The “Fourth Week”: Week Twenty-Eight/Session Three.
Theme: The Risen Life.
Our reading for today: Luke 24: 27-35.
Then He (Jesus) started at the beginning, with the Books of Moses, and went on through all the Prophets, pointing out everything in the Scriptures that referred to Him. They came to the edge of the village where they were headed. He acted as if He were going on but they pressed Him: “Stay and have supper with us. It’s nearly evening; the day is done.” So He went in with them. And here is what happened: He sat down at the table with them. Taking the bread, He blessed and broke and gave it to them. At that moment, open-eyed, wide-eyed, they recognized Him. And then He disappeared. Back and forth they talked. “Didn’t we feel on fire as He conversed with us on the road, as He opened up the Scriptures for us?” They didn’t waste a minute. They were up and on their way back to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and their friends gathered together, talking away: “It’s really happened! The Master has been raised up—Simon saw Him!” Then the two went over everything that happened on the road and how they recognized Him when He broke the bread. (Luke 24: 27-35 MsgB)
I’ve attended a lot of Bible studies over the years, haven’t you?
The great majority for me has been very enlightening. Some have been interesting. Others a bit boring. And yes, may I admit, a few might have even been a bit destructive.
Have you noticed? Sometimes you just don’t know what you’ll get at a Bible study.
As a long time facilitator of Bible studies, I believe so much depends on the people there and the facilitator of the study. Yet, in all honesty, the biggest variable in whether or not you’ll benefit from a Bible study has a lot to do with yourself. As with so many things in life, so much depends on our own personal attitude. I’ve sat in some Bible studies, for example, and not gotten a single gem out of it. And most of those sessions were studies I was leading!
But after an honest evaluation, I often find that the main reason I didn’t get much out of a Bible study is because I wasn’t fully there. Or maybe I just failed to fully invest myself in the people. Or possibly I was unwilling to openly participate, listen to others and learn.
As a result, over the years, Bible studies can be a mixed bag.
But you know what? From everything I read from Luke’s gospel, this Sunday afternoon Bible study with Jesus on the road to Emmaus was one hot study! Wow. I would have paid money to be at this little gathering as Jesus opens up God’s Word, and from the very beginning, explains the purpose and meaning of all these words that have been written down for us in the scriptures!
Luke tells us that this particular Bible study is a topical one. One that focuses on one theme alone. And while any other Bible study facilitator would come off as self-consumed and boring when doing a topical Bible study about himself, this personalized jaunt through the Old Testament with Jesus, pointing out every instance where the Son of God is mentioned, would have been an amazing thing.
I’m guessing that Cleopas and his friend were so enthralled at this Jesus-led Bible study, they even forgot to pass the traditional cookie tray found at all Bible studies!
Speaking of food, apparently they did take a break for supper and at that point, another amazing thing happens. Luke tells us that as dinner is being served, Jesus takes a piece of bread, breaks it and as He is offering it to His friends, their eyes are opened to see the resurrected Jesus for the first time!
Yikes. Now that’s the type of Bible study I’d turn out for on a weekly basis, wouldn’t you?
Gosh, I wonder if Jesus is still available for doing that kind of topical Bible study at my church?
Let me see. Wednesday nights might work. No wait. We already have a lot of other activities scheduled then. Jesus, I’ll have to get back with you on this. Our programming at the church is pretty full right now. Maybe next fall, huh?
My prayer: Jesus, without a doubt, You are the very best facilitator of a Bible study the world has ever known. While I might not be able today to sit with you as Cleopas and his friend did, thank You that the Holy Spirit is graciously able to sit in on Your behalf, leading us in studies that can open our eyes to all of who You are. Please come Jesus and teach us Your ways. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: How have I allowed Bible studies I attend to dwindle down into a fleshly meeting of our minds? What might it look like to invite Jesus to our next Bible study? What aspects of the power and presence of God might be available to us as we would turn our Bible studies back over to Him?
So what is God speaking to you today as we ponder together The Ignatian Adventure?
Over an eight month period, you and I will be working our way through the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius. For more information on our journey and how to begin…click here!
To go onto the next journal entry…click here.