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Enabled to Understand

I’m currently reading Alan J. Thomson’s The Acts of the Risen Lord Jesus: Luke’s account of God’s unfolding plan. It’s been a great read so far, as are most of the books from the excellent New Studies in Biblical Theology series.

In his chapter on the importance of the resurrection, shortly after showing that “Luke not only affirms significance of the physical resurrection, but also highlights its meaning and significance.”

We see as Jesus walks along the road with his disciples in 24:36 his teaching “is all about reminding them of what [he] had told them and their understanding of the Scriptures.” He reveals to them the words that he had spoken have now been fulfilled according to God’s plan as written in the Scripture. “When the Scriptures are referred to in Luke 24, the emphasis is not on a particular verse or two. Rather, the emphasis is repeatedly on the totality of Scripture.”

And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! (24:25)

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. (24:27)

They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (24:32)

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 and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” (24:44)

Then what do we read happened?

“The disciples are then enabled to understand the Scriptures.”

Isn’t it interesting that only after Jesus explained the whole of the Scriptures that they were enabled to understand?

This should be a huge challenge to us.

People must understand the totality of the Scriptures.

How can we expect people to know the hope [the resurrection of the dead in Christ the first fruits] to which they have been called if they do not understand the foundation of that hope? The fulfillment of God’s promises in Jesus Christ and his continuing work to this day provide us with assurance.

We must teach the whole counsel of the Word of God. Only then will people see the beauty of the King and be truly transformed. Only then will our churches start to understand that it is the church that God has blessed to reach the nations. Only then will the nations understand as well. Only after they understand the Scriptures.

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