What a treasure we find in the post-resurrection appearance of Jesus to the men on the road to Emmaus. They were identified by Jesus as “slow of heart” . . . and yet still loved!
He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ would suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
What Jesus said to these on the road to Emmaus He says to us today. How often are we slow of heart to believe the truths of the Gospel!
- We seek blessing in our merit rather than in His mercy.
- We seek favor in our good works rather than in His goodness.
- We seek our identity in our work rather than in His finished work.
- We seek our meaning in our ministry to him rather than in His ministry to us.
The Gospel is the only thing that can disrupt our natural tendency to look to ourselves rather than our God for all that we hope for. Notice in the passage just how patient our Lord was with the slow of heart in explaining the truths of the Gospel. He was not angry with them. He was not disappointed with them. He was not short with them. He loved them enough to walk with them and talk with them about the only thing that matters in both life and death: Jesus himself.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
(2 Corinthians 8:9)
When we understand what Jesus gave up for us, we begin loosening our grip on everything smaller than God. “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9-10). Had Jesus chosen to stay rich, we would have stayed poor . . . and gone down into the eternal torment of the pit of hell. But Jesus left the unimaginable treasures in heaven to make us His treasure. “Though he was in the form of God, [Jesus] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant” (Philippians 2:6-7), in order that He might bring many sons to glory (Hebrews 2:10).
Preaching the truths of the Gospel to ourselves every day is the only cure for our naturally slow-beating hearts regarding the things of God. Our heartbeat accelerates as we keep the Gospel in view—not only the suffering and sacrificial death of our Lord on the cross, but also all the promises of God’s continuing work in this world as Redeemer, Rescuer, and Restorer. And on those days we find ourselves in the condition of slow of heart, we only need to remember we are still loved and treasured by our Lord.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!