Hearts on fire.

(The fourth in a series of reflections on Luke 24:13-35.)

I think it was God-granted discernment. They got a glimpse, one of the first views, of Father and Son talking after the work was done, after the death was over and the life was everlasting.

Then Jesus was gone. And everything made sense.

They responded immediately after Jesus left. They didn’t finish eating. They didn’t wash up. They started their two-hour walk back to Jerusalem to share the news. But I’m guessing it went faster this time.

Image-1.jpgThe roads that they had been concerned about Jesus taking didn’t scare them now. Their confusion was gone. They may not have understood everything about what had just happened, but now their lack of understanding was confirmation. This was too great to comprehend. Jesus actually was alive and talking with people, appearing and disappearing at will.

They had to take the news back to the rest of the team. They talked as they walked. “Remember that excitement we felt as he was explaining everything?” they said. “Like our hearts were on fire?” They realized that they had gotten what they wanted all along. To know that Jesus was alive.


A few thoughts to tie these posts together.

  1. Ask your questions even after the formal religious events. After church. After miracles. After life-and-death moments. It’s okay to wonder what is going on. It’s okay to not immediately jump to, “here’s what it means.”
  2. Converse with God and scripture and others to discern the answers. Jesus walked them through all the scriptures. Just like he says the Spirit will do. Not an all-at-once understanding but a bit at a time. Because often we only learn a bit at a time.
  3. Invite the conversation into your own home, into your own lives. Even when we don’t know it’s Jesus, we can invite the strangers into our lives. And, as Jesus taught in Matthew 25, we may discover that it’s really him.
  4. Expect that God will give understanding as we engage with him.
  5. And when you get glimpses, embrace them. As I pictured this story unfolding, I laughed a bit at the understanding.

We can laugh in delight and awe when we understand again and again, after difficult moments, that Jesus is resurrected. And with us.

2 thoughts on “Hearts on fire.

  1. Hugh McDevitt

    Hi Jon, thanks for your reflections on one of my favorite stories. I love the gospel of Luke because of its great narratives. As I’ve done on your blog a few times in the past, I’d like to share a musical setting of one verse from this text, “Abendlied” by 19th-century composer Josef Rheinberger. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGc__HGwdxk. The text is “Stay with us for night is coming and the day is almost over.” Our concert choir at San Jose State sang this piece last spring. I’m the grad student who likes to tell stories, so I asked my conducting professor if I could share the story behind this verse with the choir, many of whom are not church goers. I related the story in the context of a choir member who had recently passed away and with whom we had all shared a part of our musical journey. It had a great impact on our subsequent rehearsals and performance. Hope you enjoy the music!


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