Do we recognize Jesus when He speaks with us?

By Doug Lehman

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).

First steps. They are a milestone new parents celebrate with amazement, joy, calls to the grandparents, social media posts, many videos. . . we could go on. The first step represents a breakthrough into a new season of life. But it amazes me how quickly a child, after taking just one step, begins moving so fast! A few short weeks later, the proud parents who are trying to keep up with the youngster are in good enough shape to run a marathon, albeit having suffered a few broken vases, bumps, bruises, and “painted” walls.


We read about the two disciples of Jesus in Luke 24 who had just taken their first post-resurrection steps. Their words to the mystery guest who began walking with them, after initially describing Jesus were, “But we had hoped” (Luke 24:21). These words were loaded with disappointment and regret. They were still stuck in the past and dare we say, whining, about what they thought should have happened. They expected Jesus to be the Messiah who would rescue Israel. Jesus did come to rescue, but it had not occurred to them that His idea of rescue would be different from what they envisioned.

These two disciples had been with Jesus for several years. They had watched Jesus die. They had heard about the empty grave. Now, Jesus began to teach them from the Scriptures about Himself. But it wasn’t until they broke bread with Jesus that they recognized Him.

What about us? Do we recognize Jesus when He speaks with us?

What about when the plans we have collide with reality? When the things we expect do not work out? How do we respond? With anger? Denial? Depression? The writer of Proverbs writes that “hope deferred makes a heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12).

Hope Colliding with Reality?

When my hope has collided with my reality, I have often found myself broken. Why does it often take moments of brokenness for us to recognize Jesus? Interestingly, it took the breaking of bread for these two disciples to recognize Jesus.

Unknowingly, these disciples were taking baby steps toward the truth because Jesus, who is the Truth, pursued them. They stopped for the truth. They listened to the truth, even when it collided with their desires. They invited the truth into their home and they responded to the truth when they recognized Him.

Steps toward Jesus

What baby steps do you need to take toward Jesus (The Truth) today? The only way to the Father, the only way to healing, the only way to a confident hope, the only way to dreams fulfilled, as these disciples discovered, is to step toward Jesus.Within fifty days these disciples would go from tentative baby steps to a full-blown sprint. Take a baby step today, and maybe another step tomorrow. Imagine Jesus, just like a parent, kneeling and holding out His arms as He encourages you with these words: “You can do it, come here, trust me!”

About Doug Lehman

Doug and his wife, Jen, planted Overflow Community Church in 2006 where Doug continues to serve as lead elder. He is also the apostolic team leader for DOVE International’s growing network of churches in South Central Asia. Doug enjoys coaching basketball, spending time with his family, starting new ventures, and creating opportunities for others to fulfill their potential in Christ.