Discouraged and disappointed. These are the two words that could be used to describe the two men walking along the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus.

Circumstances had not turned out as they hoped. They had placed their faith in Jesus, but he had not provided what they needed or supposed. They had more of a political hope than a spiritual hope in Jesus, that he would deliver them from living under the rule of the Romans. Perhaps they thought he had failed them. Jesus had been dead three days, and after that time Jewish thought was that the soul left the body. There was no hope.

We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel (Luke 24:21)

they said to Jesus, although at this point they did not recognize him.

These two men had been close to Jesus, spending time with him. They had listened to his teaching, yet still they had misunderstood. 

Maybe things haven’t turned out as you expected, even though you placed your trust in Jesus. Perhaps you have prayed for years for a prayer to be answered, and yet nothing has happened. 

Disappointed and discouraged can describe how we feel, too. 

Perhaps you brought your children up to go to church, but now they will have nothing to do with faith. Perhaps you have family members or friends who are disillusioned with church and Christianity. Or maybe that’s how you feel, 

Yet Jesus gave the two men an opportunity. He asked them,

“What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

He gave them a chance first to explain the circumstances, to tell him how they felt. He waited for them to tell him their version of events—how they perceived his death and the feelings aroused in their hearts.

We have an opportunity too, when we pray to tell God and Jesus how it is. Even though he knows our circumstances and all situations, we can speak to him about what is troubling us.

After they had shared, Jesus went on to explain everything to them and give them a new perspective. 

Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” (Luke 24:25-26).

Don’t be put off by the word “foolish.” It just means to be without understanding. They probably thought he was the fool when he first spoke to them, for not knowing what had happened. 

The disciples of Jesus needed a fresh understanding of God’s Word and that fresh understanding was seeing Jesus at the center of everything.

And so this story can be a guide for how we should pray and encourage others to pray when we and they are feeling disappointed, discouraged or disillusioned. 

So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ (Romans 10:17 NLT).

It’s all about Jesus. 

Understanding Jesus changed their hearts from discouraged to encouraged, disappointed to heartened, troubled to tranquil, cold to burning.

Bring your troubled mind to Jesus and ask him to give you an understanding heart.


Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

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