Saturday, April 1, 2017
Luke 24:44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
The resurrected Jesus was staring them right in the face and yet they were struggling to understand what all of this meant. Suddenly Jesus was able to open their minds so that they understood everything that he’d been saying to them for the last three years. Now, it made sense. Jesus IS the Messiah for he has fulfilled all of the prophetic words of the Old Testament. Once their minds were opened they were able to receive and understand the word and then take instruction.
They were to go to Jerusalem where they would begin to see things unfold. They would become witnesses to that which they have never before experienced and they would wait for something new, but wait they would for their minds had been opened and they were understanding more clearly than ever before.
Have you ever read a passage of Scripture and then just stared at it, wondering what you just read? I’ve been there. My mind has wandered and sometimes I’ll get through a whole passage and then think, “I have no idea what I just read.” I’m pretty good at having too many things on my mind when I sit down to read the Bible as well and even though I am going over the words in my mind, my mind is really elsewhere.
Then, there are those circumstances when we really are focusing on our reading but it simply doesn’t make any sense. We may read it over two or three times only to discover that we still don’t know what it is that we have read. But then, there are those “aha” moments when we discover an unusual insight into the what the word is saying to us. Take, for instance, this passage today. I’ve read it many times and mostly my focus has been on the ascension of Jesus Christ and his preparation of the disciples. However, never before had I noticed the words, “he opened their minds to understand the scriptures.” Somehow I had just gone right past that, and yet there is such truth to be seen here.
These people had been immersed in the presence of Jesus for three years and still their minds were not opened. This means that I can spend lots of time in the word but there will still be so much more for me to learn. Every day that I spend time in the Scriptures I learn something new, or I’m challenged to new depths in my walk with Jesus Christ. I need to have my mind opened to the revelation of Jesus Christ which is found in the written word. The more that my mind is opened to the Scriptures, the more that my life is opened to intimacy with Jesus.
I pray that the distractions will become fewer and fewer so that I can really soak in the word which is before me every day. The more that I get to know Christ, the more I realize I don’t know Christ — for there is still so much more to God than we can even begin to comprehend. We lean into our relationship with Jesus and pray for our minds to be opened. It is in this way that we can continue to grow.
When our minds are opened we also become available for service. We are able to embrace the instructions of our Lord. No longer do they question Jesus, but they accept what he has to say and they obediently make their way to Jerusalem, awaiting the provision of the Holy Spirit. Their open minds are able to live in faith.
Lord, open my mind that I might see and understand your truths. Amen.