18 The one named Cleopas answered him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?” 19 “What things?” he asked them. So they said to him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people, 20 and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. 21 But we were hoping that he was the one who was about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, it’s the third day since these things happened. 22 Moreover, some women from our group astounded us. They arrived early at the tomb, 23 and when they didn’t find his body, they came and reported that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. 24 Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they didn’t see him.”
It’s always fun to hear about a “God story,” but it’s even better to experience one! Four days after I was asked to write this devotion, I was walking alone on the greenway near my home in south Nashville. Towards the end of my walk, I saw a longtime friend from BBC coming from the other direction. Since we hadn’t spent much time together in recent months, we moved to the side of the path to catch up with each other.
While we were talking, I noticed a young man slowly approaching us, but staying on the other side of the path. As my friend and I continued talking, I could see this young man was looking at me as if trying to get my attention. I asked him if he was okay, but he was silent and appeared very emotional.
After a very long pause, he finally said he had walked past us and heard us talking about church. He also said that he sensed something telling him to come back and talk with us, but he didn’t know why or what to say. After a few minutes of conversation, we found out that he was a student at MTSU and attended a church in Murfreesboro, but he wasn’t connected with a small group. My friend and I gave him some suggestions on connecting with others his age at his church and suggested he check out some of the Christian organizations on campus. And then we spent a few minutes encouraging him and praying with him on the side of the path.
Our experience was somewhat reverse from the passage for this devotion. Jesus approached the two on the Emmaus Road and asked them questions to get them thinking. In our case, the two of us were approached by someone who was looking for answers. This student was obviously prompted by the Holy Spirit to approach us and engage in conversation.
I am confident that God had my friend and me stop and talk in the very spot where this student would be passing by. And our conversation about church that he overheard was just the invitation needed to cause the student to take notice, stop and engage with us. God set up the meeting—my friend and I just needed to be obedient and proceed with it!
Questions to Ask Yourself
- When presented with an opportunity to have a gospel conversation, do you take advantage of it—or do you look for a way to avoid it?
- Do you feel comfortable discussing Christ, the church and other Christian topics openly in public? You never know who God will place near you.
Pray for Hope for the World missions partner African Leadership as they train pastors all across the African continent. Pray for safety and wellbeing of the students in these classes. Pray peace for their communicates and the regions. Pray for the churches there to be places of hope and light in the middle of uncertainly and darkness.