Have you ever had heartburn? It’s that awful sensation in your throat caused by high acidity in your stomach. It’s a spoiler. It takes away the joy of eating. It doesn’t have a thing to do with your heart, unless, of course, you ate something that perhaps you should not have, because your “heart” desired it and your better judgment did not resist it!
An enlightened doctor we know talks about heartburn near the end of his book. It’s a good book. It’s named after him. See Luke 24:13-35.
It was resurrection Sunday. A fellow named Cleopas and his friend were walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus, a journey of seven miles. Jesus joined them, but they didn’t know it was him. He was dead, after all, and “their eyes were restrained.”
I think this is funny: Jesus played “dumb” (which, on occasion, you have to do to outsmart your children). He asked them what they were talking about, acknowledging their sadness. (Look at that! Here’s a supposed stranger, tuning in to and acknowledging the emotional state of two men, and it was apparently okay with them, according to the KJV and NKJV.)
“What things?” Jesus asked, as if he didn’t know.
So they talked about Jesus, the crucifixion, their loss of hope and their confusion over the empty tomb.
Boom! Both barrels! Jesus came on strong! “Foolish ones!” he called them! “Slow of heart to believe.” Wow!
Then, starting with Moses, way back in time, and “all the Prophets,” he “expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.” He would have had a lot to say, but they had time. It was a seven mile walk.
They got to Emmaus toward evening, and still not recognizing him as Jesus, convinced him to stay with them that night. It was only when he took, blessed, broke and gave the bread to them that their eyes were opened. But then he disappeared! Wow!
Then what? It’s not because they had eaten, or because their bodies couldn’t handle the seven mile workout, but they actually got heartburn–sort of. But it’s a different type of heartburn. They said to each other:
- “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
Now that’s a heartburn you want. That’s a heartburn you never want medicated, you never want to go away. It’s a heartburn you get by hearing the words of Jesus, by reading the Word of God, and taking it “to heart!”
That’s a heartburn you will welcome as long as you are not “slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken,” and the New Testament has said, about Jesus.
It’s a heartburn that propelled these men to take a seven mile hike back to Jerusalem that very night, to find the disciples, and to confirm the news that Jesus was alive!
One of the prophets Jesus “expounded” to them was Jeremiah. He had experienced this heartburn too. He talks about it in 20:9b. “But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.”
I could not hold it back. I could not be silent. I had to speak. It’s a heartburn that will propel you share the same good news with your family and anyone else who wants to know about the hope that is within you.
Had any heartburn lately? If not, spend a some time in the Word. In Colossians 3:16, Paul says to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” After all, it’s a light to your feet and a lamp to your path (Psalm 119:105), it produces faith (Romans 10:17), informs you and your children how to be saved (2 Timothy 3:15), and then it teaches and instructs you in righteous living (Romans 15:4). The word comforts you in times of sorrow (Romans 15:5), and helps you examine your heart (Hebrews 4:12). God’s word is effective, it accomplishes its purposes. Isaiah 55:11 says that it will not return void. It will endure forever (1 Peter 1:23, 25).
So let it dwell in you. As Jesus said, it’s how we truly live (Luke 4:4). If you like that heartburn feeling, you have to keep adding fuel to the fire. Read the word. Abide in Jesus!