March 05, 2015

Jesus Explains Himself

Luke 24:17-27

Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

—  Luke 24:27

In high school my favorite sub­ject was geometry. I just "got it" because it made sense. The logic was based on sound premises.

In college I came to believe in Christ because the gospel was explained to me logically. I was shown how the gospel fulfilled the history of God's people; all God's promises and prophecies in the Old Testament pointed to the coming Messiah (Christ), the great deliverer of God's people. Everything anticipated the birth and life of Jesus and the purpose of his death to save us from sin. I finally "got it."

Today many folks value emotional experience over reasonable faith in Christ. "God is love" is all they want or think they need. But God's righteous love and care for us go far beyond emotional highs.

Our friends on the Emmaus road were looking for more than solace for their grief. They needed a sure hope. Jesus could have walked up and given them hearty hugs and reassuring words. But that wouldn't have been enough. Instead he reminded them of all the Old Testament promises about the Messiah. They needed a foundation for their faith and a rekindling of hope in God's ancient promises. They needed Jesus to explain himself clearly. And as he did, their hearts burned within (Luke 24:32). Is your faith well-grounded and your heart burning for Christ?

Lord Jesus, explain your Word to us and guide us to study it, that we may be faithful, impassioned disciples. Amen.

About the author — Norman F. Brown

Chaplain Norman F. Brown graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, in 1969. He served aboard destroyers during the Vietnam conflict and ashore in San Diego, Calif., as an instructor. By then God had made clear his call to work in pastoral ministry, and Norman entered Calvin Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. Chaplain Brown pastored churches during his ministry career but spent most of his time as a navy chaplain. During one assignment he served three years at Holy Loch, Scotland, where he and his wife, Ruth, encountered the Iona Community and their emphasis on spiritual disciplines. Chaplain and Mrs. Brown have three married children and nine grandchildren.

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