Wisconsin Lutheran Chapel logo

God’s Word for You

Luke 24:32-35 Were not our hearts burning

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Wednesday, July 10, 2019

32 They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road and while he was explaining the Scriptures to us?”

The two companions couldn’t help but talk about what had just happened. As they described their experience, they both found that their hearts had been “burning.” The Gospel works no matter who is speaking it; but we must admit that the Gospel directly from the mouth of Jesus had a special effect on these men.

Does anyone get tired of hearing the gospel? Only if he has become deaf to the law. Knowing my sins and grieving over them always sets my heart yearning for the gospel and the forgiveness that comes only through Jesus. I am a preacher, and I love to step into God’s pulpit to proclaim God’s word to God’s people. But I also love to sit in the pew and listen to my brothers in the ministry proclaim that same gospel straight to my heart. It is the word of God that always sets my heart to burning.

33 They got up that moment and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those who were with them assembled together 34 who were saying, “The Lord really has been raised! He has appeared to Simon.” 35 Then they described what had happened on the road, and how they recognized him when he broke the bread.

Thinking nothing of the hour, the two companions hurried back to Jerusalem. It probably took them the better part of two hours, which may have put their arrival at 7:00 or 8:00 in the evening. John 20:19 tells us that Jesus’ appearance (verse 36 of this chapter) happened in the evening. The “Eleven” is a title for the group of Apostles without Judas, but we know from John’s account that Thomas at least was not there on this day (see John 20:24-25).

The group they met were already buzzing with the news. Peter had seen Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:5), and coupled with the report from the women, this was all the proof that nearly any of them needed. Thomas’ doubt is another story for another Gospel. The two companions now recounted their experience along the road, and doubtless for this they were envied by all the others. We don’t need to envy. The proof of the resurrection was shared and believed, and Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29).

It is shameful and disgraceful when theologians try to deny the physical resurrection of Jesus, such as in Braaten and Jensen, who claim that the “resurrection” (they always use quotes with this word) is not what happened to Christ’s body, but is what happened to the disciples’ faith (Vol. I, p. 549-553).

The full meaning of the resurrection is summarized by Johann Gerhard:

    Just as God punished our sins in Christ, which (our sins) had been laid on
    him and imputed to him as our substitute, so also by raising him from the
    dead, the Father absolved him of our sins which were imputed to him, and
    therefore he also absolved us in him in order that the resurrection of Christ
    might thus be the cause and pledge and counterpart of our resurrection.
    Because in the resurrection of Christ we were absolved of our sins so that
    they no longer can condemn us before the judgment seat of God.

Christ has risen from the dead with his physical body. He was dead, but now he lives. He will never again die, and we will see his risen body in heaven just as the Emmaus companions saw his risen body. But unlike them when his appearance first began, we will recognize him right away, as he himself promised (Mark 14:62). Forever rid of sins and the burden that sin brings, we will live and bask in his glory, his light, and his peace, forevermore. He is risen indeed.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim Smith

About Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.


Browse Devotion Archive