The Encounter is a 2011 Christian film. The role of Jesus, in modern dress, appearing at a diner in modern-day America, is played by Bruce Marchiano who played Jesus in The Visual Bible: Matthew
It follows 5 strangers living in California: Nick, a former NFL player and owner of a chain of burger restaurants; Hank and Catherine, whose marriage is falling apart; Melissa, a Christian on the way to visit her boyfriend (who is an atheist), and Kayla, a hitchhiker escaping her horrible living conditions in Los Angeles. When a detour road is closed off, the 5 are stranded in a diner with its omnipresent owner, who discreetly reveals himself to be Jesus, and attempts to help each of the patrons to face the truth in hizzer life, particularly its dark side, to seek repentance and go for reconciliation.
Along with serving them, Jesus helps Hank and Catherine re-establish dialogue as a couple, helps Melissa think of the long-term difficulties she will face in a relationship, and marriage, with her boyfriend who is a non-believer, and helps Kayla find in her heart the strength to forgive her abusive stepfather, despite everything he has done.
Each patron at the diner ends up being either born again or is brought to a life-changing decision except for Nick, whose pride and selfishness block him and cause him to reject all questioning of his lifestyle and purpose, in spite of acknowledging having been deeply loved by his grandmother. Officer Deville (the police officer who first informed the patrons of the road being closed off) returns and tells everyone that the road has been re-opened. Nick happily leaves with Deville, who gloats that he has “taken one” from Jesus, who counters that he has “saved four”.
As the other patrons leave the diner, they learn from an officer on the road that the road is closed again, because of a serious car accident. They learn that Nick was involved in the crash, which killed him instantly. He also reveals that he has never heard of a Police Officer named ‘Deville’. Then Kayla realizes that Deville is actually the Devil in disguise based on the pronunciation of his surname.
The next day, Hank and Catherine find that the diner has mysteriously vanished, possibly because Jesus has managed to accomplish his mission of turning their lives around. In Thailand, Jesus shows up as a waiter, alluding to the 2012 sequel film, The Encounter: Paradise Lost.