True Disciples of Jesus Christ talk about God!
Have ever taken a wrong exit while driving? Imagine you do it not only once, but many times. In case you’re driving with someone else, you probably know how the tone of conversations will change depending on trying to get back on the right itinerary.
Clearly, how we talk or even why we talk is closely dependent on where we are in life.
In other words, the way we talk can easily be influenced by the following:
- Where we are in life.
- What path we are on.
- Where we are headed. What’s our destination?
To be true disciples of Jesus Christ therefore has to do, not only the way we talk and what we talk about. It has to do with where we are and where we are headed.
Luke 24 offers a story that can provide us with simple truths, which can in turn empower us to talk about God.
The story is about two disciples who have left Jerusalem and are now headed to a place called Emmaus. It is likely that the place where they go could be their home.
Here are Four truths that have come out of their story, which are empowering to you and I in order to talk about God.
Truth #1: Jesus joins us on our walk in life
Just as the 2 disciples were on a journey, so are we today. We may at different points on our journey, but the reality is that each one of us is on a path and walking.
Every day that passes by moves to the next step on our journey. Each step along dictates the kind of talk we have, either within ourselves or with other people. The talk the two disciples had, based on Luke 24, was originally about what the people did to Jesus Christ.
They had thought that He was the Christ, the One to save the people of Israel. But, it is the third day and He has not yet been raised from the dead. As you can tell, their talk was about what people did. There was no mention of what God is capable of through Jesus Christ.
Jesus, joining them now on their walk, was kind of disappointed that they could not believe what He had told them. At this point these two disciples had not yet recognized that the man joining them on their walk is the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, their Master (verses 15-17).
Also and as you may see by now, these two disciples are going away from the place where Jesus had asked them and all the other disciples to be. In Acts 1:4,8, He told them to wait in Jerusalem for the promise: the Holy Spirit. You can clearly see that the kind of talk the disciples were having with each other was dictated by the choice of what path to take.
The journey we embark on is, in a lot of ways, and the way we talk go hand in hand. Sometimes, it may mean taking the wrong or right path. But the good news is that, no matter what path we take, Jesus is always joining us. Remember though that being on a given path is a choice that we make everyday.
Therefore, if we say that Jesus joins us on our journey, just as He did with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus, He also wants to be a part of our conversations.
Truth #2: Our talk often focuses on the reality of things around us
In Luke 24, the disciples’ talk was an expression of their disappointment, sadness and sorrow for having lost the One who was to be the Christ (Messiah). That was the reality of their lives in that time. Their conversation was focused on what people had done to Jesus Christ.
So often what we talk about is what has happened to us. It is what anything or anyone you can think of such as nature, an illness or people have done to us.
Truth #3: Jesus helps us connect our reality of life with God’s Word
The idea of a suffering King and Lord did not connect for the two disciples. That could have been one of the reasons they were feeling sadness and disappointments, if those are the right words to describe their feelings. In addition, it was the third day and Jesus had not yet come back to life. That might have sounded like a broken promise to them.
What they missed was what Jesus wanted to help them with on their seven-mile journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus.
Trying to explain reality on our own does not help much. And that’s what the two disciples were doing. As a result of making sense of life this way always leads to disappointments, sadness, sorrow, anxiety and fear.
But, Jesus’ way of making sense of what happens in life is that, which connects our reality with God’s Word. In the story, Jesus would help these two people realize that what Scripture talks about the Christ to go through is what happened to Jesus.
Truth #4: A complete shift in the way we talk happens through personal communion with Jesus Christ
Listen to Jesus Christ
This begins with letting Jesus walk with you in combined with listening to Him whether we recognize Him or not. These two disciples might have lived with Jesus. But, they chose to listen to this stranger who seemed to know more about Scripture.
Because of their humility, Jesus walked with them until when they had reached their home.
Home could mean many things. In addition to our dwelling places, it may also stand for our heart or hiding places. These can take various forms: spiritual, emotional or even mental. Jesus is standing at the door of your home. What would you do? Would you invite Him into your home?
The disciples, after walking with Jesus all the way from Jerusalem to Emmaus, invited Him to stay with them.
Ask Jesus to stay with you
“Stay with me” should be a daily prayer for all of us. Asking Jesus Christ to stay with us is an invitation we give Him to come into our intimate areas of our lives. Places where we so often allow no one to come into, but that is exactly where Jesus wants to dwell.
Invite Jesus at the Table
Having Jesus stay with us is not enough. We need to go one step further: inviting Jesus at the table. Yes, when Jesus is invited into our heart, He wants to go right at the core of who we are. There, He would like to dine with us and we with Him (Revelation 3: 20).
It was at this stage the two disciples, as they were eating with Jesus, “then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him; and he vanished from their sight.” (Luke 24: 31)
The shift did happen. With their eyes now opened, they begin to realize that even on their journey, their hearts were burning inside them as Jesus was opening Scriptures to them. (Luke 24: 32)
Right there and then, they left Emmaus and went back to Jerusalem.
Communion with Jesus Christ sent them back into the right direction (Jerusalem). That is where they were supposed to be. Choosing to go back where they should be eventually changed their talk. They went back to Jerusalem, not as they had left it, disappointed and sad. But, this time, they are back with the assurance of Jesus’ resurrection. The talk is about what God has done and what He capable of doing for His people.
Two things to take away from this story in Luke 24:
First, no matter where you are in life, Jesus joins you. He walks with you whether you like it or not. And this is not something you over which you have control.
Second, what you have control over is your response to Jesus. How you respond has a couple of benefits:
- You become able to connect reality of life with Scripture, which provides clarity even when things seem tough.
- You are able to always find your way back where you should be in life.
If you feel this is very helpful to you, please share it with someone who may need these words of encouragement. I would like also to hear from you by leaving a comment below.
This post is a reflection of the sermon, “True Disciples talk about God,” from the series “The Five Marks of True Discipleship.” Click below to listen to the full audio sermon.