30 When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
At the beginning of this chapter Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and others discovered Jesus’ empty tomb. While wondering what had happened two angels appeared to them and asked
5b “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; He has risen! Remember how He told you, while He was still with you in Galilee: 7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’”
Of course they told the disciples, but were not believed, although Peter ran to the tomb and discovered it was indeed empty. He too wondered what had happened, but no angels appeared to him as they had to the women who were the first ones at the tomb.
Then the chapter switches to two disciples of Christ (not members of the eleven) who were walking to the village of Emmaus approximately seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking about recent events in Jerusalem and especially about His crucifixion three days prior. That’s when Jesus came up and walked with them while ensuring they could not recognize Him. Jesus asked what they were talking about and of course they answered Jesus of Nazareth. They also relayed the story of how the women had found the empty tomb and their encounter with angels who said Jesus had risen. They added some of the disciples had also found the tomb empty, but no one had seen Jesus indicating they were unsure if He had risen or not.
Jesus rebuked them gently for their lack of belief And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself (v27). As they got close to Emmaus they asked Jesus to join them for a meal and now we come to our verses of the day. When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
So what do you think they meant when they asked each other Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us? I don’t know what your answer is, but I would be glad to find out if you would care to write me and let me share it with others. I know what my answer is, I believe Jesus lit a fire of zeal of revival in their hearts. This is evidenced by how quickly they got up and returned to Jerusalem in the dark to let the other disciples know they had seen, walked with, talked with, and supped with Him. They could not wait to share the good news! Matthew Poole’s Commentary says something similar
[W]here preaching makes our heart to burn within us, Christ throws in the coal, which the best preacher doth but blow up: only the Spirit of God is pleased to work … . But wherever any soul is baptized with fire at hearing a sermon, it is also baptized with the Holy Ghost. Christ will not always cure blind eyes with clay and spittle, though he did it once. These were disciples before the fire was kindled in their hearts; Christ’s preaching did but blow it up. We ought so to speak in our preaching, so to open and apply the Scriptures, as our discourses may have a rational tendency to make the hearts of our hearers to burn within them, not so as to make them dead, and sleepy, and cold, or lukewarm; and then to know that it must be Christ’s work to inflame them, when we have said all that we can say.
Think on how these two disciples on their walk to Emmaus impacted by their walk with Jesus. Today various church communities have Walks to Emmaus for those interested in deepening their faith and application to their lives. We have a man in our congregation who has nothing but high praise for the walk he participated in a few years ago and has convinced me to go on one sometime in the future. It would be my hope that on the walk my heart would be made to burn with ever greater zeal for Jesus and what He has done for us. Here is a link to our local Walk to Emmaus for those who might be interested. Which also brings me to a few of my favorite songs related to our hearts burning within us; Start a Fire by Unspoken, Soul on Fire by Third Day, and Mercy Me by Greater. Confession time – I play these so loud I have to wear headsets at home to avoid disturbing anyone else who happens to be there.
Are you ready to have your heart/soul set on fire. I am.