“Stay With Us”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures.
28 They came near the village where they were going, and he gave the impression that he was going farther. 29 But they urged him, “Stay with us, because it’s almost evening, and now the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. Luke 24:25-29
Do you find it odd that two men wanted to spend more time with a Man who called them foolish and slow? I’m not sure about you, but when I get called names, I look for an “out” as soon as I can find one. Yet here is an account of two men inviting another man – Jesus – to stay at their home . . . after Jesus called both of them foolish and slow. (Granted, they didn’t know it was Jesus yet. . . but still.)
Luke 24:13-35 is a clinic on how to have honest conversations with outsiders.
Yes, Jesus calls them foolish and slow. He tells the truth. He calls it like it is. Though I don’t recommend calling people names, it is always right and wise to tell the truth. But Jesus didn’t stop at calling them out on their ignorance. He proceeded to tell them the beauty of what is theirs if they know and believe. Jesus didn’t just call them (truthful) names. He also told them how to have a relationship with God. He didn’t just tell them the Good News. He told them the truth about themselves.
We tend to do one or the other, don’t we? We like to call people names. We like to feel superior to other people. We like to call people out on their ignorance or stupidity. But rarely, if we are being honest, do we follow it up with Gospel explanation and love.
We also tend to help people see and know and feel the love of God in Christ. We want people to know this story. But we don’t help them see their need for it, or what needs to change as a result of receiving it. We don’t take the time to show them how they fit into the story of redemption. If we’re being honest, we tend to leave out the sharp edges when sharing.
Jesus did both. He told the hard truth and He told how it was possible for them to be God’s beloved child.
I don’t know, but I wonder if unchurched or outsiders would be more compelled to be around believers if we implemented both? I wonder if many are turned off by church due to the fact that on one extreme we blast those who aren’t like us (“You foolish and slow idiots! Get with the program!”); and on the other extreme we present a shallow, light, and fluffy gospel that makes little “real” sense?
I am not sure. But I do find it super interesting that this Man (Jesus), who called them both foolish and slow was invited to stick around longer. They weren’t eager to lose Him. They weren’t looking for an excuse to move Him along. They pleaded with Him to stay. It was in the staying, mind you, that He revealed Himself to them.
Could it be that when our speech and tone and behavior compels outsiders to actually want to be around us that Jesus reveals Himself to them?
Not sure. But why not give it a try? Perhaps your edges are too sharp and you need to soften it with love and grace. Or, perhaps your edges are too smooth and you need to soften it with more truth and reality. Or perhaps you just need to be a friend to an outsider and love them for who and where they are, asking Jesus to help you lead them to where He wants them to be.
Not sure. But why not give it a try?