“He made as though He would have gone”

Luke 24:28, “And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and He made as though He would have gone further.”

I love this passage of Scripture. What a beautiful truth! Jesus had expounded His disciples with the Scriptures as they walked together in the road to Emmaus. They came nigh unto the village where the disciples lived. Then the Bible says that Jesus “made as though He would have gone further,” but in His heart He was hoping they'd invite Him to stay. The Lord didn't want to impose Himself, because He was a true gentleman. The Lord humbled Himself, wanting to see if they really wanted Him to stay, or if they were just being nice out of courtesy.

To the Lord's delight, they pleaded with Him to stay with them and He gladly did...

Luke 24:27-31, “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.”

This is such a precious truth that shows the meekness of our Lord, God and Savior. Jesus pretended as though He had planned to leave, but the disciples insisted that He stay for dinner and overnight. Jesus was glad and stayed. If they had said, “Ok, we'll see you later,” then Jesus would have known that they really didn't want Him to stay. What a wonderful Savior!

We've all been in a similar situation as this. Perhaps we are really hungry and plan to eat all of our food. We really don't want to share. We bought enough just for us. But a friend comes along and we feel obligated to offer to share, because we know that it's the courteous thing to do. If the person says, “No thanks,” then we're secretly happy, because we were planning on eating all that pizza by our self. If we're really hungry, then we won't offer twice. But if we say, “Are you sure, go ahead and have some pizza,” then they will likely accept if they're truly hungry and want some pizza. These are normal human interactions.

The Lord's Humanity And Prayer

It is encouraging to learn in the Bible that Jesus felt the same human feelings that we had. We find further evidence of this truth in Hebrews 4:15-16, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” The Lord DOES understand what we are going through. Somehow, someway, He knows! Thus, we are encouraged to come to God's throne of grace to obtain mercy to find grace “TO HELP IN TIME OF NEED.”

If we come to God and pray, making our requests known as Philippians 4:6 teaches, then we can claim and have the blessed perfect peace which “passeth all understanding” of Philippians 4:7. What incredible assurance from God that He is working behind the scenes on our behalf in response to our prayers. Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” The word “keep” is the Greek word phroureo and means “to be a watcher in advance, that is, to mount guard as a sentinel (post spies at gates).” Hence, by praying we can rest assured, peacefully knowing that God is now involved. Literally, when we pray, we are placing matters into God's hands and trusting Him to make it work out according to His will. This is a powerful truth to learn. Notice that prayer brings the “PEACE OF GOD,” which the Bible says transcends all comprehension and understanding, watching over (guarding in advance) our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

The most important truth to be learned is to PRAY, PRAY, PRAY! Of course, I am speaking to born-again Christians, for if you are not saved then you have no right to the throne of God's grace. The wrath of God abideth upon the wicked who reject Christ (John 3:36). Psalms 7:11 warns that God is ANGRY with the wicked every day. Jesus acknowledged in Matthew 6:7-8, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” Wow, talk about direct! I am immediately reminded of Islamic Muslims who bow prostrate upon their faces in prayer to Allah, using VAIN REPETITIONS AS THE HEATHEN DO.

I hate Roman Catholic prayer books for that very reason, which are the ramblings of religious dead men. As made famous by the movie, The Sixth Sense... “I SEE DEAD PEOPLE!” And I do! When I look at Muslims, Mormons, Catholics, Scientologists, Seventh Day Adventists, Hindus, Buddhists, Judaizers, Lutherans and Jehovah's Witnesses... I SEE SPIRITUALLY DEAD PEOPLE! They're all on their way to the Lake of Fire in their sins, trusting in manmade traditions instead of the inspired Words of God. The gospel is good news to be believed, not a lifestyle to be lived.

God Is Found In A Still, Small, Voice

The Lord pretended that He was going to go further, but in His heart He wanted to stay. One thing that I have learned about God from knowing Him over 30-years as a born-again Christian is that God speaks in a still, small and quiet voice.

