Friday, November 6, 2009

Emmaus Encounter

“Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

This morning I am a child of the burning heart. So many truths have been opened, I cannot share just one. I have walked my own Emmaus road. Emmaus. The place where Jesus meets us. A place of recognition. A place of personal encounter.

As the two disciples walked the road they met a stranger with whom they shared all they knew about Jesus. How quick am I to share Jesus with those I come in contact with each day? Christ went from stranger to Savoir as they walked and talked and He could for those we meet as well, if only we would tell of all He has done for us.

“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid…” (John 20:19) Locked doors don’t deter or detour Jesus. Christ holds the Master key. What doors do I have locked? God comes through locked doors.

On the other side of the door Christ addresses unbelieving Thomas’s doubts. Christ will address whatever question we have. The honest seeker who wants to believe and asks God to show Himself, God will respond.

“Later, Jesus appeared again to the disciples beside the sea of Galilee.” (John 21:1) The fact that Jesus shows up in our life has to make a difference.

Simon Peter goes fishing. It’s his distraction. An escape from the pain. What is my ‘fishing’ or my diversion when life brings the weight of failure? No matter where we sail off to, Jesus waits patiently for us. “At dawn Jesus was standing on the beach…” (John 21:4) He’ll be there when we return. Waiting.

“He called out, ‘Fellows, have you caught any fish?’

‘No,’ they replied.”

This is the first miracle at the shore. They caught nothing. Not even one small minnow. Empty nets. Vain attempts without Christ. Our best efforts are futile apart from God. We can do everything right and not see results. “Apart from God we can do nothing.”

When the disciples arrived on shore they found breakfast prepared - “fish cooking over a charcoal fire…” (John 21:9) The only other time a charcoal fire is mentioned in all of Scripture was when Peter was sitting at a charcoal fire and denied Christ. Imagine the memories the aroma of these flames burned in his heart. I’m sure we all have similar ‘fires’ that ignite and illuminate recollections, pleasant and pungent. Christ helps us gently bring to mind memories that need to heal from the ashes of our flames.

Three times Jesus now asks Peter, “…do you love me?” Three times. One for each denial. After each time Peter responds, Christ says, “Then feed my sheep” (John 21:15, 16, 17). Jesus is confirming that although Peter faced failure, he is still the right man for the job.

Concluding today’s reading was the great commission, “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 28:19 The great commission, bookend by Christ’s power (vs.18) and Christ’s presence (vs.20).

As Luke writes in Luke 24:45, “Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” Father, thank You for opening my mind this morning.

“But these are written so that you may continue to believe.” John 20:31 Jesus is saying, don’t just see an empty tomb. Don’t stop at the abandoned grave clothes. Continue on to believe in Me.

This morning I’ve had eyes to look past the empty tomb, as I’ve had an Emmaus encounter.

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Marilyn in Mississippi said...

Thought provoking today! A needed invitation for us to not stop at the abandoned grave clothes but to continue fellowshiping with Jesus!

Amazing how God gives you these thoughts to share daily!

God bless you! Mississippi

Laura said...

Today in Bible study we reviewed the story of Paul sharing the gospel with Festus, Agrippa, and Bernice in Caesarea, at risk of losing his life. They asked him, "Do you think you will make me a Christian so quickly"...and Paul was persistant.

This story convicted me of how reluctant I am to openly speak of my faith. I share my life, in hopes His light will shine. I never deny Him. He is my joy. But, do I, in the face of danger or rejection press on the way Paul did?

Maybe I had my own Emmaus moment this morning, Joy!

He lives!