If You’re Downcast, You’ve Shut Your Spiritual Eyes
“They stood still, their faces downcast.” Luke 24:17 NIV
In Luke 24, two disciples are were walking together and talking about all the events that had taken place in Jerusalem with the death of Jesus. As they walked Jesus comes alongside and joins them. But the two disciples fail to recognize Jesus in His spiritual body. Jesus asks what they are talking about. Note their response from the verse above.
This demonstrates where their hearts were. They had lost hope and were in despair. That which they had put their hope in (that Jesus was the redeemer of Israel), appeared to be false. At the query by Jesus, they stopped walking and their body language revealed their defeat.
Let’s go back for a moment and recall that they did not recognize Jesus when He came up to them. It is hard for us to understand how they could fail to recognize Him. These were followers of Jesus and had most likely seen Him often. Jesus should have been very familiar to them. They had also heard Him speak, so even if they failed to recognize His appearance, they should have identified Him when He spoke to. But all the time that He walked with them they failed to understand who He was. Amazing!
But it is understandable when you consider why they failed to recognize Him. It is the same reason that we often fail to recognize His presence in our situations. The things of the spirit realm can never be discerned by the flesh, only by the spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:14 shows this clearly: “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
These two disciples were not looking with spiritual eyes at the circumstances unfolding around them. They only saw the situation through natural eyes. They were blinded to the revelation that Jesus, whom they desired, was right there with them at the moment that they so needed Him. Their spiritual eyes were shut tight so when they were reminded of their circumstances, they were crestfallen. When we are downcast and defeated that is evidence that we are not looking at things with hope and faith. It demonstrates that we have blinded our spiritual eyes.
As the disciples reach their destination watch what happens in verses 28-29: 28”As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.”
Jesus would have kept right on walking even though the two were stopping. He never imposes Himself on any of us but waits to be invited in. If they had not invited Jesus to stay they would have missed the revelation of who He was, and the restored hope they did receive a few verses later. Jesus is the same today. He will not force Himself into our situations. He awaits the invitation. Is your head downcast today? If you are frustrated today because of circumstances in your life look up to Him. At a simple invitation, you will free Jesus to enter your situation and lead you to the victory.
J Todd Hostetler