There is a wonderful truth tucked away in the Old Testament in 1st Kings 19:11-12, “And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire A STILL SMALL VOICE.” Elijah looked for God in the great and strong wind, but the Lord could not be found. Then Elijah looked for God in the mighty earthquake, but the Lord was not there either. Then Elijah looked for God in the fire, but the Lord was not there either. Finally, after not finding God in the spectacular wind, earthquake and fire, Elijah found God in A STILL SMALL VOICE! Amazing!!!

This truth is profoundly simply and yet incredibly meaningful, that is, if you want to find God, then you must get alone with Him and SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES as Jesus commanded in John 5:39. The Holy Spirit Who lives within every believer (Romans 8:9) will quietly speak to us from the Scriptures, if we are meek and willing to be led by the Spirit of God. Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” 1st Corinthians 3:16-17 teaches that the human body of the believer is the temple of God's Holy Spirit. Amen!

God is not found in a spectacular music concert. Nor is God found in Bible seminary. Nor will you find the Lord in a Christian bookstore. The Lord keeps us breathing according to Acts 17:25. Daniel told wicked king Belshazzar, “the God in whose hand thy breath is, and whose are all thy ways, hast thou not glorified” (Daniel 5:23). I assure you my friend that your breath and mine is also in the hand of God. Hebrews 10:31, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” Whether you are willing to admit it or not, you are in the hands of God. Our every thought is monitored and known fully by God (Hebrews 4:13; Proverbs 24:12; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Psalms 139:1-5). If you want to find God, He keeps you breathing friend. You need to SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES! John 5:39, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

Many people are searching for God through spirituality and religion, but they have not found Him and never will. Mother Teresa said after a life of serving the Roman Catholic religion that she didn't feel any closeness to God. Of course not, she never found God. You cannot find God in errors, heresy and manmade religion. Jesus confirmed this in John 4:24 when He said that God the Father can ONLY be worshipped in SPIRIT and in TRUTH. That Spirit is the Holy Spirit, Who only comes with the truth of God's Word. 1st Peter 1:23, “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.” Salvation comes by faith in the gospel message as proclaimed by the Word of God.

The Lord Completely Understands Our Feelings

It is a precious truth in the Bible to learn that our Lord was just as human as we are (and yet He was also 100% God in the flesh). It is comforting to know that Jesus didn't force Himself on anyone. Many people view soul-winning Christians as fanatics who force religion on other people. In reality, we care about their soul and don't want to see them cast into the Lake of Fire in eternity. If someone bangs on your front door at 3 o'clock in the morning to warn you that your house is burning, you'd thank them. Yet, when someone warns people about coming judgment for sin in Hell, and they share the gospel with that person, oftentimes the caring Christian is accused of forcing their beliefs on others. It all boils down to a matter of faith. A person who believes the Bible understands; but an unbeliever who rejects the Bible as God's Word feels threatened by a Bible-preaching Christian who fears and obeys God. Do you believe?

Sometimes we do the things that we do because we are testing others, even our loved ones, to see if they truly want us to accept an invitation or stay for dinner. Sometimes we want to see if someone really cares about us. Or perhaps we are trying to see if a person who hurt us in the past has changed their attitude toward us. Such was the case when Joseph's brothers came into Egypt to buy bread during the 7-year famine. The Bible says in Genesis chapter 42 that Joseph recognized his brothers, but they didn't recognize him. It had been at least 20-years. Joseph was not testing his brethren to take revenge on them; but rather, because he did not trust them (and for good reason, for it was his ten half brothers who cast him into a pit to sell him into slavery). It's an amazing story to read and I won't go into it here, but Joseph pushed his brother's to the breaking point. Joseph accused them of being spies and thieves in Egypt, causing them to panic and wonder if God was punishing them for what they and done to Joseph decades earlier. It was Joseph's very testing which God used to change his brother's attitudes.

