the place Jesus wants to take us.  Jerusalem was where His ‘church’ was born. It’s where the new Life of His body came into being.

The wonderful thing I notice here is that as they finally understood whilst eating, Jesus vanished.  I struggled to understand that till I caught that as they eat the Bread it becomes part of them. Jesus Himself, the Bead of Life, becomes part of them. He’s not vanished but now  IN them. When we partake of Jesus we are eating resurrection too, swallowing it down, letting Him become us. We are being remade.  When they arrive in Jerusalem to tell the eleven disciples Jesus appears again because He travelled with them – in them.  Where they are, He is and where He is in Spirit, is where they are! He’s constant in the communion. The Lord, who often used visual signs around Him to make a truth become real to His followers now draws attention to His body,  He said, ‘See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see.’  He’s showing His aliveness but they understand they are part of Him too.  They’ve ate the Bread of life, tasted it, they have seen it, (well not it but Him) and as their eyes wander to their own skin they know the Life is in them too. 

This is the place I see so many people at the moment. We’ve enjoyed time with Jesus, saw Him minister but it didn’t all quite work out the way we thought.  And we’re all a bit busy talking about it and having our conversations. Our faith rises as we raise our confession and beginning again looking at scripture and  enjoying great teaching. But none of that makes His Body. It’s in the conscious, constant communion with the source of Life that the Body manifests. Eat the Bread – partake of Jesus, Himself. Accept Jesus’ out stretched hand to go a little further. Let Him host you. Let Him write the story, not you. Lay down your expectations and the comfort of ‘home’ and enter into His story – because there is MORE.  There’s a change of direction for you  to though.

  • If you want to stay talking about Him and hearing other people’s testimonies- that’s ok Jesus is still with you …..but He’s going a little further….

  • If you want to hear lots of teaching and have your heart stirred up – that’s ok too- He’s still with you…..but He’s going a little further….

  • If you want to invite Him to stay have fellowship with you – that’s great as well- because He’s present…..But Jesus wants to go a little further….

He wants to manifest His Body and Life in you and through you in a much deeper way. He wants us to sense the unity of heaven and earth, – so our existence sings with the life that is Life.  He wants to display His body through the Bread of Life shared with us, through us and to others.  He wants us to eat the Bread then be the Bread for others. He wants us  to walk on into a full manifestation of His Body living out the Hope that is in us- Christ.

 Who wants to come a ‘little further’?

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8 Responses to Jesus wants to go a little further….

  1. “He’s not vanished but now IN them. When we partake of Jesus we are eating resurrection too, swallowing it down, letting Him become us. We are being remade.”

    That was my favorite line from this. So true and such a relief.

  2. Derek says:

    I love this and it is so where we are. I am reading a Catholic Book called ‘I will come myself’ very good on Presence and especially in the Eucharist. The Living Presence of Jesus in the Bread and Wine. X

  3. Pingback: Fixing 2017 | Union & Whisper

  4. Bill says:

    Wow, this article is nice, my younger sister is analyzing
    these kinds of things, therefore I am going to tell her.

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