Do We Have a Case of Heartburn?
The two men going back to Emmaus missed history’s most noteworthy event since they were excessively centered around their own personal frustrations and issues.
In verses 13-16:
The two men walking toward Emmaus were so caught up in themselves and their own problems that they did not see Jesus or even recognize Him. Undoubtedly, they had heard His preaching, the various parables, and what He was teaching about Himself. It was as if they were not looking for Him. When we quit looking for Jesus, we fall. When we take our eyes of Christ, we stumble. We must keep our eyes on Christ, looking for that Blessed Hope.
In verses 17-24:
The news had spread through Jerusalem regarding the crucifixion of Christ. Jewish pilgrims had been visiting the city because this was the Passover week. Jesus asked them what was wrong and why were they so sad. The men could not believe that someone did not know about the current events. So many people called Jesus a prophet. They thought He was dead, nor did they believe that He had risen. These men then gave witness to the Gospel, they told Jesus what had happened at the tomb. We all need to learn how to give witness to others of what Christ has done for us.
These two disciples from Emmaus had been expecting Jesus to redeem Israel. Many people believed that the prophesied Messiah would come as a military and political leader. They were not expecting the Messiah to come save mankind from the slavery of sin. Everyone lost hope when Jesus had died on the cross, and no one understood its significance.
People knew that the tomb was empty, but they could not understand that Jesus had risen from the tomb. Even though the women had brought witness of His resurrection, and that this had been verified by other disciples, these two men still could not believe. Even people today cannot believe Christ rose from the dead, that the tomb is empty. What will it take to get people to believe? For some reason, people cannot or just will not have faith. It does not fit into their intellectual way of thinking. As Christians, it is our job to present Jesus to the world in a manner that will help them to build their faith.
In verses 25-27:
O fools, Jesus says, as He refers to the scriptures and the prophecy. The men had head knowledge but no heart knowledge. In essence, read the Book, but not with the intellectual mind. Even though they knew the prophesies, they neglected to comprehend that Jesus' suffering was for His glory. They could not comprehend why God had not interceded. They were focused on worldly adoration of political and military power. They were not ready for the reversal of human expectations with the values of God's Kingdom; the last will be first, and life becomes out of death.
The two disciples explained to Jesus why they were feeling the way they were, why they were sad and confused. Jesus then gives the Scripture and applies it to His ministry. What do we need to do if we read Scripture and do not understand it? First, we should pray and ask the Lord to open our hearts and minds to the Scriptures. We can also ask our Christian friends to help us.
Jesus reintroduced these disciples to the Old Testament, starting with the promised seed in Genesis and moving on to the suffering servant in Isaiah, the pierced one in Zechariah, and the messenger of the covenant in Malachi. Christ is the central theme that unites all of the Scriptures and is the thread that runs through them all. The following is a list of important passages that Jesus most likely mentioned to them while they were walking to Emmaus. (Genesis 3 & 12; Psalms 22, 69, 110; Isaiah 53; Jeremiah 31; Zechariah 9, 13; Malachi 3)
In verses 28-30:
As they came closer to the village, they asked Jesus to stay and break bread, they had dinner. Undoubtedly, they were all hungry from their long travels and they needed time to rest. It appears as if the men were enjoying His company. How often do Christians today get together in fellowship either at the church building or in our own homes? But let us be mindful, do not have so many fellowships that we leave Christ out. No true Christian fellowship can happen unless Jesus is there.
In verses 31-32:
Finally, their eyes were opened! They suddenly realized that Jesus was right there with them. It did not take a great big miracle, just the simple act of breaking bread. Too often people are so busy looking for the big miracles that they cannot see the small ones right in front of them. One of the men asked the other, “Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” The same should be with us. Our hearts should burn within as we read and study the Scriptures. Our hearts should burn as we commune with God Almighty.
In verses 33-35:
Here we see that they went back to where they came from and told of what happened to them. They were telling the Good News that just happened in their lives. They were giving a witness to others of what Christ had done for them. Have we been a witness for what Christ has done for us? Have we shared the Gospel to others? If not, then why not?
In addition, Paul says that Jesus appeared to Peter when he was alone (1 Corinthians 15:5). (We will notice that Paul uses his Greek surname, Cephas, while Luke uses Simon, Peter’s Hebrew name.) The Gospels do not describe this event. Peter, who had denied his Lord, felt completely unworthy, so Jesus showed individual concern for him. Jesus met Peter and offered forgiveness to him after Peter repented. God would soon use Peter to build the church of Christ.
That inwardly heavenly fire will start to burn when you get in line with Christ. Get a good case of spiritual heartburn, the kind no earthly medicine can put out. Physical heartburn is painful, it is caused by wrong foods, stress, and we may need to take medicine to ease the pain. Spiritual heartburn is not painful, it comes from taking in the right food, God’s Word.
What road are we on? Will it take us toward Jesus or away from Him? Are we sharing the Gospel of Jesus with others on our walk of life?
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God called me into the ministry over 20 years ago and I have had the blessed opportunity to preach for a church radio broadcast, served as a Sunday School teacher, served as a youth director along with my wife, as a music director, as an Associate Pastor, and as an Interim Pastor.
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