Is God omnipotent? We answer, “Duh! Of course He is all powerful!”, but does He always exercise His ‘all powerfulness’?
Luke 24:13-35, “Now behold, two of them were travelling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.”
These verses are often part of the lectionary used on Resurrection (Easter) Sunday, showing the renewed living Jesus walking and talking with two of his disciples, though at first they did not recognise him in his perfected body. But look at the words, “He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him”. Visualise Jesus and the two disciples walking and talking as they travel the road towards Emmaus, then as they approach this town that the disciples had chosen as their destination for the day’s travel, they restrain him from travelling farther, and insist on halting their journey. Jesus is gracious and acquiesces to their request.
Despite the uplifting discourse and joy they were experiencing whilst in the presence of Jesus, the two disciples still sought to keep to their own itinerary. Did they choose to stop because of the ‘Law’ regarding the distance allowed for travelling in one day, or were they merely concerned with the desire to fill their stomachs. The question needs to be asked, “just how far, and to where would Jesus have led them if they went with him instead?” In Genesis Chapter 5 verses 22 to 24 we read, “After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” We do not hear of Enoch constraining God during his walk.