Whole Life Whole Bible Day 27
Luke 24:25-27 (NASB)
25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
Luke 24:30-33 (NASB)
30 When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” 33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them,
26: The key to scripture
As we move from the old covenant scriptures to the new covenant scriptures, this short but compelling scene provides a lens through which to view the whole story. It also captures suggestive truths about our engagement with God through his word.
The first resurrection day sees Cleopas and a companion (possibly his wife) walking back home from Jerusalem to their village, Emmaus. Jesus joins them on the road and asks about their discussion. They are able to summarize what has happened and to do so accurately, but they fail to understand its significance. ‘We had hoped that he was the one…’ (24:21) expresses their sense of loss and disillusionment. What can make sense of it?
Interestingly, they needed more than just an experience of the resurrected Christ. Note that Jesus does not say to them, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe that I have risen.’ Nor does he say, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that I have spoken.’ He says, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken.’ He takes them back to the scriptures, in a way that shows how the scriptures make sense of the situation in which they find themselves. And he does so in such a way that, as they say afterwards, their hearts burned within them while he talked (v. 32).
We’re not told what he said, although Luke — like the other Gospel writers — provides some pointers, showing how the significance of Jesus’ own story is not found in isolated passages here and there but is woven into the larger story of creation and covenant, of Abraham and Moses, of David and Jerusalem, of law and monarchy, of priesthood and temple, of visions of restoration beyond exile. For us, it is a reminder that Jesus cannot be understood apart from the Old Testament, and the Old Testament cannot be understood apart from Jesus.
Even so, the moment of full recognition awaits the fellowship at the table, alluding back to the last supper and the reminder that God’s purposes would be carried out through suffering and death, so that sins could be forgiven and the covenant renewed.
It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that the result of all this is the compelling need to tell others! Engagement with scripture and the story it tells, which has come to its culmination in Christ, results in the ongoing transformation of disciples as hearts burn within, as eyes are opened and as feet are energized to pass on the good news.
For further reflection and action
Reflect on moments in your life when scripture (a) has made sense of a situation you have been facing, (b) has given you fresh insights about Jesus, and (c) has motivated you to tell others about Jesus.
Read the next episode, in Luke 24:36–49, noting the similar moments when Jesus comes to a group of disciples in need, explains scripture to them, makes himself known to them in fellowship and inspires them to tell others.
In Luke 24:47, Jesus’ explanation of scripture includes the dimension that ‘repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem’. Try to discuss with someone else this ‘all nations’ aspect of the biblical story, how Jesus brings about the fulfillment of God’s plan for the nations and what it might mean for disciples of Christ living in today’s world.
Visit LICC to find out more or get an overview of the Biblical narrative and the ways it can shape us by reading the Introduction to Whole Life, Whole Bible from the Whole Life, Whole Bible book.