“So they said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while He was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32
Greetings fellow sojourners!
What an emotional roller coaster ride it had been for the disciples of Jesus! In the span of three days, they lost their teacher, dearest companion, and hope. Their chief priest betrayed them, and Jesus was crucified. To confuse things further it was reported that His body was missing and some angels told the women that He was actually alive!
We are not told why two disciples left the group on the morning of the Resurrection and set off to Emmaus. As they were walking along the road, Jesus appeared to them. They were prevented from recognizing Him even as He walked along the path with them and spoke to them. Jesus said to the two disciples, “How unwise and slow you are to believe in your hearts all that the prophets have spoken! Didn’t the Messiah have to suffer these things and enter into His glory?” Jesus then proceeded, by beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, to interpret for them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25-27)
It would seem to me that if someone had been a disciple of Jesus, as soon as He spoke the words about how slow they were to believe in their hearts all that the prophets had spoken and that the Messiah had to suffer these things to enter into His glory that their heads would have turned and their eyes popped because of the familiarity of the testimony. After all, hadn’t they been under His teaching for some significant amount of time? But that did not happen. The unbelief in the disciple’s heart did not allow them to see the one thing that was the answer to all their questions.
If the disciples, who had known Jesus intimately, were unable to recognize His familiar pattern of speech or even His presence because they were undergoing one of their worst trials imaginable, could it be that when we suffer difficult trials, we also are at risk for unbelief? Jesus could easily have laid out the entire resurrection story beforehand to the disciples so they could escape their feelings of fear and unbelief, but He didn’t.
It is probably safe to surmise that the disciple’s unawareness of the resurrection events was meant to prove their faith. Can it then be right to conclude that as we face our trials, which seem to flow out of our favor, that our faith might be just the thing that needs the strengthening, or proving? The disciples spent three years in-depth with The Word (John 1:14). How much focused time do you spend with the Word? If we do not devote our energies with the Word so that it builds our faith (Romans 10:17), why would we think our confidence in trials would be more resolute than the discouraged disciples walking on the road with the ‘stranger?’
Unbelief is a thief disguised as a human strength and robs you of your belief.
When the Lord revived their eyes, they were able to see His presence clearly (v31). They confirmed their faith to each other by saying, “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while He was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?” Filled with faith, “at that very hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem” (v33) and to fellowship with the rest of the disciples.
Fellow sojourners, let’s ask the Lord to set our heart ablaze as we read His Word. When the fiercest of trials come our way let’s not rely strictly on the witness of our senses but on the testimony of the Word.
In His grace,