We’re continuing through Luke’s Gospel. At this point we’re in the final chapter. Christ has risen from the dead. The women went to the tomb and had an encounter with some angels who told them of the resurrection.
We can learn some important truths from what happens next. You may want to read Luke 24:9-32 before continuing with this post.
At this time, Christ began showing Himself to groups of His followers in various places. At one point two of them were walking from Jerusalem to a town called Emmaus. They had an encounter with the risen Lord, only they didn’t know who it was.
Jesus acted like He didn’t know what had happened in Jerusalem. The disciples shared their grief with Him.
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
Luke 24:25-27 NIV
It wasn’t until Christ vanished that they knew who He was. Later, once they knew who they’d been with, they discussed it.
They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:32 NIV
The key point is that their hearts were burning. So, let’s start at the beginning. If this is about their hearts, then how did they begin the process? This is an important question.
As I said before, they didn’t know at first that they were talking to Jesus. He asked them why they looked so sad. They were amazed that there was a person who had no idea of what had just taken place in Jerusalem.
“What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place.”
Luke 24:19-21 NIV
This is one of the most amazing confessions of faith AND unbelief that I’ve ever seen! On the one hand they saw in Christ the power of the Word of God. They were inspired to place their hope in Him as the Redeemer of Israel.
Yet at the same time they were walking in defeat, believing that there was nothing more to hope for. It was over. The chief priests and rulers destroyed the dream.
In this condition, they were what James called double-minded.
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
James 1:6-8 NIV
Being double-minded doesn’t mean that you doubt everything. You’re trusting God for some things, while doubting others. You may trust God to save your soul, yet not believe that He wants to provide for your needs.
That’s the place that many Christians find themselves in today. They know what God’s Word says, yet they have no idea how to apply it to their lives. They’re hoping that God will do something in them, while at the same time they expect nothing to happen.
This is where the burning hearts come in. In my next post we’ll see the Lord’s remedy for this double-minded dilemma.
Question: When have you found yourself both trusting and doubting God at the same time?
© 2023 Nick Zaccardi