Christians Conversing with Each Other
James Smith, 1860
Christian fellowship is a great privilege. But we too frequently nurse one another in our sad and gloomy feelings — instead of comforting and encouraging each other. We ought to speak one to another — and we ought to speak of subjects calculated to do each other good.
Jesus should be the great theme of our conversation. He is worthy of it, and speaking of him is likely to . . .
excite our love,
strengthen our faith, and
establish our souls in the truth.
Not only so — Jesus visits us when he himself is our theme, and blesses our fellowship. We have a notable instance of this, in the case of the two disciples who were traveling to Emmaus, "As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. He asked them, 'What are you discussing together as you walk along?' They stood still, their faces downcast." Luke 24:15-17
They were traveling on some business. They were conversing of what had taken place at Jerusalem. They were sad on account of what had happened. Their master had been put to death. Their little society had been broken up and dispersed. Their hopes were all blighted. The foundation on which they had been building for the future, was swept away. Unbelief had got a powerful hold on their minds.
No doubt Satan was tempting them, and suggesting evil thoughts to their minds. Perhaps he was persuading them that Jesus was a deceiver — or the Jews never could have crucified him. That his doctrines were not true, and that all his claims were unfounded.
Such thoughts would produce sad feelings within them, and they were sad. Sad, for they could not forget the sweet seasons they had enjoyed, the pleasant hours they had spent, in listening to his discourses, and witnessing his miracles. Sad, for they could not but contrast the happy past — with the dreary present, and the gloomy future. Sad, for they appeared to be left in doubt and uncertainty without a guide, or a suitable and sufficient friend.
In this state of mind, they walked along, until Jesus overtook them, listened to them, and said, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?" Jesus loves to hear his people tell him their troubles. He knew all that was in their hearts — and yet he asked to be informed. He shows his kindness too, in meeting with his people in sadness and sorrow, and inquiring about their troubles — that he may comfort and lift them up. Out of pure love, he asks to be informed of the cause of their grief, manifesting the deepest interest in their concerns — as one who would advise, relieve, or help them. What humility our risen Lord displayed, in his conduct toward these two disciples — and such humility he will display in his dealings with his people now, although he has entered into his glory.
Beloved, Jesus takes special notice of his people's conversation! He is always present with them, listening to them, and taking an interest in all that concerns them. We should therefore realize when we are together — that Jesus is present, and so speak to each other, as not to feel confused or ashamed, if he was visibly to appear. He would not be more really present if he did so, though the sight of him would more affect us!
How necessary therefore, that our conversation should be as befits saints, remembering that he has said, "As he who has called you is holy — so be holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, "Be holy; for I am holy." And again, "What manner of people ought you to be — in all holy conversation and godliness?" Did we rightly consider this, could we speak of each other, and against each other, as we do? Could we indulge so frequently in light, trifling, and foolish conversation? Should we not often think: I am speaking in the presence of Jesus, and am perhaps speaking improperly of one whom he loves and died for!
Let us expect Jesus to go with us on our journeys, and to meet us in our social circles. Let us so speak to each other, as not to be ashamed or afraid to answer the question if put to us, "What are you discussing together?"
O that Jesus would more frequently meet with us, when we meet each other; and talk with us along the way, of all that happened to him, and of all that concerns us!
"Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. 'They will be mine!' says the Lord Almighty, 'in the day when I make up my treasured possession!'" Malachi 3:16-17