Today's Devotional

Were Not Our Hearts Burning? (20 April)

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus... While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, "What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?" ... "But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel." ... Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, "Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over." So he went in to stay with them. When he was at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?" That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem.
Luke 24:13-35

Jesus was alive! Only a few hours before, he had risen triumphantly from the dead. And yet here were two disciples who had followed him and loved him, and they had not yet heard of his resurrection.

How disappointed they felt. They had placed their hopes in Jesus, and now all those hopes were lost. Here now Jesus was walking right next to them, and they did not know it.

And yet something inside them was reacting to Jesus, responding to his presence and the words he spoke. Their hearts were burning. Even if their eyes could not yet recognize him, their hearts knew. This was their beloved Master, the one with whom they had walked for three years along many roads.

This was the Son of God, the Anointed One, the Messiah of Israel. In his gentle way he opened their burning hearts to understand the scriptures as they had never understood them before. Jesus showed them that all of the scriptures were about him.

As they approached their home, Jesus said he would go on his way. If they wanted him to stay, to continue to teach them, they would have to take the important step of inviting him to come in.

They did not miss the opportunity. They invited him to sit down and eat with them. That was when they finally recognized him. At that moment when he broke the bread and turned to speak the blessing to his Father, then they knew without a doubt who he really was.

Jesus was indeed alive! He was not dead! All of their hopes were restored. Now the most natural thing in the world for them to do was to go and tell this Great News to the others. Such a wonderful revelation must be shared.

Their lives and the lives of their fellow disciples and all who would become disciples through their message – their lives would never be the same again.

- 20 APRIL -

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