Walking with the Living Christ.

In Luke 24, our risen Lord shows mercy and patience to two unbelieving yet religious persons. Many in our day also do not understand the full story of Jesus. Religion always either takes away from Jesus or adds to Him. True Christianity believes that Jesus as revealed in the Bible is enough.

Cleopas and his friend had been taught by religion that Jesus would be an earthly king. He will rule on earth in the future, but his first coming was to be our Savior. Their understanding of the Scriptures was incomplete.

Given only part of the story of who Jesus was, these sincere men were left to rely on human reasoning. When Jesus was crucified, they lost hope.

Dashed Hopes

Cleopas and his friend were taught to expect an earthly conquering Messiah. When Jesus’ earthly life apparently ended in defeat on the cross, they despaired. This is what they were fervently discussing on their walk.

Selective Knowledge of Christ

Their hopes were dashed because they had been given incomplete understanding of Old Testament prophecy. These friends were looking for external freedom while not understanding that their own hearts were in bondage to sin.

Jesus, the Great Teacher, addresses their ignorance and teaches them the complete story. For hours, he instructs them about Himself through all the prophecies of the Old Testament.

Mere religion still today does not preach the full sufficiency of Jesus Christ, as if he is not enough to meet our spiritual need. This leaves us feeling empty and fearful, with unanswered questions and no hope in our hearts. The whole truth of Jesus fills in religious teachers’ blanks.

Jesus came to be a sacrifice for our sin. Luke 19:10 says, “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” He knew our greatest need is not to have our egos boosted with positions in a kingdom, but forgiveness from our sin through full faith and trust in Him as our Savior.

Sincere Unbelief

Our world is full of sincere people. Those who trust in Jesus Christ can face the end of their lives with great peace and joy. Those who only know of Christ in their heads are left unsettled, and there is no greater fear than to face eternity wondering what’s next.

By the end of the chapter, Cleopas and his friend show that their hearts have moved from unbelief to belief. The power of God’s Word had worked in their hearts as it was spoken by Jesus Himself, and they saw who He really was. Though Jesus physically vanishes from their presence, they are not enthralled by the miracle, but start talking about what Jesus was teaching them on the road. They are so excited that they now believe, they turn around and go back 7 or 8 miles to tell the saints in Jerusalem.

Personal Application

  • Have you been given an incomplete understanding of Jesus? Are you in despair? Do you face eternity with fear or with peace? If you do not know Christ as your Savior, will you trust Him today? Jesus will come to reign as King, but the only way you will reign with Him is if you first bow your knee to Him as Savior and Lord of your life.
  • What do believing people do when they recognize Christ as Savior and King? They can’t help but tell people about Him! There is no greater relief for the human heart than to be able to say, “I am forever forgiven in Jesus Christ!” If you do know Christ, are you as excited to share what He’s done in your life with others as Cleopas and his friend were?

A Hymn to Encourage: “I Run to Christ”

I run to Christ when chased by fear
And find a refuge sure.
“Believe in me,” His voice I hear;
His words and wounds secure.
I run to Christ when torn by grief
And find abundant peace.
“I too had tears,” He gently speaks;
Thus joy and sorrow meet.

I run to Christ when worn by life
And find my soul refreshed.
“Come unto Me,” He calls through strife;
Fatigue gives way to rest.
I run to Christ when vexed by hell
And find a mighty arm.
“The Devil flees,” the Scriptures tell;
He roars, but cannot harm.

I run to Christ when stalked by sin
And find a sure escape.
“Deliver me,” I cry to Him;
Temptation yields to grace.
I run to Christ when plagued by shame
And find my one defense.
“I bore God’s wrath,” He pleads my case—
My Advocate and Friend.