Many people are emotionally insensitive, cold and calloused. The world will make a person hard. I really like Pastor Jeff Owen's sermon titled,Fathers Harden Not Your Heart.” Oftentimes professionals; such as, doctors, lawyers, funeral directors, judges, police, et cetera, will become hard hearted and calloused because their jobs are tough on them. We don't have to become hard. It's a choice. I choose not to become hard. I want to maintain a tender heart, easily broken, concerned about others, caring and ready to share someone's burden with tears and help any way that I can. Jesus foretold in the end times, “because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12). Already we are seeing in the world that people are becoming insensitive, uncaring, isolated, unconcerned, uncompassionate and apathetic.

Jesus healed ten lepers of their disease, but only one came back to glorify God by thanking Jesus. Luke 6:35 teaches that God is KIND to the unthankful and the evil. That is quite remarkable. God commands us to love our enemies, which He does Himself. God isn't asking us to do something that He doesn't do Himself. Calvinists (followers of the heretic John Calvin, 1509-1564) foolishly teach that God hates sinners. Biblically, God hates the sin, but not the sinner. John 3:16 plainly teaches, “For God so loved the world...” God would be hypocritical to tell us to forgive if He didn't forgive, and to tell us to love our enemies if He didn't love His enemies. Hatred is a heavy burden to live with.

God's sovereign guidance and divine providence had caused Joseph to rise from being a slave in prison to becoming governor over all of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh himself. God prospered Joseph. Now Joseph sees his brothers after 20 years and wonders if they have changed, or if they're the same hateful men with evil hearts as in the past?

Perhaps you may contact a medical clinic as a prospective new patient. They are a bit cold and unwelcoming on the phone. You naturally may wonder if they really care about you as a person, or truly want to you as a new patient. So you kindly inform them that you're still considering another clinic before making a final decision. You're wanting to see if they really value you as a new patient, and if they're going to show any desire to have you as a new patient. If they don't, you're likely going to go elsewhere where they make you feel welcomed. It's your money and your health. You want to go where you're appreciated since you have a choice.

Honestly, we are living in frustrating times, when it's becoming increasingly difficult to find people who really care. I went into a Vietnamese restaurant the other day and their bathroom was filthy. Their food is good but I am leery of a restaurant that won't keep a clean bathroom. As a Christian I try to live by The Golden Rule in Mathew 7:12, that is, DO UNTO OTHERS AS YOU WOULD HAVE THEM DO UNTO YOU. I pickup up the paper off the floor. It was a terrible mess. I won't even describe what I found. I cleaned it up! I cleaned up someone else's filth. At least there was soap so I could clean up the place with the soap. It's my job as a Christian to look out for others. Few people would ever clean up a restaurant's bathroom, but I do! I want to be different! I get really lonely being the only one who seems to care sometimes. I know that there are many Christians who do care, but sometimes they're few and far between.

I Don't Want To Be Like Everyone Else

Dr. Jack Hyles once preached a sermon titled, “The Sin Of Being Mediocre.” It's a sin to be average if we can do better. Since most people don't care, I have to care more. Since most people go easy on sin, I have to go harder on sin! I have to make an “A” because most people are scoring a “F,” not even saved. I don't want to be average. I want to do more good, because most people do less good. I want to help others more, because most people don't care. Many people these days are depressed and disinhearted because of the lack of concern in people. Knowing that, I try to be the exception. I want people to be surprised that I do care. I want people to feel good when they realize that there are still caring people in this world, and I want Christ to be glorified with the gospel. I want to give more for God. Most people don't care in this partying generation. Lewdness and immorality are everywhere. Wickedness abounds. We are living in the end times, in the times of the toes of iron and clay on Nebuchadnezzar's golden image.

When I go to the grocery store, I always grab an empty shopping cart left in the parking lot and bring it back into the store. Why grab a new cart in the store when I can bring one back in from the parking lot? If everyone was as considerate, there wouldn't be dozens of shopping carts sitting in the store's parking lot all the time. After a music concert at the local park, garbage is everywhere when the crowd disperses. People just throw their garbage on the ground. This is expected of people anywhere you go. Human nature is just selfish, selfish, selfish! As a Christian, the Lord has made me different, and I rejoice in the presence of the Lord's Spirit in me. If you are a Christian, then you are different too, if you let the Lord make you different.

Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Christ liveth in me! The Lord cares, and if we yield to His Spirit in us, then He will care through us. When I am considerate and do good, it is the Lord living through me. Christ's goodness compels me to help others. If it were not for the Lord Jesus Christ, then no believer would care. The Lord is good, and He lives through the believer.

Sinful pride abounds. Most people who are religious have no idea what it truly means to be a born-again Christian. They're unsaved, arrogant and really don't want the Lord Jesus Christ. I witnessed to one Catholic woman who plainly stated that she “doesn't want to get into it that much” when I asked her if she had ever been born again. She wants her superficial Catholic religion, where you live like the Devil all month and then confess to a priest once in a while to make it all right (so they errantly think). That priest is saturated with sins himself, so he cannot forgive you at all. Only God can forgive sins, through faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

You may attend a church and give your name and contact information to the pastor. You really want to join the church, but you want to see if the pastor really cares and wants you in his church. If you don't hear back, you're likely not to go back. As the saying goes, People don't care what you know until they know that you care! You may give him the benefit of the doubt, that perhaps he lost your information, so you visit one more time, but don't give the information unless asked (since you already gave it once). You likely won't go back if you don't feel welcomed and understandably so. The Lord Himself pretended that He was going to leave, when in reality He very much desired to stay. Jesus wanted to see if they really wanted Him to stay, because He didn't want to impose on them. You can tell when someone really cares! People are not going to go where they are not welcomed. It's important that we make others feel welcomed at church, invite them back, remember their name(s) and let them know that they are valuable as people.

Jesus had a tender heart, as we will also have if we walk close to the Lord. No one who is mean, a bully or insulting has a close walk with God. The Bible says concerning Christ in Matthew 11:29,“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” The Lord, while on the cross, expressed concern for his mother. Jesus thought on the needs and things of others. John 19:26-27, “When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.”

We learn in the Bible that Jesus thought on the things of others. Philippians 2:3-4, “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” If we are to have the same mind of Christ, then we must think about the burdens, needs and concerns of others. It's a wonderful life to live moment-by-moment looking for ways to do nice things, show concern and help others. It's the greatest hobby you can have, that is, looking for ways to make people happy and brighten their day, lighten their load and encourage them to draw nearer to God. 2nd Timothy 3:1-5 foretells that in the last days people will become selfish, self-centered, self-righteous and lovers of themselves. Most of today's retarded music being targeted at teenagers is totally saturated with selfishness, arrogant pride and devilish worldliness.

Here are some of the lyrics from Walt Disney's disgusting Chelsea Kane (Staub) singing, “It's All About Me”...

It's all about me
It's all about me (Oh yeah)
Me, myself and I
It's all about me

Self has no place in the Christian life. God never rewards anyone for selfishness. Television is saturated these days with umpteen advertisements for spoiling your pets. Everything from pet toys to 100% pure foods is being advertised for dogs and cats. Yet not a word is said about saving the 4,000 children who are mercilessly and needlessly butchered every day in abortuaries all across America (and may I say, sinfully). Exodus 20:13 commands, THOU SHALT NOT KILL! All we see is sincere concern for our dogs and cats, but no concern is shown for our children in the womb. While dog foods are advertised that contain 100% pure beef, our children are eating Totinos pizzas with sodium aluminum phosphate and a ton of other hazardous chemicals. It's insane!

IT'S ALL ABOUT ME! People love their pets more than their children. No one gets upset over photos of aborted babies, but just dare to show a mangled puppy and everyone goes ballistic!!! Kill a kitten and prepare for war from the court of public opinion, but cut off a human fetus's head and no one cares. People are leaving their estates and fortunes to their pets in their legal will, while human beings are homeless (families included) under the city of Las Vegas and across the country.

