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This is the Life: Burning Hearts
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
They stood still, their faces downcast. 18 One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”
19 “What things?” he asked.
“About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”
25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 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?”
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
1. Jesus _______________ us where we are.
Jesus himself came up and walked along with them… Stay with us.
2. Jesus _______________ scripture to us.
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us… and opened the Scriptures to us?”
3. Jesus _______________ our eyes to recognize him.
He took bread… their eyes were opened and they recognized him.
4. Jesus’ __________ _____ _____ is celebrated in our life together.
They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem… “It is true!”
• Solitude • Reflection on Scripture • Spiritual Friendships
Small Group Questions
- What makes it hard for you to recognize what Jesus is doing or saying to you?
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: Lectio Divina (reading scripture as a means to hearing God’s voice)
Throughout all generations God has spoken to his people through his Word (Scripture) and the incarnate Word (Jesus). God’s Word is one of the primary ways we can learn to recognize God's love, character, presence, and activity in our lives. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through Scripture, making it alive and active. As we enter into a time of silence, practice listening as you focus on what Jesus is saying to you. As you listen, journal your honest response to the prompts.
Prepare: Ask three people to read the passage and the prompts aloud, pausing between readings.
Prayer: Open with a minute of silence to settle your hearts and minds, preparing to listen.
Reader #1: Luke 24:13-18.
- What word or phrase stands out to you?
- What do you sense Jesus is saying to you through that word or phrase?
Reader #2: Read Luke 24:19-29.
- What causes you to be “slow of heart to believe” that Jesus is alive and present with you (vs 25)?
- What would Jesus want you to know from this Scripture about his love, character, presence, or activity in your life?
Reader #3: Read Luke 24:30-35.
- What is God's invitation or challenge to you as you hear his Word and pay attention to your heart?
- Write a prayer, asking Jesus for whatever is burning within your heart.
Group Debrief: What was meaningful or encouraging to you in this Scripture or practice? Where do you currently recognize Jesus is walking with you? What would help you recognize him more fully?
- What do you think is particularly important for you to consider from this week's Scripture or message?
- What were the two people discussing on the way to Emmaus? What emotions do you think they were feeling?
- How had the events of the last few days crushed their expectations? How do you think their expectations changed in the course of their encounter with Jesus? What expectations do you need to let go of so you don’t miss where Jesus is leading you and us now?
- What are you doing to incorporate God's Word in your life? What would help you hear God’s Word as the loudest and most trusted voice of all the voices you hear, both inside and outside yourself?
- To what degree does understanding Scripture serve as a motivation for you to change your behavior, assumptions, or beliefs? What makes you resistant to allowing God’s Word to impact or change you? Think of a time God spoke to you through Scripture; what was that like for you?
- When did the two recognize Jesus? What did they recall after they reflected on their conversation with Jesus? How does gathering with a spiritual community help you recognize Jesus is walking alongside you?
- Why do you think they were kept from recognizing Jesus until he broke break? How have you experienced your ‘heart burning within’ you?
- Why do you think the two travelers wanted to return to Jerusalem? As you reflect on your story over this past year, where do you now recognize Jesus was present? How do you think your experience will impact you going forward?
PRAYER AND BENEDICTION
Share your requests: Are there personal challenges the group can pray for this week?
Pray for one another: Thank God for what you have learned. Ask God for wisdom to apply it this week.
Benediction (Psalm 67)
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine upon us, that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations. May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever, Amen.