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  • Post published:March 15, 2024

There are many words I love to speak and hear spoken, but there is one simple phrase that elicits a special thrill: “Walk with me.” It makes me feel like a kid again when my friends would come to the house and shout, “Come out and play.” With each invitation, I bolted out the door knowing anything could happen that might bring pleasure or danger, and for me, growing up, there was plenty of both.

Such an invitation was given to Abraham, through whom the nation of Israel would come into existence. Yahweh said to Abraham, “Come out. Walk with me.” It was an invitation to leave behind everything and everyone he knew and take a new trail with new landscape, new skies, and new companions. All that was familiar and comfortable would be abandoned, yet for Abraham the invitation was irresistible.

Some two thousand years later Jesus made a similar invitation to a couple of guys walking a familiar road after the Passover celebration in Jerusalem. The two men were discussing what had taken place in the city and how they had assumed a big change was coming in the fortunes of Israel. These two had put their hopes on a “prophet, powerful in word and deed…,” who they believed would set Israel free from oppression. Instead, the prophet was crucified.

They did not realize Easter had come. They did not realize that Easter was walking beside them. “Walk with me,” Jesus offered, and they did. The story reveals that the two men had no idea as to the identity of their companion. They accepted the invitation of a stranger. Turned out this unknown person was a master teacher who put into context all the biblical writings “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets,” as to why this “powerful prophet” they were lamenting had been crucified.

The traveling lecture given by a mysterious stranger along a hot, dusty trail proved life changing for these two men. And it began with a simple invitation to walk.