The journey of our two traveling friends has many great messages in this simple account from the day of Jesus’ resurrection. The old adage that life is about the journey, not the destination, is a lesson that we struggle to learn as Christians.
The Journey Not The Destination
These two travelers are returning home after the disappointing death of their friend and mentor, Jesus. They had hoped he was the Messiah, and yet He was killed after a mock trial by the religious leaders of their day. They are seeking to get home to the normal and familiar so they can try to move forward in their old lives.
Yet, they open up a conversation with Jesus, and His teaching is so inspiring to them that when they near Emmaus, they persuade Him to spend the night with them. He agrees and comes to the table with them, and when He blesses and breaks the bread, they immediately recognize Him. They were most likely present in the upper room a few nights ago and participated in the Passover celebration and heard Him bless and break the bread then, so it is a living sacrament for them now.
Their discussion continues here 32 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?” They are moved from victims of circumstance to evangelists of the “Living Word” as the next verse says 33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem.
The Word of God in Their Hearts
Now they were confused and unsure, but they knew they had the Word of God and the presence of Jesus Himself now in their hearts. They realized that Emmaus may have been their destination, but God’s purpose for them was in their continuing journey for Him.
The Word of God will always accomplish the purpose for which it is sent ( Isaiah 55:11 ), and that purpose is just as consistent in our lives as it was for these two travelers. God’s Word ( Jesus Christ ) comes into our lives from the pages of the scriptures and is made real in our lives by the Holy Spirit. May we then go out to serve and tell others, with both our voice and actions, how God’s Word burns in our hearts.
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