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The Unknown Stranger

Luke 11:28 “But Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hear the teaching of God and obey it.”

There was a resort on a small coast needing to find ways to raise money to keep the resort open. The town finally called the town meeting where most of the town gathered to voice their opinions. Included at this meeting was a stranger no one knew.

As the meeting went into full swing voices tried to be heard over others, everyone seemed to have their solution. The stranger too tried to speak about the various projects being considered but kept getting interrupted. Eventually he gave up and left the meeting.

As the stranger was leaving a latecomer came running into the room out of breath, “What was he doing here? Is he going to help us?”

Confused the rest asked who the latecomer was talking about.

“You mean you don't know? That was John D. Rockefeller who left the meeting. His yacht is in the harbor. Didn't you get his help?”

This true story illustrates a few things and reminds me of a story in the Bible.

Remember the road to Emmaus? After the death of Jesus two men who followed Jesus, Cleopas, we know was one of them, were walking to Emmaus. Both men were upset about Jesus’ death and caught up in their own thoughts and grief. As they walked Jesus joined them, but they did not know Him as they were too busy being sad. Jesus even engages them in conversation speaking about what He had done through His ministry. Reaching the home they were staying at for the evening, they invite the stranger to join them for supper. It wasn't until Jesus blessed the food that the men finally recognized who Jesus was and by then Jesus was again gone. How sad it was for those two men who had the opportunity to again speak and learn from Jesus but were caught up in their own selves and grief and they didn’t recognize the stranger among them until it was too late.

The first story shows us that there are times we get so caught up in trying to find our own solutions to problems that we drown out the voice of Jesus. He may be trying to help us, but we are so caught up in the ‘I can do it’ mentality that we don't recognize His voice. He simply becomes another voice in the crowd. The difference, unlike Rockefeller, Jesus won't give up and walk out. Jesus will keep trying, He will continue to show you ways and open doors. But if you're too caught up in your own ways you will miss Him and the wonderful opportunities He is giving.

The two men on the road shows us that there will be times we will be sad and grieving. But if we choose to dwell in our own problems and feelings, we will miss Jesus standing right by our side showing us the good even among the bad. We all need to grieve, it is part of the healing process, but we also need to be aware of those around us to encourage and help us through.

Lastly, let's not forget the last lesson we can learn. Jesus has said, show hospitality to strangers because you never know when you could be entertaining angels- Hebrews 13:2. Never forget to welcome strangers when they visit. Had the town taken a moment to welcome Rockefeller they would probably have found a helpful quick solution to their financial troubles. Had the two men looked and truly acknowledged the stranger who joined them they probably would have recognized their Savior and found the comfort they longed for. You may never become their best friend and they could just be passing through yet a simple hi or welcome could open doors that are closed and your smile could make a world of difference to the stranger.

Today, no matter if you're caught up in trying to find solutions to a problem or sad or grieving, listen to the voice of our Savior. Be still and let Him reach you, talk to you and share with you. No other opinion or solution can never yield more positive results than His.

I hope you have found time in your busy schedules to further your Bible reading with Jesus. I know it can be difficult and we all have so much to do, but when we slow down enough to open the Bible just a little longer and let the Holy Spirit lead, we can find so many treasures God has set before us in the words. We can find hope, encouragement, strength, guidance, peace and so much more. There are several Bible reading plans and lessons you can find when you look but I have found some and have been encouraging my readers to join me as we take the journey together through scripture.

We are continuing right now through 1 Peter and have already read a few other books of the Bible. I have found some wonderful short lessons to go along with them to help enhance our study. Each blog will have the lesson for the day and if you have joined me and are following along we are reading 1 Peter 3:13-17 today and the link with the lesson follows this. If you want to find the rest of the links to this study just go through the last several blogs and they are towards the bottom or you are free to contact me through my many medias.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and if you'd like take a few more minutes to look around or click on my other links, God bless.

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