In the days following Jesus’ resurrection, we read in Luke 24 about His appearance to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. In that story, we learn about their discussions and about the dinner these disciples had with Jesus. We read of their breaking of bread and their ultimate realization that they’d been speaking to Jesus in the flesh all along. The moments following that dinner were filled with excitement as those disciples rushed to tell others what happened. But as we look back on their joy from that dinner with Jesus, there’s something important to remember – Jesus wouldn’t have gone if He hadn’t gotten an invitation.
After their discussion on their walk, Luke 24:28 tells us that when Jesus and the two disciples reached Emmaus, Jesus was planning to keep on walking. However, it was only after the disciples invited Him to dinner that He actually changed his plans and went to eat with them. It’s interesting to ponder where Jesus had planned to go next or what He had next on his calendar after leaving Emmaus. But one thing’s for sure – He went where He was invited. Who doesn’t like getting an invitation? Whether it’s an invitation to a party, a wedding, or simply an invitation for dinner, invitations make us feel special and they make us feel wanted. Jesus, having been a human like us, was no different. In fact, in Revelation 3:20, Jesus tells his followers that “I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” Jesus likes getting invitations, and if He’s invited, you can count on Him being there.
When the disciples on the road to Emmaus invited Jesus for dinner, Jesus didn’t hesitate to change His plans to join them. Whatever He may have had next on His to-do list, it wasn’t more important than spending time with His people. Because those disciples invited Him, Jesus felt wanted, and He was thrilled to spend time with people who wanted Him around. He could care less about the meal or the accommodations; He was simply overjoyed to have an invitation. And as it turns out, by inviting Jesus over, those disciples were more blessed than they ever dreamt they’d be.
Have you invited Jesus over lately? Sure, we don’t see Jesus in the flesh like the disciples did in this story, but that doesn’t mean Jesus isn’t around. And it doesn’t mean He’s not waiting for your invitation. Just as Jesus said in Revelation 3:20 to his followers 2,000 years ago, Jesus has the same message for us. If we open the door and invite Him in, He’ll come in and dine with us.
Inviting Jesus over can take different forms. Maybe it’s setting an extra place for Him at your dinner table, putting an empty chair next to you when you’re praying, or even going for a walk with Him. Whatever the case, when you make a place for Him and invite Him to join you, you’ll realize that Jesus is a lot closer to you than you thought. You’ll find that He knows and cares about your daily life. You might also sense that He’s very human – eating leftovers and doing chores right along with you. And when you realize these things, you’ll start to feel the joy that the disciples in Emmaus felt – that your God, the man who died on the cross for your sins – loves you and is truly with you.
Like us, Jesus enjoys getting an invitation, but He won’t go where He’s not wanted. He is waiting for your invitation and He’s ready to change his plans to spend time with you. So invite Jesus over into your life and see what joy awaits you by having Him near.