Two men are making their way “to a village named Emmaus”, discussing a recently crucified prophet named Jesus. They are dejected that perhaps He was not the Messiah after all, and they are not altogether buying in to the recent report of His resurrection. Somewhere along the way, though, the prophet Himself joins their party (unrecognized), begins conversing with them and, upon their voicing of their lack of faith, He rebukes them and gives them a conversational sermon, from all throughout the Scriptures, showing that Jesus is indeed the Messiah.
He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:25-27)
They would later comment on His words like this: “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:32).
“Our hearts burning within us”! What an experience!
And it prompts me to ask: When was the last time you experienced such burning under the preaching, teaching, studying, or reading of the word?
Surely it is something we should experience. For, while it is true that the sermon in Acts 24 was delivered by none other than the Son of God Himself, yet it is also true that the biblical material that He preached is still available to us today (along with the New Testament, now, also!); and that the subject matter is still as wonderful as ever; and that Christ’s Spirit is still alive and well today, and more than capable of speaking through mere men (or working through simple Bible reading or personal Bible study) with such power that the effect will be the same as it was for those two blessed men in Luke 24! And so surely we ought, at times, to find “our hearts burning within us” under the word of God about the Son of God!
Pray that it might be so!
Pray that preachers and teachers will do precisely that which Jesus did, and which resulted in “hearts burning”: Pray that we will diligently open the treasure of the word of God, and faithfully bring out “the things concerning [the Son of God] in all the Scriptures”! And pray for yourself, that you will be diligent to read and study the Scriptures, and to look for Jesus there!
Pray, too, that those who preach and teach God’s word about God’s Son would do so “by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven” (1 Peter 1:12); pray for the power of the Spirit upon the proclamation and teaching of God’s word! Pray also for His anointing upon “the public reading of Scripture” – that we might experience “hearts burning” as the Bible is read aloud! And beg the Spirit’s anointing of your own study and reading of the word as well, that you might be deeply moved by what you see of Jesus there!
Plead with God that we would know – and know regularly – what it is to have “our hearts burning within us” under the Word of God about the Son of God!