"BUT THE LORD SAID TO ME...'YOU MUST GO TO EVERYONE I SEND YOU TO AND SAY WHATEVER I COMMAND YOU. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEM, FOR I AM WITH YOU AND WILL RESCUE YOU.'" --JER.1:7,8
"'STAND UP AND SAY TO THEM WHATEVER I COMMAND YOU...TODAY I HAVE MADE YOU A FORTIFIED CITY, AN IRON PILLAR AND A BRONZE WALL TO STAND AGAINST THE WHOLE LAND. THEY WILL FIGHT AGAINST YOU BUT WILL NOT OVERCOME YOU FOR I AM WITH YOU AND WILL RESCUE YOU,' DECLARES THE LORD.'" --JER.1:17-19
Sunday, December 26, 2010
A 2011 NARROW ROAD TRIP WITH CHRIST
A 2011 NARROW ROAD TRIP WITH CHRIST
TEXT: Luke 24:13-35
“As they talked and discussed these things
with each other, Jesus Himself came up
and walked along with them, but
they were kept from recognizing Him.”
This year, which, like last year, will seem short when it’s over, we must learn to recognize Christ as He walks with us.This year, if we want Him, He will be with us on the narrow road of discipleship.
I say, if we want Him, because sometimes we just want to discuss all these “Christian” things with each other, and worry, and complain, and talk “about” Christ, and talk “about” the Christian life, and think “about” walking with Christ.Sometimes, and we need to admit it, we are like these two disciples after the crucifixion.We are walking along, perplexed, sad, and disappointed.We expected more.We expected different things out of this “Christian life”.
“He asked them,
‘What are you discussing together
as you walk along?’”
Our Lord already knew what Cleopas and his friend were discussing.He just wanted them to tell Him.They gave Christ a laundry list.“Don’t you know about all the things that are happening?Don’t you know that our hope for Israel just died at the hands of the Jewish leaders on a Roman cross?Don’t you see that we had higher hopes?We are confused, we are downcast, we just don’t get it.”
In other words, Cleopas and friend were like us.
“Here’s our list, Father, of the things happening.Why are they happening?I’m so perplexed, and just don’t get it!”
It reminds me of the many blog sites on the web, the discussion boards and forums for Christians.So many are just wanting to endlessly discuss the problems, the terrible events, the end times, the various doctrinal issues, the many things Christians discuss when they get together.Some just want to ignore everything and pretend, talking about inconsequential things, daily things, the little things about life that bug them.Some want to fight and argue, or espouse some new angle, new movement, new religious guru who’s got a new idea.Discuss, discuss, discuss, talk, talk, talk, argue, argue, argue.That’s us.
So what did Christ do when Cleopas and friend were in the middle of one of these endless “Christian” discussions?
“He said, ‘How foolish you are,
and how slow of heart you are to believe
all that the prophets have spoken!’”
Here is Christ, and here are His distracted followers, in a nutshell.Christ wants to give us faith, and we want to endlessly discuss things and wallow in our self-pity.But He knows us, and so here is what He wants to do, as He did with them.
“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets,
He explained to them what was said
in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.”
We talk among ourselves, and worry and discuss, and fret about things, and debate endlessly this point of Scripture or that point of Scripture.We don’t get it.Some of us try to gloss over all the problems with “feel good” stuff.Great emotional stories, or inspiring Scripture.Promises, and more promises, which we say God must fulfill for us.Some want to apply Biblical “principles” to our lives, so we have some rules to live by.Some want us to go back to the law, and post it, and live by it.Some just want to complain.
Yet Christ, the resurrected Lord, comes alongside us to reveal Himself to us from Scripture.He walks with us to open our eyes.
“When He was at the table with them,
He took bread, gave thanks, broke it
and began to give it to them.
Then their eyes were opened
and they recognized Him…”
When Cleopas invited Jesus in to dine with him, to sit down and be part of His life, then things began to happen.Christ, the risen Lord, broke bread with him and gave it to him.The Lord gave Cleopas the Bread of Life, which is Himself, and Cleopas suddenly saw Christ, and when Jesus disappeared suddenly, they now had a different conversation.
“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?”
These disciples stopped talking, started listening, and most of all, sat down to a meal with Christ, making Him part of their lives.Then Christ was able to give them Himself.They saw that Christ was all, that Christ was real, that He was the answer to all their perplexing and vexing questions and debates.That Christ was the solution to the problems.That all the disciples’ vain talking and discussing and arguing was useless.
Walking and living with the risen Christ is our answer.Knowing Christ is the answer.Whatever your questions are today, He will explain to you in Scripture who He is, and how He will meet your need.
Like Cleopas and friend, we must stop arguing with and complaining to each other, and have the risen Christ open our eyes to see Him.It is simple, brothers and sisters.It is all about Christ.All of Scripture points to Christ.All is in Him.He is the Way.He is the Truth.He is our Life.
In 2011 it is my goal to know Christ.Not to know about Him, or of Him.But to do this one thing, the highest and best thing.To walk with Christ and have Him open my eyes to Himself.To break the Bread of Life with Him, and drink Living Water.To be part of the Kingdom He rules.To know the fellowship of His suffering, and the power of His resurrection.
My goal is also, with Christ’s direction, to find and nurture companions on this narrow road we walk with Christ.As He called out the disciples, so He will call out who walks together here, and who contributes to this wonderful conversation.This is all Christ, and all Scripture, and the Narrow Gate looks forward to 2011 as a year of powerful growth together in Him.