By Bryan Schroeder
The day that Jesus rose from the dead, Luke 24 tells of two men who were walking to Emmaus from Jerusalem and were discussing everything that just happened surrounding the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus showed up and walked alongside them; however, they didn’t recognize him. He asked them what they were discussing and they shared all the facts of the death, crucifixion, and even empty tomb with him, but they were still downcast in spirit. They were sad with unbelief.
After they shared all the information about the events that had taken place in the last 3 days with Jesus, Jesus knew that they still didn’t believe and said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah 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.”
Ouch! Foolish. Slow to believe. That’s not how I want Jesus to describe me.
If these two men would have believed the revealed Word of the Lord, spoken through God’s Prophets, then they would have believed that Jesus was the Messiah! Jesus called them foolish, even though they had all the facts from the women who witnessed the angels profess that Jesus was alive! Facts are not enough. Knowing about Jesus is not enough. The temptation for me is to still scream at these two men, “WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU GUYS?!” but the conviction of the Holy Spirit grips me to my core as I realize that I’m in the same boat. The boat that is too often still tied to the dock because it’s waiting for someone else to test the waters first, afraid to look ‘foolish’ not realizing it’s foolishly floating in fear
“How foolish you are, and how slow to believe…” Jesus wasn’t trying to be mean. If you keep reading the passage of Scripture, it’s clear that Jesus shows compassion, mercy, and friendship to the men. By his confrontational statement, I believe that he was revealing the truth that God always does his part, but he won’t - and can’t - do our part. God has given us free will and it’s up to us to take a risk in faith and choose to believe. The two men essentially didn’t believe because they hadn’t actually seen Jesus with their own eyes after the women said that he had risen from the dead. However, even when Jesus was walking and talking with them, they unbelievably still did not recognize him. They were spiritually blind.
I need to let my scepticism go, maybe you need to also. I need to (you may need to sit down before I state this next one…..) - I need to think less because often my thinking and intellectual analyzing of scenarios in the church and even Bible passages can cause me to be slow to believe (take that with a grain of salt please), and maybe you need to think less also. Maybe it’s something else that causes you to be slow to believe. There is wisdom in testing the spirits and not being deceived with false teaching, and there’s also foolishness in being slow to believe the revelation that God has graciously given you and I.
Jesus sits down to eat with the two men and then their spiritual eyes are opened and they believe! 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?” This is what I’m hungry for. I want to walk and talk with Jesus and have him open the Scriptures to me so that I’m forever changed. I must pay attention to what is happening in my heart when I walk and talk with Jesus so that I’m ready to respond in faith and obedience. Pray with me.
Father, I repent for my slowness to believe. I won’t believe the lie any longer that I must know the complete picture or every possible scenario before I believe (fill in what’s appropriate for you). I will believe your truth that you have revealed to me about Jesus. Thank you for your forgiveness and mercy. I resolve to talk with you about what is happening in my heart and be ready to obey you out of love and trust. Thank you that Jesus’ leadership is perfect. Amen.