Emmaus

So far, all they had to go on was hearsay.
Each of the followers of Jesus dealt with the hope that He was back in his/her own way. Equipped with an intuition the men did not possess, the women were the first to believe. They believed Mary Magdalene. The men, burdened by rationality, needed proof. Before Jesus appeared to the assembled disciples, two discouraged disciples gave up and started for home.

The Road to Emmaus
Although the direction is uncertain, Dr. Luke establishes the distance to Emmaus from Jerusalem at about 7 miles. The literal meaning of the name is, “warm baths,” indicating the availability of healing hot springs. Two disciples, one named Cleopas and the other unnamed, made the discouraging journey back to their pre-Jesus lives. The Lord had other plans. As the two men walked along, they processed the recent events. They had chosen to follow Jesus and tried to believe everything He said. They were moved to action by His miracles and His call to discipleship. Now, in light of His death, they were confused.

Unannounced, Jesus joined the two men but their eyes were “restrained” from knowing who He really was. Jesus asked them what they were discussing that made them so sad. Cleopas answered:

“Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”

Jesus asked them,

“What things?”

Cleopas was amazed that someone could be so uniformed.

“The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth…”

He proceeded to tell Jesus the Jesus Story. The story seemed to rush from his lips like a river through a rocky gorge. He concluded with the inconclusive evidence of the empty tomb witnessed by both the women and the disciples. He paused, waiting for some sort of response from this unknown, frightfully uninformed companion. The response he got was not what he expected. Jesus stopped walking and drew the complete attention of the two men.

“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”

Now the men were astonished and went from tellers to listeners as Jesus opened the scriptures to them concerning the Christ. As Jesus spoke, the hearts of the men warmed just as they did when they listened to Jesus.

In the Breaking of the Bread
They neared their residence in Emmaus and prevailed upon the stranger to dine with them. Jesus, still unknown to them, agreed. When at the table he took a loaf of bread and blessed it, the two men realized at last who they were entertaining. Before they could respond to Him, He vanished from sight.

The Way of the Fiery Heart
Like the warm springs for which the town was named, their hearts were warmed within them. The meal was forgotten. Their despair was gone. Their confusion fled before this revelation of the resurrected Jesus. The men reversed course and hurried back to Jerusalem to tell everyone that Jesus was alive. As they went they commented on the warmth in their hearts; it was now a raging fire. This fire began as they listened to Jesus and became a combustion engine demanding action. Back in Jerusalem they found the disciples and assured then that Jesus was alive. So it is with those who have met, listened to, and followed the Resurrected Jesus. It is the Way of the Fiery Heart. Through this way, His gospel has gone into all the world.

Scriptures:
Luke:24:1-12
NKJV
Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?” Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.” Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them. Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, set my heart on fire! May Your truth, Your story, burn in my soul with an unquenchable flame. May those who see me, feel its glow. May those who hear me, sense the flame of truth and feel compelled to listen. In my worship, set my heart on fire. In the quiet of each night, light my heart with this flame. With each sunrise, may the of Flame of Christ shine brighter than the sun and light my way. No clouds can conceal Your light. No winds of confusion can shake Your flame. Let the details of my life that do not please You, be the fuel for this fire. Lord Jesus, show me the Way of the Fiery Heart. Amen.

Song:
Send the Fire

Words: William Booth; ooth-Tucker
1. Thou Christ of burning, cleansing flame,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Thy blood bought gift today we claim,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
Look down and see this waiting host,
Give us the promised Holy Ghost;
We want another Pentecost,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

2. God of Elijah, hear our cry:
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To make us fit to live or die,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To burn up every trace of sin,
To bring the light and glory in,
The revolution now begin,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

3. ’Tis fire we want, for fire we plead,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
The fire will meet our every need,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
For strength to ever do the right,
For grace to conquer in the fight,
For power to walk the world in white,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

4. To make our weak hearts strong and brave,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
To live a dying world to save,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!
O see us on Thy altar lay
Our lives, our all, this very day;
To crown the offering now we pray,
Send the fire, send the fire, send the fire!

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2018 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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