What is it to be “slow of heart”? It is minds that are exposed to lots of evidence – yet are unable – or unwilling – to fit it all together to see what it proves and so creates a real sense of conviction in their minds. In recent generations, the evidence has multiplied of the miraculous way the natural world functions and multiplies. There is a wondrous intricacy and harmony in it, yet the minds of those who do not want to believe it all points to their being an all-knowing all-seeing Creator remain closed. They have convinced – themselves – that they are their own ‘god’! Their vision is limited to this life – death is their end – and they will then vanish into nothingness for ever.
Quite apart from the way the incredible wonders and intricacy of the world of nature convince us there must be a Creator, those who examine the history of the 1st Century, see that the reality of what happened almost 2,000 years ago made an indelible impact on at least some who experienced them. Some of the secular history of that era written by Josephus and Roman historians, such as Tacitus illuminate the testimony of writers like Luke, whose gospel we finished reading today. These writings are such that they increase the challenge to doubters to believe a wondrous event – the resurrection – really occurred.
Luke’s final chapter, describes the astonishment of those who came to find the tomb empty. We need to put the 4 gospels together it we wish to get a comprehensive picture of that incredible day. We are fascinated by the account of how the risen Jesus, unrecognised, joined two his followers (they were not part of the 12) who were walking to Emmaus. The conversation Jesus had with them made their “hearts burn within” them.[v.32] How did this happen? Do our ‘hearts’ ever ‘burn’?
They later reflected how “he talked to us … he opened to us the Scriptures“. These scriptures of course would be parts of the Old Testament. They would have known these scriptures, but they had been like a jigsaw that would not properly fit together. Jesus had said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” [v.25]
How “slow of heart” may we be – even today to “believe all that the prophets have spoken!” Let us read ever more carefully and diligently to see how the ‘jigsaw pieces’ fit into place as world events unfold before our eyes each passing day, week, month and year – so that we are not “slow of heart.”