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?”Luke 24:32
As I said in the last Gem, this verse begins with “Didn’t our hearts burn within?” The answer to which has to be, “YES. Didn’t you feel it too? Yes we were of one heart. One heart, one mind, one reaction. We both felt it.”
Let’s investigate the question I posed in the last Gem: Was this a rebuke or a deep heartfelt response? The word to burn [kaiomene] carries the sense “to glow with warmth”. It is a metaphor related to the feelings of joy, delight, enthusiasm, or having a heightened expectation. The idea being conveyed here is not the two disciples reaction to Jesus calling them foolish but rather the return of understanding, joy, confidence and hope. The use of the word “heart” in this sentence is typically Hebraic where the heart symbolises the seat or centre of emotions, the source of life. The notion communicated here is that physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually they are burning with good emotions, desires, hopes and dreams again. Something has been lit within them again. They have their passion back once more. Their hearts have been re-fired up.
- Why? What has happened? I asked you in the previous Gem:
- Was it a response to what He had said?
- Was it the fact that they had seen the Jesus risen and alive?
- Was it that they had had a personal encounter with Jesus and their hearts were touched?
- Was it that He had explained the Scriptures to them and now they were excited because they understood?
It was all of that and more. The two clauses are set in parallel. Two simultaneous things were happening:
While He talked to us on the road and while He opened to us the Scriptures. The recognition that it was Him came later. It wasn’t until He had broken bread that they recognised Him. It is like in the aftermath of it all, all the pieces came together. It is in the analysis of what just happened that the realisation comes and what has just happened hits them. Yes yes and yes. It was indeed a response to what He had told them. In fact the fact that “while He open to us the Scripture” is in the last position highlights the impact of what He told them. Jesus’ breaking open the Scripture to them was highly impactful of course. It was the source of realisation of all the other things. Encountering Him personally, hearing what He explained to them, having their hearts touched were all the results of Jesus opening their eyes to what the Scriptures had to say about all of this.
Remember the predicament all of the disciples found themselves in. Their expectations and hopes for their Messiah have been misplaced. They have expected the Messiah would restore the kingdom to Israel now. In fact they will go on to ask this question again in Acts 1:6. Their perspective on what is happening here is still skewed toward their cultural and historical perspectives or mind set. They were still confused over all the reports coming in of Jesus being alive and resurrected. Reports that were from trusted sources but were too fantastic and mind blowing to believe. Hence the disciples all fall into the same error: That of being slow of heart to believe. All of their dimwittedness centres around the misunderstanding of the fact that the Messiah had to SUFFER THESE THINGS to ENTER INTO HIS GLORY. Suffer what things and what did it mean to enter into His glory? So Jesus takes the Scriptures that they know so well and explains it all in the light of these two ideas. Why He had to suffer and what it meant to enter into His glory. Jesus made plain to them the significance of the Messiah entering into His glory through the door of suffering. Suddenly all the pieces fit and fall into place.
Remember I changed the focus of the questions to make it personal for you in the last Gem. Have you ever felt your heart burn within you after a personal encounter with Jesus or with the Word of God? Have you ever had an experience with God or Jesus like that? When was the last time? Have you ever been up close and personal with God or does your relationship with Him always stay Word focused with the Bible text between you both. Remember Jesus said, “You search the Scriptures daily thinking they testify of Me and so they do, but you fail to come to Me to have life. Many of us are so focused on using the Word of God correctly that we miss the risen Lord standing behind His Word. It is not until you get up close and personal with God that your heart becomes touched and changed, warmed and set on fire for the truth of the things He tells you. Seek for this. Seek to know Him rather than making the focus His Word. Of course I have told you over and over that your relationship with Him is determined by your relationship with the Word of God. That is true but there is a symbiotic relationship needed between the Word and the Spirit, between the head and the heart, between the left and right brain, between your logical approach and your feelings. God made you in such a way that the two go together.
I get excited when students of Deeper Bible “get it”. I can tell the moment they get it. It is obvious to me. But what some of them don’t realise is that there are two things to get. Head and heart, logic and experience, Word and Spirit, the cooperation between left and right brain function. When we come to understand His ways and the principles on which He operates and then put them into practice by opening up our being to be led of the Spirit it all comes together. When Jesus takes what you know and puts all the pieces together for you, it’s an exciting moment. When you realise the depth of the Word of God and begin to trust Him to lead you into that depth, it is like you step out into a brand new world in Him. But the moment of inspiration, revelation and awe also comes the moment you realise He alone by the power of His Spirit can speak to your heart and bypass your head to bring revelation as well. However the two principles or functions must be held together. To do one without the other is to slip into error.
That was the message of my sermon series in Jakarta three years ago when God Himself opened up to my spirit in the middle of the night to the significance of the Parable of the Two Lovers Oholah and Oholibah. How we need to be both “men and women of the tent” – men and women of the Word of God, understanding the principles on which God operates but also those who “have His tent or presence within us” – those who are led by the Spirit of God and are guided by the Holy Spirit who works within us. It is when left brain and right brain, head and heart, Word and Spirit work together. Then oneness comes and our hearts become unified. We start operating from one heart. Finding unity within ourselves and achieving unity within the body of Christ. Now you have to admit that is a WOW moment.
And yes I aware I have not given you the reference for the parable above. That’s because its too hot to handle. I have given you a clue, I have alluded to it and will leave you to put the pieces together.
So what are you waiting for?
Revelation is when God bypasses the limitations of your mind and shows you things you otherwise wouldn’t know. . .Anon
Instead of finding a solution to life’s problems every now and then, you can walk each day in a ‘spirit of wisdom and revelation”.Bob Gass
The universe is full of magical things waiting for their revelation as our wits to grow sharper to find them.Anon
Most people don’t get beyond their first revelation. They enshrine it, build a fence around it and stay put.Ian Vail
You can live in the revelation. It’s called “walking in Spirit”, open to the constant flow of communication coming from the Spirit of God.Anon