Our Invitation – God’s Revelation

In a radio message today at Truth for Life, Pastor Alistair Begg looked at one of the encounters people had with the risen Christ. The book of Luke records the incident.

Two of Jesus’s followers left Jerusalem the very day of the resurrection for the village of Emmaus. On the way, as they were discussing what the women had said about an empty tomb and an encounter with angels delivering a message that Jesus was alive because He’d risen from the dead on the third day as He said He would—information that seemed like nonsense to them—Jesus joined them on the journey.

He could have passed them by, but instead, Jesus engaged them by asking what they were discussing. They must have known that this man, who appeared to them as a stranger at this point, heard some of their conversation or maybe this was just such big news in Jerusalem that everyone was talking about it. At any rate, they reacted in an astounded way: Haven’t you heard of the things that have been going on?

Jesus asked in return, “What things?”

They gave a thumbnail sketch of what they knew—that the one they thought was the Messiah had been killed by sinful men but on this, the third day, some women reported they didn’t find His body in the tomb.

Then Jesus started teaching. He began with Moses and the Prophets and explained “the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”

When the two men reached their destination, Jesus gave every indication of continuing on alone, but the men invited Him—no, urged Him—to join them instead. And He did for a short time. The meal came, and they asked their teacher/traveling companion to bless the food. When He did, “their eyes were opened.” They recognized they were with Jesus.

This historical account, recorded by Luke as part of his “careful investigation,” is one of my favorites of the risen Christ. There’s so much to learn, but it also reminds me of a verse in the book of James: “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.” There’s a synergy that brings us into relationship with God.

These two men traveling to Emmaus were discussing Jesus. They were confused and had things wrong, but they wanted to know more. Still, when Jesus joined them, they didn’t recognize Him. Scripture says “their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.”

I could postulate why (in their excitement, would they have listened to what Jesus had to teach them from the Word?), but lots of other people might have better ideas. The point is, there was some joint cooperation between God and those men that brought them to the truth. The men were curious and discussing Jesus as far as their limited understanding took them, but that didn’t show them Jesus.

They engaged Jesus in conversation, and He opened up the Scriptures—that is, He explained what the Law and the prophets meant. He likely indicated which prophecies had Messianic implications, explained how Passover pointed to the Savior, taught how the rock Moses struck was a type for the crucified Christ who gives Living Water.

And yet, not until those men invited Jesus to stay with them, not until He blessed the bread, broke it, and gave to them, were their eyes opened. Somewhere along the line, what Jesus was teaching them about Himself took root. And at the right moment, their spiritual eyes were opened. By the Word? By the blessing? By a movement of God’s Spirit? The text doesn’t say.

What it does make clear is that, those men spent time learning about Jesus from Scripture. Afterward, their eyes were opened. The drew near to God. He drew near to them.

Published in: on April 9, 2009 at 12:22 pm  Comments Off on Our Invitation – God’s Revelation  
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