Luke 24:15, 36
What music rings in our hearts at the sound of that name! Its fragrance and fullness gladden the believer, it ever brings His greatness and grace to the mind.
The double nominative, “Jesus Himself,” emphasizes the fact of our Lord’s actual presence with His disciples after His resurrection. The Son of God, the One who in lowly grace during His earthly ministry, had companied with His disciples; the One upon whom their hopes had been set as the long-looked-for Redeemer of Israel, the One who had been taken and with wicked hands had been crucified and slain. Yes, He Himself was risen and showing His delight in the company of His own.
Two of His followers sad at heart and discouraged because their hopes had been blasted by His death, are found journeying to their home. Cast down and distressed, they speak of the things which had happened three days before. They wonder what all “these things” can mean, and as they wonder they are troubled. A stranger drawing near to them goes with them on their way. They know Him not, but it is “Jesus Himself.”
Then conversing with them He causes their heart to burn as He shows to them that it was necessary “that the Christ should suffer,” that the testimony of the prophets had been that there must be the suffering first before the Messiah could enter into His glory. And “Beginning at Moses and the prophets He expound to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.”
JESUS HIMSELF, IN THE SCRIPTURES, is the key of them, He is their theme. The Word of God does not circle about us, it circles about the Lord Jesus. He is the centre of the thoughts of God and of all His purposes. He is the One of Whom the Scriptures always testified. “They speak of Me,” He said.
But if we read them to learn of Christ there, we shall find that our blessing is linked up with Himself, for we are bound up in the same bundle of life with Him, the Lord our God.
It was Jesus Himself of the Scriptures who was with these disciples on the road, in the time of their trial and sorrow and doubts and fears, so He is with us in all our pathway today. May we yearn for a realization of His company and cry, “Blessed Companion, be Thou with us in our journey of life on earth, and make our hearts to burn and our lives to glow as Thou walkest and talkest with us.”
JESUS HIMSELF ON THE ROAD will brighten our onward, upward, homeward, heavenward way.
When they drew near to their house He made as though He would have gone further. He would not force Himself upon them as their guest. But they constrained Him, saying, The day is far spent, Come in and abide with us. And may we not say that our Lord loves to be constrained? He desires to dwell in our hearts, to have His place there. And much we miss if He does not abide with us in our hearts and in our homes. The two of Emmaus would have been losers indeed if He had gone further. In answer to their pressed invitation, however, He went in to tarry with them. So we view. . .
JESUS HIMSELF IN THE HOME.
How blessed to know Him there, having Him make Himself known to us. In what way it was that He revealed Himself to them in the breaking of bread we are not informed. But thus it was. To their gladdened hearts He was manifested.
And His promise stands firm for us today, “if a man love Me, he will keep My word, and My Father will love Him, and We will come unto him and make Our abode with him” (John 14:23).
In view of these lukewarm days of the Church’s history, when in difference to Himself prevails, He says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in unto him and sup with him, and he with Me.” He would have us open the door to Him that He may enter in and stay with us.
“The latch is on our side of the door.” He does not force an entrance. But Christ in the heart and home will have a transforming, glorifying power, making the commonest things radiant by His presence.
The effect upon the two disciples was immediate. Jesus vanished out of their sight. He was gone, but did they not know where He was likely to be found? Probably this was in their thoughts, but in any case they determined to seek the company of others of His loved ones without a moment of delay. And thus it was that the eight mile return journey to Jerusalem was taken at once. The remembrance that it was “towards evening” was no longer in their thoughts. Knowing where the disciples would be found, they were as soon as possible in their company. There they learned that others of them had seen the Lord. “The Lord is risen indeed and hath appeared unto Simon,” they were told. (What grace is here. He had manifested Himself to Simon in order to recover the repentant saint who had denied Him so recently and so repeatedly. And thus Simon was there in the company gathered.)
When all were rejoicing together, then suddenly. . .
JESUS HIMSELF IN THE MIDST was heard saying, “Peace unto you.”
“Jesus Himself in the Scriptures,” “Jesus Himself on the road,” “Jesus Himself in the home,” and now Jesus Himself in the assembly of His loved ones. He had said, prophetically, “In the midst of the assembly will I praise Thee,” and it is the same today. His heart is where His loved ones are and there He gives His presence. Does He not say, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name there am I in the midst of them”?
The two to whom the Lord had manifested Himself personally, sought out the disciples to find common joy with them and they were not disappointed. They contributed what they knew of Him whom their soul loved. And they were contributed to by the others. While mutually rejoicing thus the Lord made His presence and His peace known to them afresh. And so it is today. The faith of believers is strengthened by spiritual intercourse. We are losers ourselves and others lose if we do not assemble ourselves to exhort and edify one another and to praise and worship our Lord.
Turning to the last chapter of our Bible we find One addressing us just before the Book of inspiration closes.
JESUS HIMSELF IN GLORY is the Speaker. But no longer is it He presented historically, it is “I, JESUS.” He is now in the glory of God. Yet still He is “the Same.” “This Same Jesus,” as the angels said at His ascension. The Companion of the road. The Guest in the home. The Lord in His assembly. He is the Bridegroom in the glory. The same glorious One all the way through.
From the glory of God He speaks to comfort the hearts of His own as they have to travel through the dark hours of His rejection. “I am the Bright and Morning Star.” He shines to lighten the gloom of the toilsome way. He is coming again, and “Behold, I come quickly!” is His promise.
And “the Spirit and the Bride” utter the cry of welcome, “Come.” Answering their cry He responds, “Yea, I come quickly.” To this the hearts of those who know Him exclaim, “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”
We are to be with Him for ever at His glorious coming. Then “JESUS HIMSELF” will be our delight eternally.