One of the fascinating "journeys" of the Bible is the walk of the two disciples of Christ from Jerusalem to Emmaus on the Resurrection Sunday (Luke 24:13-35) which eventually culminated in a speedy U-turn. The journey which began with confusion and sorrow would end in rapturous joy. The reason? The "third party" who joined the journey made all the difference!
In this after-Easter series of three parts, let's draw some invaluable lessons that this "Voyage of discovery" holds for us.
1. Concealment: It is quite apparent from the Scripture account that the Good Lord concealed His identity (it is also said in Mark that now "he appeared in another form" Mark 16:12) in order His disciples might more freely discourse with him and he with them. Oh how often, the good Lord seeks a heart-to-heart conversation with us, devoid of trappings of a Royal Court session
2. Conversation: Counselling experts (Boy, how much of proper counselling these two followers of Jesus needed) often underscore the importance of asking questions much in a way an expert Doctor does to elicit as much information as possible from the patient to arrive at a proper diagnosis of the ailment. We would see our Lord the Wonderful counsellor (Isaiah 9:6) that He is posing questions to His confused disciples and listening patiently to what all was there in their heart. Is not communication as much about listening, as it is about talking? Have we His followers developed the art of posing questions and patient listening in our conversations with the common folks, especially in our personal evangelistic efforts?
Jesus' simple questions (Luke 24:17,19) . . . were a means of inviting himself deeper into the conversation which had evidently continued for some little while after Jesus fell in step with them. Was not the first Divine question in the Scriptures "Where art thou?" Also posed to trigger a conversation leading to confession about Adam's fallen "state of affairs" (Genesis 3:9)?
3. Confusion: Response of one of the two namely Cleopas (Luke 24:21) to Christ's questions exposes the skewed understanding of the disciples about the real purpose behind Christ's First advent and their errant expectations of Him. His First Coming was all about saving mankind from clutches of sin and NOT about saving Israel from the clutches of Roman oppression, as they so wrongly surmised. Yes, in His Second Advent would He deliver the Jews from a Revived Roman Empire (Read Anti-Christ's persecution- Romans 11:26)! But First Coming it needs to be reiterated here was all for the purpose of reigning in the throne of man's heart rather than from an earthly throne in Jerusalem.
While on the subject of priorities, it would also be perfectly in order to do some honest introspection at this stage. What is the purpose of us seeking Christ? Is it to secure freedom from financial, health or any social, worldly problems or to be redeemed first and foremost from the clutches of our Spiritual adversary-Satan? Truly, He would deliver us from World-related difficulties too but first we need to get our priorities right (Matt 6:33). Often, we hear some testimonies in our Churches of how the people have "accepted Christian faith" because the Lord has delivered them from a health or a financial crisis. That is indeed good. Without being critical of their faith, I intend to state here that the witness of a person whose faith is built on a rock (nothing less Matt 7:24-27) would invariably be "I was a sinner and CHRIST SAVED ME FROM CLUTCHES OF SIN". Financial or health problems may recur in a believer's life but SALVATION EXPERIENCE IS ETERNAL (Romans 8:1)! The good Lord in His abundant love for us, would go to any extent to ensure, we safely reach the Heavenly Shores, even if it means making us swallow some very bitter pills of Divine chastisement (1 Cor 11:27-32).
Prayer: Father in Heaven, we praise and thank Thee first and foremost four salvation. We also believe that once we make pleasing Thee our number one priority, all our other needs would be take care of. Enable us always to have the right priorities. In Jesus' Name. Amen
Please join us on Thursday for "A VOYAGE" OF DISCOVER, Part 2.
(To access the entire "A Voyage of Discovery" mini-series, please click here.)