They drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. – Luke 24:28-29
Jesus’ encounter with the individuals on the Emmaus road started strangely, to say the least. He appeared suddenly. He kept His identity from them. He asked questions. He told them that they were “foolish … and slow of heart” (Luke 24:25)! Yet, as He’d gone through the Old Testament “interpret[ing] to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (v 27), their hearts had been stirred and set on fire (v 32).
It’s quite possible that the reason Jesus stopped this impromptu Bible study was that His fellow travelers had arrived at their destination. Darkness was coming, but He made as if to continue His journey. But these two disciples did not want to part from Him; they longed for this man to stay with them.
And so they gave Jesus an invitation. Indeed, they “urged him strongly” to remain with them. Without this invitation, Jesus would have kept going. And if Jesus had kept going, then these disciples would have missed the wonderful privilege of realizing that their teacher on the road, who to this point they had not recognized, was none other than the risen Lord Himself (Luke 24:31).
How often do we encounter Jesus along life’s journey and neglect to invite Him in? How often do we seek to do day-to-day life on our own, relying on our own efforts and ingenuity and sleepless anxiety to get us through? When was the last time you extended an invitation to Jesus, who knows all about your troubles, your pains, and your difficulties—the things that other people can’t know and can’t fix? The risen Christ comes and stands at the door and knocks (Revelation 3:20). Will you invite Him to come in and stay? Will you say, “Jesus, stay with me. I can’t do this on my own”? Doing so may well be the way that you get a fresh, heart-stirring glimpse of Jesus and His love for you.