After a very traumatic weekend with the death and resurrection of Jesus, Luke 24:13-25 tells us about two disciples of Jesus who started to head home from Jerusalem to Emmaus which was a seven-mile journey. As they walked, they were having a debate about the events they had experienced.
At that moment, Jesus approached them and began walking with them to their village. He asked what they were discussing and that led to what I am sure was a profound discussion!
As unfathomable as the details are related to who Jesus is and what his death and resurrection accomplished, I was intrigued by a secondary issue in verses 28-29 which says,
“So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.’ So he went in to stay with them.”
It appears that the two disciples had reached the turnoff for their home and Jesus acted as though he would go on alone without them. Why would Jesus do that? Why would he give the impression that he was going to continue on his journey?
Jesus was giving them the chance to express their desire to want to know him better rather than assume that was true or force them to spend time with him. As a result, these disciples responded to his action by taking the initiative to continue their discussion by inviting him to their home.
What does this tell us about Jesus?
Jesus does not force himself upon any of us. He has made a relationship possible for all of us but he awaits our invitation to pursue and develop that relationship. He wants a relationship with those who want one with him.
Klaus Issler describes this concept when he says,
Perhaps God could have designed humans so that our hardware and software programming would cause us to love him, so that we would automatically love God whether we wanted to or not. Yet what permeates a friendship relationship is a voluntary and mutual decision for each other. God could have a made a toy factory in which all believers mechanically proclaimed prerecorded praises. Pull the string and we chirp in unison, “I love you, God,” “I thank you, God.” But a genuine relationship must be entered into freely and not under coercion of will.
Father, you want to have a relationship with me and have provided for that possibility at great personal cost. Thank you for helping me see that you are always waiting for my invitation to develop my relationship with you. I do want to know you better and ask that you would help me do that. Let me not take you for granted and enable me to make you a priority in my life.
Following Jesus with you,
 Klaus Issler. Wasting Time with God: A Christian Spirituality of Friendship with God (Kindle Locations 1432-1435). Kindle Edition.