Jean’s Gospel: Grace For The Weak

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19 Responses

  1. Babylon's Dread says:

    Excellent work Jean,

    The Emmaus experience has been the basis of an extended teaching that I do with my congregation. For many years we have attempted to reconstruct the Emmaus message “beginning with Moses…”

    Thank you for the work on this

  2. Kevin H says:

    Very good article, Jean.

  3. Jean says:

    Thank you BD and Kevin!

  4. Dallas says:

    Brought me to mind of one of my favorite little snippets from Scripture…

    “And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling… ”

    Makes me think about the gospel that we preach, and whether it can be accused of being too good to be true. Kind of seems like it should be. The good news that is SO GOOD that its hard to believe.

  5. Dallas says:

    Oh, and btw, Emmaus road is usually my “if you had a time machine” answer.

  6. Michael says:

    “When I am weak, I need a fellow Christian to come along side me to instruct, admonish and encourage me with Christ’s Word until I am strengthened in faith; and when you are weak, I must be prepared to come alongside you with Christ’s Word to strengthen you in your faith.”

    I am almost always weak…and always in need of the Gospel.

    Good stuff, Jean…

  7. Jean says:

    There’s an amazing little snippet at the end of the Emmaus road story that I couldn’t work in due to word count, but which I commend to your meditations:

    “When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.” (Luke 24:30-31) The bread blessed by Christ, opened there eyes to the Life.

    In some strange way I am still trying to get my head around, what Christ gave to those disciples (life and sight) appears to reverse what our first parents took from God in disobedience, which opened their eyes to nakedness, shame and death:

    “she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.”

  8. Jean says:

    Thank you Michael. “always in need of the Gospel” – sounds like wisdom to me.

  9. Michael says:

    Jean,

    I think you’re on to something with #7.

    Our salvation is our first step on the way to the new garden…

  10. JD says:

    When I am weak, I need the Holy Spirit to come along side me to instruct, admonish and encourage me with Christ’s Word until I am strengthened in faith; and when you are weak, you need the Holy Spirit to come alongside you with Christ’s Word to strengthen you in your faith.

    The tendency to try and prop people up ourselves produces dismay when they fall. They need God, and so do I. We can lead them to scripture, feed them, pray for them, and point them towards the living God. But one certainly can’t trust another Christian, even a pastor, to become their strengthener instead of the Good Shepherd. Why work to become their “little god”? We need God Himself most of all.

  11. Jean says:

    JD #10,

    I don’t disagree with you. I believe the Holy Spirit is living and active in the Word, as Jesus said in John’s Gospel:

    “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

    Thank you for bringing your point out; it’s a good point of clarification.

  12. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    JD,
    “When I am weak, I need the Holy Spirit to come along side me to instruct, admonish and encourage me with Christ’s Word …”

    The Spirit does this in the setting of the Church that Jesus created and he does this through pastors who dispense his word and sacraments.

  13. Kevin H says:

    Yes, we need the Holy Spirit to come along side of us. Often times He will work through people (pastors, others) for this to happen.

  14. Owen says:

    Jean,
    Echoing the sentiments of the others, great article, and I thank you. Lots to chew on. I find it amazing how the basic, simple truths continue to reach us on deeper and deeper levels….

    #7 – very interesting thought. My mind goes several different ways with this. What we try to take by our own will can never satisfy what Christ freely gives.

  15. Jean says:

    Hello Owen. Thank you for the encouragement.

    Great insight regarding #7.

  16. JD says:

    #12: Really? Maybe for the illiterate.

  17. Owen says:

    Thanks, Jean…

    I like how Matthew Henry puts it, regarding the fall…

    “They saw the happiness they had fallen from, and the misery they had fallen into. They saw a loving God provoked, his grace and favour forfeited, his likeness and image lost, dominion over the creatures gone. They saw their natures corrupted and depraved, and felt a disorder in their own spirits of which they had never before been conscious. They saw a law in their members warring against the law of their minds, and captivating them both to sin and wrath. ”
    And then, the disciples, when their eyes were opened upon receiving the bread from Christ, said “were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us?” This , to me, seems like the reversal you spoke of, Jean.

  18. Babylon's Dread says:

    I certainly agree with the idea that truth can be propositional but is only received revelation ally. The scripture say, both that he opened their understanding” and that “he who has ears let him hear”

    Truth is ultimately revealed.

    This is the piece that is left out of so many discussions about morality and theology …

    We know the truth because he has revealed it

  19. Em ... again says:

    #18, ah, yes and then we congratulate ourselves on having discovered it, eh? 🙂

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