Making Disciples

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Seeing the Big Picture

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Ed Lutz
Next Steps Pastor

33 And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. - Luke 24:33-35

As he boarded the plane, Nicholas was filled with excitement as well as a little trepidation. He had never before been on an airplane. In fact, he had not even left his small village. And in this moment, as he took his seat next to his adoptive parents, his “forever family” as the orphanage called them, he knew life in America was going to be far better than he had experienced in his impoverished country. Sure, he would miss his friends, but he knew he would make new ones. After all, his life had a continual state of adjustment to this point. He was eight years old and had seen more of the dark side of life than most adults. But he had not seen everything.

As the plane lifted off the runway, a new world began to appear out the window. First, he saw runway below, then the trees on the hillsides, and soon the coastline. But then, seemingly out of nowhere, the vastness of the ocean below completely filled his small window, and for the first time Nicholas realized he had lived on an island. From the plane, he was seeing the big picture.

In Luke 24, on the original Easter Sunday, two men encountered Jesus as they were returning home from Jerusalem to the village of Emmaus. Interestingly, their eyes were kept from recognizing him (v. 16). As they dialogued with the Lord and recounted the events of crucifixion and resurrection, they were drawn to this “stranger” in a profound way, and as he taught them the Scriptures and shared a meal with him, their eyes were opened and they recognized the Lord and their hearts burned within them (v. 32). They had finally understood the “big picture” of God’s plan as foretold in the Scriptures and was now visible to them in the person of Jesus Christ. 

What was their response?  “And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, ‘The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!’ Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread” (vv, 33-35).

Instead of being tired and ready for bed, these two believers were now energized; they had a story to tell and they could not wait until morning. They fully understood the plan of God and knew their calling was to intentionally make disciples. Seeing the big picture brought profound clarity to the mission of God (cf. Matthew 28:18-20).

Let’s ask these questions to help us understand the big picture of what it means to live on mission as a Jesus follower:

  • How has Jesus Christ made himself known to me this past week?
  • What events have occurred in my life that were difficult at the time, but now I see that God used them to build my trust and to understand his plan?
  • God does not always reveal his plan (Deuteronomy 29:29). What are some promises of God that help me trust him even when I do not understand why things happen as they do?
  • With whom can I share how God moved in my life over the past week and the lessons I have learned as a way to encourage them?
  • Is there an individual with whom I have a relationship that I can approach about being in a discipleship relationship?

Prayer: Father, help me to remember that you know all things and that you love me as your child.  When I get discouraged, may I cast my cares on you and trust that there is bigger plan than what I currently understand. Lord, I especially thank you that you revealed the plan of salvation through Jesus Christ to me. May I continually follow Jesus and be bold in proclaiming the hope of salvation to others. I want to be a faithful disciple who teaches others to obey all that Jesus has revealed to us. Amen.

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