From Broken Hearts to Burning Hearts

So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther, but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:28-35 ESV)

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” When Jesus taught them the Scriptures they had no idea it was Jesus. He preached Himself from the Scriptures–and their hearts burned within them. Preaching the Gospel of Jesus enlivens the believer’s heart. Preaching Jesus from the Old Testament turns weary forlorn travelers into winsome evangelists.

Allow me to wonder a minute. Did Jesus tell them he was the serpent of Numbers 21 lifted up on the pole? Did Jesus explain that David’s words in Psalm 22:1 were written for him: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Did he tell them Jonah’s stint in the belly of the fish was foreshadowing his own journey into the heart of the earth?”

What a sermon!

The good news of Jesus turns broken hearts into burning hearts.

The Apparent Silence of God

That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. (Luke 24:13-16 ESV)

emmaus

“That very day” was the day of the resurrection. These disciples of Jesus had entered Jerusalem a few days earlier excited about following him. Now they left disillusioned and feeling abandoned. This Jesus they had followed was dead and they did not know what to make of it. They had not heard that Jesus was alive.

They were engrossed in a conversation when Jesus approached them. But something interesting happened. Their eyes were kept from recognizing him. Have you ever wondered why? Here’s why I think this happened. (This is my opinion…and we’ll explore it throughout the rest of the week). Jesus had some things to teach them. If they had recognized him, they never would have listened to him. They would have been so excited to see him that his physical presence would have overcome their ability to listen.

And this makes me wonder. When it seems that God is silent, that Jesus is distant, could it be that he’s closer than we think? Is it possible that he’s teaching us in his very own words and our “eyes are kept from recognizing him?” Don’t be thrown off by Jesus’s apparent silence. After all he promised “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b)