Devotion – May 2024

Conversation on the road to Emmaus

What conversations have you had while travelling? My husband and I love to listen to the ABC radio podcast “Conversations” while on road trips. There is such a vast and diverse array of guests the interviewers interact with, some to make us laugh, some to move us to tears. Travelling conversations with a captive audience can pass the time, and also be enlightening.

The two poor souls on the road to Emmaus were on a seven mile (11.2 km) walk from Jerusalem on the day of Jesus’ resurrection. They had lived through three horrific days and were now discussing the unnerving story. They were facing the devastation that their hope in the promised Messiah was dashed. That would have been unsettling enough but, that very morning, some women from their group found Jesus’ tomb empty and reported that he was not dead, because some angels told them! Seeing angels? Jesus alive? How crazy!

They believed Jesus was dead, their hopes for Israel’s redemption were quashed and now they were returning home dejected. But the tomb being empty was disconcerting. Who could have stolen the body? So much to consider and so much that they couldn’t wrap their heads around, let alone believe.

This was more than the average travelling conversation!

In their sorry state Jesus appears but is not recognised by them. How often does this happen for us when we are too troubled, and God sends us a friend or Bible text or some kindness that we don’t recognise as coming from him? Jesus then inquires what they are discussing and his question – as so often he asks – is not because he doesn’t know the answer, but because he wants to help the person process their thoughts. Once they explain the extraordinary events of the previous days, Jesus nudges their memories and begins to explain the Messianic prophecies throughout Scripture and the fulfilment of them in the recent past.

With burning hearts they listened, not knowing it was Jesus himself speaking to them. Have you had a “burning heart” experience? Perhaps your full heart of love as you gazed at your new baby could be described this way. Or you may have had the opportunity to follow your dream to study a subject about which you were passionate. God may even have given you a glimpse that he was truly with you in your time of need. Whatever the circumstance, a “heart burning” moment is something to cherish.

How much more so for these two, once their eyes were opened to seeing Jesus breaking the bread and realising who their travel companion really was! Jesus had been with them all along.

As he is with us … our constant travel companion as we journey through life.

Perhaps the “heart burning” turned into heart bursting as they raced off into the night to return to Jerusalem to share what they now believed. Jesus was alive!

Prayer: Dear Jesus, please open our eyes to see you in our day-to-day walk. Bring us “heart burning” moments in your presence so that we can give you the awe, honour, and praise that you deserve. Come close now as we study your Word further and keep being in our conversations.
We love you, Lord. Amen.

About the Author

Narelle Fulwood

Narelle Fulwood lives with her semi-retired pastor husband Mike in a beach-side suburb of Perth with sons, daughters-in-law and seven little granddaughters close by. Over the years they have served in Melbourne, Canberra, and Perth, and also in Reconciliation Ministry. After years of teaching junior primary students, she now loves to read, paint, and teach children and adults how to play in clay and make ceramic art.

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