This is just a great story, isn’t it? It is full of irony. It makes you smile to yourself at various points:
‘Are you the only one living in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that have happened there in these days’ (17).
‘And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place’ (21b).
‘…but him they did not see’ (24c).
That’s all quite amusing really. And are we not laughing at ourselves, for we can be ‘So thick-headed! So slow-hearted!’ (25, The Message)?
When we get to today’s reading, we find that the disciples had a deeper problem than not remembering. It was that they did not believe the Word they had in their possession (25-27). They didn’t remember because they did not believe. Like a surgeon, with a deft use of His scalpel, Jesus cut to the root of the problem.
If you want to experience the presence of Jesus and have a burning heart, talk about Him and His work. As you do so, He will surely come and join you in the conversation (15) and make it richer and fuller with His gracious revelation. He can clarify, bring understanding and expel confusion. But it is inappropriate for followers of Jesus to look ‘downcast’ (17); to just stand there ‘long-faced, like’ we have ‘lost’ our ‘best friend’ (The Message). However, only with appropriate understanding of truth can there be fullness of joy. The truth sets free.
One further thing: Jesus responds to earnest prayer (28,29). The Lord heard their urgent plea and acceded to their request. How good that they ‘prayed’, for they got more than they asked or thought. Christ not only ‘stayed’ with them, but revealed Himself to them (30-32; 35). When they returned to Jerusalem they found that Jesus had already been at work, in advance of their arrival (33, 34).
‘Didn’t we feel on fire as he conversed with us on the road, as he opened up the Scriptures for us?’ (32, The Message).
Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to think about you and talk about you. Come alongside me in your grace and mercy, please. Show me more of you and let me feel your fire burning in my heart.