So they said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while He was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?” —Luke 24:32
In the final chapter of Luke’s Gospel you read about Jesus walking with two disciples. They knew Scripture, had heard the testimony of other men and women, and were discussing (even arguing about) the significance of Jesus. But their eyes had to be opened to see Christ—literally in that instance.
If you read the four Gospels, there are three simple facts that are so plain that they’re easy to skim over.
- Every encounter with Jesus on that first Sunday and the following days until His ascension included multiple people. Our resurrected Lord worked in the context of relationships.
- Every person to whom Jesus appeared had a degree of doubt, fear, or lack of understanding at first. Our resurrected Lord made Himself known in personal ways.
- Every appearance of Jesus resulted in people going to tell others the good news of His resurrection. Our resurrected Lord began spreading the gospel by explaining Scripture and by the testimonies of His followers.
It’s easy to slip into a state of mind where we believe things to be true in the Bible but don’t reflect them in our ministries today. Pause to consider those three simple things on a personal level.
- What are you doing to help people form meaningful relationships around a common bond in Christ? Are you attracting attendees or making disciples?
- How are you encouraging (or even allowing) honest conversations about Scripture in general—and the gospel, specifically? Do people feel comfortable sharing doubt, fear, lack of understanding, and growth?
- How often are you providing opportunities for people to share personal testimonies in your church, campuses, or groups? Are people eager to share the ways God has opened their eyes and changed their lives?
What would your church be like if everyone could answer “yes” to these questions?
Jeremy Maxfield is a writer and editor for the adult discipleship team in the Lifeway Groups Ministry division. For over 10 years, he has been serving churches through publishing, freelance writing, and pastoral staff positions. Jeremy serves as the Groups Pastor at Green Hill Church in Mount Juliet, TN. Follow him on Twitter: @jrmaxfield.