Sometime after the resurrection of Christ, Jesus met two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus. They were discussing the things that had recently developed concerning Christ when He suddenly joined them on their journey, but the Bible says, “their eyes were kept from recognizing him (Luke 24:13-16).
When Jesus asked them about their conversation, they were amazed that He could be unaware of the events that had so publicly transpired, and they began to tell Him about them. Seeing their disappointment and confusion, Jesus admonished them for their lack of faith and began to interpret the scriptures for them (Luke 24:25-27).
When they reached their destination, Jesus acted as if He would continue on His journey, but they urged Him to stay with them for it was now evening (ver. 29). He agreed, and at the table, He blessed the bread, and when He did so their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. He then immediately vanished from them (ver. 31). Here was their response.
Luke 24:32 (ESV)
32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”
Even before the eyes of these two disciples were opened, there was something about the words of Jesus that set their hearts ablaze. This got me thinking, what do the words of Christ do to our hearts today? Does it cause them to burn when we hear it?
The words of Christ should never be taken lightly. Every time we hear it, whether we are reading or listening to it in the privacy of our homes, or we are hearing it preached from behind a pulpit, we must always remember it is the Word of God. Our hearts should burn with some kind of emotion when we hear God speaking to us.
On the day of Pentecost, about three thousand Jews obeyed the gospel of Christ (Acts 2:41). Why did they obey the gospel? It was because their hearts were pricked by the Word of God (Acts 2:37). We could say that their hearts burned as they listened to the preaching of Peter. That only happened because they gladly received the word that they heard (ver. 41). That means they understood that what they were hearing was the Word of God. The people of Thessalonica were converted because they, too, received the preaching that they heard as God’s Word.
1 Thessalonians 2:13 (ESV)
13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
Every time we hear the Word of God, we need to remember what we are hearing. It is not just the words of men, it is a message from the mind of God, and it should move us to obedience. Our hearts should burn when we hear God speak. When we realize what we are hearing, we should store it in our hearts and allow it to shape our lives.
Colossians 3:16 (ESV)
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
The power, importance, and uniqueness of the words of Christ should cause our hearts to burn every time we hear them. If it doesn’t, maybe we are not really receiving it as the Word of God.