What is a burning heart? When our minds are set on ‘fire’ by news of some dramatic event, especially if it affects us – then our hearts “burn”. Maybe you have not had such an experience – but when I was young I remember the ‘fire’ in the discussions among the brethren and sisters when there was war in the Holy Land and the nation of Israel was reborn after almost 1900 years in extinction!
Hearts were on ‘fire’ then because this is what the Scriptures had predicted! We read earlier this week the words of Jesus in Luke ch. 21 v.24. that “Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” In 1948/67 this became evident to the whole world, but only those who knew God’s word had “hearts” that did “burn” because they knew Jesus also said, “when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” [v.28]
The whole world is presently aware of the ongoing conflicts north of Jerusalem and Israel, but how few are aware of their potential significance and coming events will make their/our “hearts burn”!
Our thoughts on this were provoked by v.32 in today’s last chapter in Luke’s gospel. The resurrection of Jesus had just taken place – and news/rumours of this were spreading among the disciples. “Two of them,” [v.13] “were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened.” An unrecognised Jesus joined them – and after hearing their account of events said, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should 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.” [v.25-27]
They get to their destination and persuade the unrecognised stranger to join them for a meal – and when “he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, (his hands). And he vanished …” [v.30-31]
Despite the lateness of the day ” they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem” and “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?” [v.32,33]
We anticipate the potential for our hearts to burn within us as events in and around Israel unfold (how soon?) and we witness more prophecy fulfilling and suddenly realize it is “midnight” on the prophetic time clock – and remember the words of Jesus, “at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'” [Matt. 25 v.6]