May 8, 2011
“They said to each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was talking to us on the road, while He was opening the Scripture to us?'” (v. 32).
Wouldn’t you like to have been one of those two disciples on the road to Emmaus when Jesus suddenly joined their journey? What things He must have taught them as He surveyed the Hebrew Scripture! What wonderful insight they gained about how it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer death and then enter into His glory.
In a measure, we can join in that experience as we walk today with the living Lord. Look at what we can expect to happen in such a journey:
I. Our hearts will be aflame.
Two students of the Great Teacher from Galilee were walking home on the evening of the First Easter Sunday. They were downcast as they journeyed together the seven miles from Jerusalem to Emmaus. Their conversation, nevertheless, was lively as they discussed the events of recent days. Then from among the many pilgrims making their way home from the festival in Jerusalem, one joined them and asked, “What are these words which you throw down in front of each other as you walk along? (Author’s literal translation.)
The question probably stopped them momentarily in their tracks. Could even a newcomer to Jerusalem be unaware of the kangaroo court and mob murder of Jesus, the Nazarene? The one named Cleopas summarized the events and ended with no hiding of their disappointment because they had hoped Jesus would be the promised Messiah.
“O foolish ones!” began the stranger, and continued with a detailed survey of the Hebrew Bible about the teachings regarding Messiah. He stressed that a suffering Messiah was God’s plan all along, but also that the Messiah would rise from the grave and enter into His glory.
When they looked back on that walk, they would testify, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was talking to us on the road, while He was opening the Scripture to us?” (
Once while attending a denominational convention, my wife and I took our lunch break in a local restaurant with two other couples in the ministry. A group of about five or six ladies came in and were seated at the next table. We learned they were attending a gathering of Women Aglow. While our group talked about churches and denominational politics, they talked excitedly about walking with Jesus. I wished I could join their table and their conversation. Have you ever felt like that? Jesus sets hearts aglow.
II. Our eyes will be opened.
At their destination, they urged the stranger to share their evening meal. He who was the Living Bread walked and talked with them, and they did not know it. He broke for them the Bread of Life, and they still did not recognize Him. However, in His blessing of the bread in the common meal, the mystery ended. They recognized Him, and immediately He vanished.
Was it something He said? Was it the blessing He pronounced in familiar words? Was it His vital communion with His Father in that prayer? Likely it was all a miracle. They did not recognize Him because “their eyes were kept from recognizing Him” (
III. Our tongues will want to tell the good news.
The psalmist David once decided to keep quiet about his walk with God, but he could not. “My heart was hot within me; while I was musing, the fire burned; then spoke I with my tongue” (
Though it was evening and they were home, these pilgrims turned around and hurriedly retraced their steps to Jerusalem. Cleopas and his friend burst into the room with a message they had rushed seven miles to tell. Before they could catch their breath to begin, the excited disciples there blurted out their own testimony: The crucified Christ is risen indeed!
Charles L. Allen told the story of Harry Lauder, a famous Scotch comedian who suffered profound grief when he lost his son. With such a heavy load, how could he ever again bring laughter to anyone? Then he found Christ. The fellowship of His Presence brought joy and vitality. Later he gave a concert in Chicago. The overflow crowd called for encore after encore. Finally, he quieted them and said very reverently, “Don’t thank me. Thank the good God who put the songs in my heart.”
Two things stand out from these verses: One is to be aware of the Presence of the Living Lord will mean the end of pessimism and despair; two, if you are walking with Christ today, you have something to tell.