The Lord Is Meek And Lowly

Matthew 11:29,“Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

The word “meek” is the Greek praos and means “gentle, that is, humble. ” The word “lowly” is the Greek word tapeinos and means “Of uncertain derivation; depressed, that is, (figuratively) humiliated (in circumstances or disposition): base, cast down, humble, of low degree (estate), lowly.” We find further explanation of this Scripture in Philippians 2:2-3, “Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” If the Lord can esteem others better than Himself, than so can we. Americans are notorious for being thin-skinned (easily offended and holding a permanent grudge - James 5:19; Matthew 18:22; Romans 12:19). The Lord wasn't pompous, arrogant and self-willed as are so many professed Christians these days. The Lord wasn't a highbrow, high-minded and lofty preacher as are the Charismatic televangelists tarnishing the testimony of Christianity worldwide.

The Bible teaches in Matthew 11:29 that Jesus is lowly and meek, that is, He is gentle, easy to get along with, very understanding, loving and patient, and he has a very humble personality about Him. The Lord is very low-minded, quiet and not forceful in His opinions. The Lord won't force Himself on anyone. Jesus “made as though He would have gone further” in His wonderful humility and kindness. Ladies and gentleman, Jesus is the most wonderful individual that you'll ever meet. Are you trusting on Him for your salvation? I sure hope so! I am! I know, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that I am going to heaven when I die. How do I know? I once had an Islamic Muslim call me arrogant for saying that “I KNOW” I am going to heaven. So how do I know?

1st John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may KNOW that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”

We can KNOW because eternal life is the gift of God, paid for by Jesus' precious blood. Salvation is NOT achieved, it is received. We don't earn or merit our way to heaven; but rather, we simply receive what Christ has done for us on Calvary, believing the gospel (good news) that Jesus DIED, was BURIED and RESURRECTED three days later (1st Corinthians 15:1-4).

I wonder how many believers today, if they were in the same situation, would have said, “See ya Jesus!” Those disciples hadn't recognized Jesus yet. The reason why they invited the man to stay was because the Scriptures burned within their heart as He spoke (Luke 24:32). Many believers don't enjoy talking about the Word of God, because they don't love the truth as they should. I think many believers today would have been glad to see the man leave. These disciples loved the Scriptures and wanted to hear more. May we all be receptive to the Lord's working in our heart through the Holy Spirit of God, burning the Scriptures within our heart.

So the next time that you find yourself wondering if someone really wants you as a customer, or a friend, or a member, or whatever... Jesus experienced the same exact feelings and MADE AS THOUGH HE WOULD HAVE GONE FURTHER! The Lord is a friend Who understands what we are going through. The Lord knows our needs and afflictions. He cares about our burdens (1st Peter 5:7). The question is do we have the faith to cast our burdens and concerns upon the Lord, trusting Him to guide and help us as He hath promised in the Bible? I do, and I hope you do as well. We all need the Lord. It's not an option, but a command. I am so glad that I have found the Lord. He was there all the time, but until you turn off the radio, TV and get alone by yourself, you'll never hear that still, small, quiet, voice of God which speaks to us through the holy Scriptures of the King James Bible.

The Lord will not force Himself into your life. The Bible plainly teaches in James 4:8 that if we will draw nigh (near) unto God as believers, then He will draw nigh unto us as well. Ephesians 2:13, “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” It was by our physical birth that we were brought nigh unto our earthly parents. Likewise, it is by our spiritual birth (i.e., being born-again, the second birth) that we are brought nigh unto God by the blood of Jesus. Then, as God's child, we draw nigh unto God with a pure heart, clean living, tuning our joy into sorrow and yielding to the leading of the Spirit as James 4:6-17 teaches. It is important that we don't attempt to draw nigh unto God as believers by our own self-righteousness; but rather, it is Christ Who lives the Christian life through us as we yield to His Spirit's guidance in accordance with the holy Scriptures.

The fact that the Lord “made as though He would have gone further” reveals volumes about Christ's character. When the Lord preached, He was bold and “never man spake like this man” (John 7:46). The Lord spoke with authority, because the Word of God is authoritative. Jesus is the living Word (John 1:1-3,14; Revelation 19:13). The Bible is the written Word (Matthew 4:4; 2nd Timothy 3:16). No one can become familiar with the Lord Jesus Christ who doesn't want to become familiar with the written Words of God. It is impossible! When anyone speaks about Jesus, without teaching from the Scriptures, they are a fraudulent false prophet!

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