May 1, 2011
“They said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?'”
The Post-Resurrection Ministry of Jesus
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As Jesus traveled with Cleopas, and the other disciple, on the road to Emmaus on Resurrection Sunday, Jesus told them that they were foolish men and slow of heart to believe the Old Testament prophecies concerning the Messiah. The two disciples had not yet understood and believed that Jesus had been resurrected and was walking with them, because God hid it from them until the proper moment.
Stay with Us. The two disciples thought Jesus was going past the village of Emmaus, and they urged Him to stay with them (Luke 24:29). Jesus complied and stayed with them. You can see the kind of impression that Jesus made upon these two disciples. They wanted to talk with Him more and spend more time with Him. We should always have this same attitude within us, that we want Jesus to stay with us and teach us more. Even though Jesus had called them foolish and slow to believe, they still wanted to spend more time with Him, evidently because of His teaching. Perhaps they also had a concern for His safety if He traveled further alone and at night.
Their Eyes Were Opened. When Jesus took the bread and blessed it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight (Luke 24:31). Jesus had arranged this meeting, and the teaching session with them. Now the two disciples were no longer restrained (see Luke 24:16).
Our Hearts Burned. When Jesus explained the Scriptures to these two disciples, and spent time traveling with them, their hearts burned. Jesus used this Traveling Approach to convince these two men, both from the Scriptures, and from their experience with Him, that the Lord Jesus truly had risen from the dead (Luke 24:32). Our hearts should always burn within us when Jesus teaches us the Word of God, and we listen to Him. He loves to teach us, and He alone should be called our Teacher (Matthew 23:8).
The Lord Has Really Risen. Even though they may have been concerned about Jesus traveling after dark, the two disciples went that very hour right back to Jerusalem and found the eleven disciples (Luke 24:33). Therefore, we know for sure that Cleopas was not accompanied by one of the eleven disciples. We see that the plan of Jesus was to appear to different groups, in different places. He was building the facts of His resurrection, and performing His post-resurrection ministry, with hand picked believers who would be very credible witnesses. When they found the eleven disciples, they proclaimed their faith in Christ’s resurrection and also their confirmation of the testimony of Peter, which they had doubted previously it seems from the text.
They Related Their Experience. Today I read the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man to a group of people. At the end of that story, the rich man beseeches Abraham to send messengers to tell his unbelieving brothers about the agony of Hades where he was suffering. I always hope that when we appreciate the eternal destiny of the torment of the unbelievers all around us, we will learn to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people God brings to us. In this case, the two disciples began to tell the eleven disciples about how they had met Jesus on the road, and how they recognized Him in the breaking of bread (Luke 24:24-35). Jesus had fully convinced them, and also cured their foolishness and slow hearts to believe the Scriptures. Jesus always loves to teach us about Himself and His plans for our lives.
So we begin to learn about the Post-Resurrection Ministry of Jesus.
● The Post-Resurrection Ministry of Christ made the hearts of two disciples burn within them as He explained the Scriptures concerning His suffering and glory. They had not yet recognized Jesus in person, but they grasped the Scriptures before them. Would you have listened as well if you knew you were talking with the resurrected Christ? I believe they listened better because they focused upon His message, and not the Messenger. Jesus planned it just that way.
● When these two men recognized Jesus, He then vanished from their sight. They could not get back to Jerusalem fast enough to share the resurrection and teaching news with the eleven disciples. They knew for sure that Peter had been telling the truth about the resurrection of Christ, and they had traveled with Him, listened to Him teach the Scriptures to them, and revealed Himself to them in the breaking of bread.
● Jesus always loves to reveal Himself to us in different ways, and in different times. He has spoken to us in His Word, the Old and New Testaments. Today, our hearts should burn within us as we listen to Him, our Teacher, explain His Word to us.
Application for Today
Today I want my heart to burn as I listen to Jesus teach me His word through the Bible. As I study His post-resurrection ministry to different people at different places and in different ways, I know He wants me to benefit from their testimony to love Jesus more today. Will your heart be burning today?