LPNI Devotion – June 2017


Walking with Jesus


Now that same day two of them were going to a Village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them ... (Luke 24:13-15)

One thing we do not often look forward to in life is change.  I’m not taking about the everyday changes that add variety to life.  I’m talking about life-changing events.  What makes that kind of change bearable is the sure knowledge that, as in our text, Jesus walks with us.  He is our stability, Savior, companion and friend.  He is our source of confidence all along the journey of life.  There’s no greater privilege or blessing in this life than to walk with Jesus.

Our scripture reading describes an event that took place toward evening on the first Easter Sunday.  The disciples and other followers of Jesus had heard reports from the women that Jesus’ tomb was empty.  At this point they were so overwhelmed in sorrow they could not believe it.  Luke says that two of Jesus’ followers, who had heard the report of the women, were walking away from Jerusalem, talking intently with each other about the day’s events.  Their mood was more than sadness, more than simple doubt.  The fact that the one disciple mentioned by name – Cleopas -- was not one of the 12, indicates that despair had set in more widely.  In Jesus’ day the Jewish tradition of mourning called for seven days of sitting on the floor.  No furniture, just stark and solemn mourning.  Yet the people of our text are leaving after only three days.  There is a sense of hopelessness.

The disciples had a deep need, and Jesus joined them in that need.  He knew about them, and he knows about us.   He is our companion through life. I want you to notice something as you read all of this account in Luke 24.  Only one of the followers of Jesus is named.  That man is Cleopas, whom the early church called Clopas.  You may recall that Mary, the wife of Clopas, was at the cross of Jesus.  Who was the unnamed disciple?  Some conjecture is that it just as easily could have been a woman.  A woman would certainly not make this sort of journey alone. It could have been Mary, the wife of Clopas, herself.  The only drawback to that is that the women seemed quick to believe, and these followers of Jesus were filled with doubt and sorrow. 

Who is the other disciple?  In a sense, it is you, and it is me!  Unnamed intentionally perhaps to enable us to see ourselves as the one Jesus accompanies in the midst of our doubts and sorrows, our questions and even our despair. Jesus walks with us, a very present help in trouble (Psalm 46:1).   Again the Psalmist writes (139:1-3), O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.

And again, we learn, Can a mother forget her nursing baby and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though even she may forget, I will not forget you!  (Isaiah 49:15)  You are the one he loves.  You are the one he walks with throughout your life.

Christ opens our eyes through his word to see him.  He causes our hearts to burn with joy and amazement as he reveals himself to us and creates faith within us.  We have been led to conversations with Jesus from Bethlehem to the cross and empty tomb, then along the road to Emmaus and the lanes, paths, driveways, and roads of our life.  We walk, knowing that the Lord walks with us.

Lord Jesus, thank you for walking with me.  Help me to take the next steps, knowing you are mindful of me and by my side through all the changes I’m asked to face.  Amen.

Rev. Fred Zimmermann   
Chaplain, LCMS Parish Nurse Council
Cross Plains, WI USA