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Those three little words

By Myrtle Virginia Thompson

Three little words, burning in their minds and hearts, “We had hoped.” A story from the Bible, Luke 24.

Let me introduce you to two men in an ancient time who hoped for a different outcome than the one they were experiencing. The story is like a work of art; we need to ponder the picture until we see all the details.

These two men were on a seven-mile walk home. The world of that day was in turmoil. They had put confidence for peace and stability in One called Jesus. They had seen His work, a Leader with authority and power, One Who could change their world. Now, all that faith had been downsided. They had lost hope.

Unknown to them but walking beside them was the omnipresent God, risen from the dead. They had not bothered to get acquainted; they were still blinded by grief. They were sad, “down in the dumps” and this One had not even bothered to listen to the news all Jerusalem was talking about. It is so like us. It is hard to believe in an “Omni-God” — all powerful, all knowing and present in every situation — when/if He doesn’t do things the way we thought they should be done. A friendly voice interrupts and begins an “interrogation.”

“Hey, y’all, what’s up?” Their answer is like that from people we all know.

The men ask, “Are you the only one in all Jerusalem who does not know the things that have taken place?” The Stranger answers them, “What things?”

He knew the story far better than they, but they had likely seen that burial tomb, heard the story how it was made very secure but was found open. The body was not there. There was a rumor that some women had seen Him after the resurrection, but who can believe an incredible story like that?

Jesus brought to their minds what the prophets had spoken. He called them “fools” and “slow of heart to believe.” They were near their village and it was getting late. Jesus “made as though He would have gone further.” They did not ask questions when this One, still a Stranger to them, pretended He needed to go further. Jesus accepted the invitation to stay with them. They sat down to eat. The women at home must have had the bread ready. Jesus was a guest, but He took the bread, blessed it, then broke it and gave it to them. They recognized Who He was, “the Bread of Life.” He vanished from their sight.

The men leave the table and hurry back to Jerusalem to tell their experience to the fearful disciples. Jesus was already there. He ate fish and honeycomb with the disciples gathered around Him, perhaps to prove it was not a spirit but One made alive after death, a lesson for everyone who chooses to believe in Him.  There is resurrection life. We need not fear anything when our faith is secure in Him.

This is a story that demands credence, even from Christians. Are we not just like that? We have earnestly prayed about something, we think we know what will happen, then are laid low by unexpected changes. If God doesn’t answer the way we think He should, is He still God or have we made ourselves into a lesser god? If we believe God is in control, let’s sharpen our “sword of the Spirit” which fights unbelief and continue trusting God. Only the “Omni-God” knows the roadblocks up ahead.  We need to fill our tanks with faith and be ready for that unknown future. It is what the Bible teaches us to do.

Myrtle Thompson, 92, is a Bible teacher, retired missionary, educator and writer. Contact her at mvtgrt@gmail.com.