We often ponder in this ministry how the Early Church was so successful and powerful in spreading the gospel in the face of many obstacles. In this blog, I want to draw your attention to some of Jesus’ final words to the disciples who seemed discouraged with the events in Jerusalem.
“Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem” (Luke 24:45–47). Let’s take a moment to unpack these verses.
1) Jesus “opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.” With this divine help, none of us will grasp the plan and purpose of God. Jesus had personally come alongside Cleopas and his friend, walked with them, and discovered in their conversation how they looked at the current event in Jerusalem. Understanding the Scriptures is not a human intellectual exercise of the mind. It is the work of the Holy Spirit who continues the work of Christ here on earth.
2) It is so vital to link what God is doing with Scripture, which Jesus did. We can easily twist current events through our human lens and miss the divine purpose. If we are going to shape our life and ministry so that it becomes effective and produces results for God’s glory, we must base our message of the gospel in what “is written” about Christ. It is evident that part of the Spirit’s inspiration of the New Testament writers was their 937 references to the Old Testament.
What is the purpose of having our understanding “enlightened?” We want first, our hearts to join God in what He is doing. After this encounter with Jesus, they wait in prayer in Jerusalem for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit to make them effective. Do we do this before launching into ministry?
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