When Jesus Speaks

Message for March 2019 – 17

My dear youth,

I greet you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask that His blessings, love, and guidance be upon you in abundance.

Down and troubled
I invite you to reflect on the text of Luke 24:32. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?

These words correspond to two men known as the “disciples of Emmaus,” since their story runs is set on the road that leads to that town located about 7 miles from Jerusalem. They were disciples of Jesus and belonged to the wider circle of followers of the Master; they were not apostles. They knew about the crucifixion of the Lord and they had also heard about what happened on Sunday
morning with the body of Christ, that it was said to have disappeared. They had also heard that the women had seen the angels and that some of them had spoken with Jesus. They sauntered with a sullen gait, somber and overwhelmed by everything that had come to pass. They did not know what to think and how the latest events would affect their lives, especially their faith.

On the road to Emmaus everything was dark in their hearts, despite the fact that the sun was still shining. This can be a perfect description of the experience that overwhelms so many Christians on the path of life… maybe you, or even me.

Being well absorbed in their ideas and opinions they were joined by a person in their walk and because of their mood they did not notice. They continued speaking and expressing their opinions. Would it be worthwhile to follow Jesus? What fate awaited them? Maybe Jesus was not the Messiah. If they did not recognize Christ it is because they were too self-absorbed. Does this not
happen when a Christian stops recognizing Christ as his personal Savior? To focus on self is to place oneself in quicksand. I have met brothers or sisters who, after serving the Master for years, one
day decide to depart from the faith. I remember the case of a young man who had left the church. When I visited him he told me that he did not understand many things, that he had accepted them before without questioning God, but that now he could not bear it anymore and did not want to continue embracing the Gospel because he found many inconsistencies. When he revealed some of
them, I realized that they were not transcendental things and that they had a biblical explanation.

The question of Jesus
At this point Jesus asked them a direct question: “And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?” Luke 24:17. The Savior was concerned for their mood and also the content of their conversation; their worries. This shows us the loving attitude that God shows with each of his children: “Wherefore, if God so clothe
the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Matthew 6:30. That’s right, dear youth, Jesus takes into account all that overwhelms us, He does not overlook anything that concerns and worries us, He knows absolutely everything about us and understands us perfectly. The best thing is that He does everything possible to show us His love and alleviate our pain. There will be moments when walking on the path of life that our spirit will be low, like that of the disciples of Emmaus. It is precisely in that stretch of the road that Jesus is with us closer than ever. You can hear his voice saying to you: “Why are you sad? Why do you have those thoughts that overwhelm you?”

The surety of the one who believes
“Into the experience of all there come times of keen disappointment and utter discouragement—days when sorrow is the portion, and it is hard to believe that God is still the kind benefactor of His earthborn children; days when troubles harass the soul, till death seems preferable to life. It is then that many lose their hold on God and are brought into the slavery of doubt, the bondage of unbelief.” Prophets and Kings, pg. 162.

“For the disheartened there is a sure remedy—faith, prayer, work. Faith and activity will impart assurance and satisfaction that will increase day by day. Are you tempted to give way to feelings of anxious foreboding or utter despondency? In the darkest days, when appearances seem most forbidding, fear not. Have faith in God. He knows your need. He has all power. His infinite love and compassion never weary. Fear not that He will fail of fulfilling His promise. He is eternal truth. Never will He change the covenant He has made with those who love Him. And He will bestow upon His faithful servants the measure of efficiency that their need demands.” Prophets and Kings, pg. 164. We do not always have to pay attention to our emotions and feelings, sometimes they deceive us, as it happened to the disciples of Emmaus: They were extremely sad because they believed everything had ended with the crucifixion of Jesus, yet how far they were from reality. Their hearts were distressed although they could have been happy if they had only listened to what Christ spoke during his ministry.

On the road to Emmaus the disciples of Christ began to listen to the things the stranger told them about the Messiah. He told them everything the Scriptures declared in relation to the life and work of the one who was going to redeem Israel. Upon hearing that prophetic word something extraordinary happened: “And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” Luke 24:32.

The Lord Jesus revealed Himself to them by breaking the bread; they recognized that the stranger who had spoken to them on the way was the risen Savior. Jesus has conquered death and has the power so that each son of His can overcome as He overcame. Today, every sincere Christian has the opportunity to listen to Jesus in the pages of the Bible. Every word of His is the power of God. Believed and obeyed His words give us life, freedom and true happiness. Will we listen to it and receive it in our hearts? God bless you. Amen.

José Vicente Giner
Pastor and Director of the Youth Department
General Conference

For reflection:
1. In what situation have you required the presence of Jesus?
2. What things or circumstances can prevent us from recognizing Jesus?
3. What steps would we have to take in life to let Jesus stay with us and not pass us by, that in the end we may share the bread of life with Him?