“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.”
It was the first day of the week, and had been three days and nights since the brutal crucifixion of Christ. Two disciples were dejectedly walking the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus – a journey of about seven and a half miles. As they journeyed together, discussing the events of recent days, Jesus joined them and began to walk with them, without disclosing His identity. When they explained to this unknown Companion the reason they were so sad, He began to teach them from the prophets truths about Himself; “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Our text tells us that when they drew near to their destination, Jesus “made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us.” At their insistence, Jesus “went in to tarry with them.” As He sat with them, breaking bread and giving thanks, their eyes were opened to understand that their new Friend was indeed the Savior. Jesus would have gone further down the road, leaving the company of the disciples, had they not invited Him to abide with them. This was not the only time in the Scriptures when we find our Lord responding this way. The disciples were in a storm on the sea, and Jesus came to them walking on the water. The Bible says He would have passed by, but they cried out to Him.
What a practical lesson about the nature of God and what He wants from us. He wants us to want His presence in our lives. Obviously, we know that when a person is converted, Christ indwells him; God promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us. Jesus says that He will be with us always, but He still wants us to desire His fellowship. As with the disciples in our text, as they strode along the road to Emmaus, He wants to hear us say, “Abide with us.” Jesus does not force His fellowship on us. He wants to be an invited guest into our conversations and lifestyle. He wants to feel welcome in the daily affairs of our lives.