“They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?'” (Luke 24:32 NIV84)
I just love this encounter between Jesus and the disciples on the way to Emmaus. Here we have Jesus appearing (but hiding His identity) to a couple of disciples who are on their way home, dejected and down. This is the kind of Savior I need. I need one who will pursue me when I am too stubborn or ignorant to pursue Him. Jesus meets these men on the road because He loves them. He wants to make sure they can share in the joy of the resurrection. So, Jesus asks them what they’re talking about. One of them turns to Jesus and asks Him whether He was the only person in Jerusalem who didn’t know what was going on the last few days. How ironic! To ask Jesus whether He was clueless to what was going on the last few days when in fact Jesus is the only one who truly knows all that has gone on in those days. Jesus keeps the questioning going. He asks them, “what things?” They respond that their Master Jesus (a great prophet) was crucified, His tomb was found empty, and they were at a loss as to what was going on.
Note Jesus’ response: “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” Jesus doesn’t say, “Hey! Here I am!” He refers them back to the Scriptures. And beginning with Moses, Jesus takes them through the entire Scripture and explains that the Messiah had to be crucified to pay for the sins of humanity and had to rise from the dead victoriously on the third day. Let me just say, I wish I had been there to hear Jesus reveal Himself to His disciples through His Word. He first reveals Himself through the Word, then He reveals Himself visibly, and immediately disappears from their presence. Jesus is telling them, and us, that we are going to have to rely on the Word of God for truth and clarity because He is not always going to be around in a physical way. And how do the disciples respond? “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” It was not their physical recognition of Jesus but their spiritual recognition through the Word of God that moved them to say their hearts burned within them.
Today, may our hearts burn as we meditate on the truths of God’s Word.