Yesterday, I noticed our local bookstore was going out of business, so I went in to see what books were still available. I found a small hardback book titled, Springs in the Valley by Mrs. Chas E. Cowman, copyright 1939. Intrigued, I purchased the little devotional and took it home. Last night while reading the second entry, I had a deeper revelation of the New Testament thanks to Mrs. Cowman expounding on the Emmaus Road experience.
When I read the Old Testament, it’s easy to see an allegory or parable within the event being described. Take for example the story of David and Goliath. We know this was a factual account of a historical confrontation between a young Israeli teenager and a seasoned Philistine warrior. While reading about the real event, most Believers also understand other layers that are allegorical or spiritually symbolic. We perceive situations in our lives when we are in a similar position to David. David, representing a man of faith, overcomes the impossible giant in life by trusting in God. From David’s historical battle, we can learn a lesson of faith applicable to our own lives. Or perhaps in the story of David and Goliath, we view Jesus the Christ, the Beloved (the meaning of David’s name) of God, taking on Satan, humanity’s giant enemy, and totally destroying him. Whatever spiritual depths we read in the story of David and Goliath, Believers seem to instinctively know there is more to the Old Testament story than just mere historical facts.
Somehow, I never truly applied this same bible reading principle to all the New Testament scriptures. Of course like many Christians, I regularly extrapolate spiritual applications from Jesus’ teachings and parables. Their practical application to a life of faith seem obvious, as well as in many other gospel accounts, like Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on water. Yet somehow, many of the other events in the New Testament I read as simply historical facts and never truly considered a deeper spiritual meaning concealed behind them.
Mrs. Cowman wrote about the Emmaus Road experience from a new spiritual perspective. She began recounting the tale of an early spring day when two men were walking the Emmaus Road, both recently saddened by their teacher’s death. Then she elaborated about their heavy emotional burden and mentioned a Stranger suddenly falls in step with them along the road. Together, the three men begin discussing the depressed hearts of the two disciples. While the two men don’t understand who the third man is yet, their discussion of scripture ignites a warm glow in their souls that bids them to stay in this stranger’s company. Loathed to see him leave, the two men invite him into their lodging for the night. At dinner with the breaking of bread, the two men suddenly KNOW the third man is Jesus.
Then Ms. Cowman challenges Believers to take the spiritual application of the Emmaus Road event into our hearts. Do we have times in life when we don’t notice Jesus walking with us because our journey is full of sorrows and with heavy heart and feet we barely take the next step? Like those two men of long ago, Jesus is walking beside us, even when we do not see Him. Like them, do you feel warmth within your soul while reading God’s word? Does it feel like that flame might be too small to completely lift your pain and burden, and yet you do not want the Stranger to leave? Well, take comfort Ms. Cowman reminds, for the Lord is walking beside you! Jesus’ revelations from Old Testament scriptures beginning with Moses clear up through Gospel events are only part of knowledge He wanted to impart to His disciples. Jesus desired they understand all that He was, all that He did, and equally important that they see Him as He is now. Had Jesus not wanted those two disciples to see Him as the risen Lord, He would not have stayed with them till dinner waiting for them to fully comprehend.
Take comfort for Jesus is with you. Even though you cannot see Him clearly, He is walking beside you, always with you. Mrs. Cowman encourages Believers to take the seemingly lonely road. Walk it courageous and unafraid, because Jesus is on that road. He will never fail you, nor ever forget His covenant with you. Like the disciples of old, Jesus continually walks beside us, even if we don’t realize it.
Wow! Looking through the eyes of the Emmaus Road disciples for a practical spiritual revelation the Holy Spirit wanted to impart to Believers today was fresh rhema for my soul. It also forever changed how I read the New Testament. No longer will I read of early church events as simply recording the facts of what happened. Like Old Testament stories, the New Testament facts are designed to give us a deeper revelation of Jesus Christ and His work in our lives. Imagine what Believers will find when we read through the Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and all the letters to the churches with a heart to view another level of revelation, one beyond the mere facts. What precious treasures await those who seek!
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing and the honor of kings to search it out.
An Alaskan Author, Prospector, Homeschool Teacher, Ordained Minister,
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