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. – Lk. 24:30-31 NIV
Please click the link above to download the full text of this Ministration.
Jesus Christ had just defeated death with the grave not sufficiently powerful to hold him down – 1Cor. 15:54-55. The evidence of the empty tomb was all the women needed to be convinced that he had indeed risen. Yes! He rose from dead and the women had a duty to go and herald the good news to the disciples with instructions from the risen Jesus that he will be going ahead of them to Galilee – Lk. 24:1-12. Meanwhile, Jesus himself had linked up incognito with two people who were on their way to Emmaus, a city about seven miles from Jerusalem, since they had been prevented from being able to recognise him – Lk. 24:13-16. With both of them looking downcast and probably confused, he had asked them both what the topic of their conversation was all about and one of them named Cleopas, in response assumed him to be a stranger which was probably why he was not aware of the news making the rounds at that time. In a quick recap of events so that he may be brought to speed with developments and with disbelief probably written all over their faces, Cleopas informed him that the personality who was the topic of the conversation was Jesus. Although they acknowledged his proficiency in words and deeds, one that they believe even the Almighty God acknowledges also, they also see him as a great Prophet from Nazareth whom they had hoped was going to redeem Israel and how that hope now seems dashed after the Chief Priests and the elders had approved that he be handed over to death, an instruction which was implemented as he was immediately crucified and buried. The twist to the whole story for them is that not only was his tomb met empty when it was visited by the women on the morning of the third day after his death, but the new story making the rounds is that he rose from dead and is now alive – Lk. 24:13-24.
Jesus in his response accused them of unbelief since they were aware of what the prophets of old had long written about this personality in addition to what he had also said about himself after which he chose to continue on his journey without them, probably to meet his Galilee appointment, but they both strongly offered that he joined them for a meal and also stay the night since it was getting late, an offer that he accepted – Lk. 24:25-29. This was to be the move that removed the covering preventing them from recognising him, because as soon as they sat at the table and he broke and shared the bread after blessing it, they recognised him but he immediately disappeared from their midst – Lk. 24:30-31. Their act of caring for a stranger had given them the opportunity that even the disciples were yet to access, which is that of seeing Jesus after his death.
Many Christians there are today who continue to miss life time opportunities because they will not take care of strangers. Taking care of strangers remain one of the ways to see Jesus in life situations and receive the mercy of the Almighty God. The truth remains that eternal blessings are unlocked when strangers are taken care of. It may be true that in the world we live in today that there seems to be so much danger associated with such acts but the Christian must with guidance of the Holy Spirit continue to care for strangers.
The Almighty God had directed the Israelites to always treat strangers well because they were also strangers in Egypt (Exo. 22:21) but there is definitely more to it. All human beings, Christians inclusive must always remember that they are all strangers in this world (1Chr. 29:15) and they will expect good treatment at some point to enjoy their brief stay in this realm. The truth is that there is no one that can survive this realm without receiving one form of favour or the other which will be seen as been taken care of.
Abraham was able to receive positive response to a long standing request of wanting a child from the wedding between Sarah and himself and that was also the platform that gave him access to the inner thoughts of the Almighty God concerning His intention to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, and the opportunity for him to stand in the gap for his nephew and his family, simply because he took care of strangers – Gen. 18:1-33.
Jesus Christ had also revealed a special welcome for all those who take care of strangers in the world saying that such people were actually taking care of him – Matt. 25:21-46. As far as he was concerned, any one who genuinely believes in the supreme sacrifice he made and have accepted him as Lord and saviour was a brother, whether known or not and help rendered to such will be recompensed both in this realm and in the world to come.
There is no doubt that taking care of strangers remain a great key that can unlock hidden treasures not just for the Christian, but for all people. Spread your good will beyond immediate family members and friends, to all those people that you can help as that may be the treasure that you will rely on in the future. May God give us all the spirit to care for strangers in Jesus name. Amen.