“They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”
Two disciples of Jesus were on the road to Emmaus after the death of Jesus. They were very low in spirits as they trudged along, discussing their grief, disappointment and confusion. As they walked, Jesus caught up with them and began walking with them, but God prevented them from recognising Jesus.
The disciples sadness was etched on their faces, see (Luke 24:17 ) and Jesus asked them what was wrong. Still not realising who He was, they poured their hearts out. “We had hoped…” they said sadly.
We had hoped.
Have you ever been so caught up in your troubles, sorrows and your dashed hopes, that you haven’t recognised Jesus walking right beside you?
“We had hoped”… what were you hoping for? What hopes and dreams didn’t turn out the way you thought they Were going to, leaving you heavy-hearted and feeling distant from the Lord?
As the two disciples told Jesus their story, this stranger who was not a stranger started to explain the scriptures to them. “There’s something about this man” must surely have been going through their minds. Yet still they they didn’t make the connection.
When it came time to go their separate ways, they felt so drawn to this man, assured by his company and his teaching, perhaps a stirring of hope again, that they begged him to stay with them. They wanted to stay in his presence a bit longer.
Jesus stayed with them. As they sat down to share a meal, Jesus took the bread, blessed it and broke it. The realisation seems to have hit both of the disciples at once. It’s Jesus! Suddenly, it all made sense.
Then Jesus vanished. The two friends marvelled at how they hadn’t recognised him. “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” Even though their physical eyes had not recognised Jesus, their hearts had recognised him all along! Only, they had ignored the “heartburn” at the time, on the road!
Sometimes in those times in life when we can’t see past our pain and problems, we fail to recognise Jesus. We don’t see that He is walking right beside us, loving and encouraging us. As they had walked,Jesus kept reminding those two distraught disciples of what the scriptures say. He does the same for us. In our dark, difficult times His Holy Spirit, draws alongside, our Comforter, our Teacher. We know He’s there but often we ignore the heartburn.
After the Lord has led you through yet another dark time when you felt no hope, how often have you looked back at marvelled at yourself, that you hadn’t recognised Him, right there with you all along? – Working all things together for your good (Romans 8:28) not for one moment leaving your side, or forsaking you, (Deuteronomy 31:6)
We all – disciples of Jesus that is – feel that heart-burn. It’s a knowing deep down in our “knower”, that place in the deepest part of your heart where you store truth. We know that He is who He says He is. Even in those times when you feel far from Him, a bit lost, dry, empty, or without hope; you know that none of these scenarios are true for you, because living in you, causing your heart to burn, is The Spirit of the Living God! He’s the Alpha and Omega, the same yesterday, today and forever.
He is Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us!