Aug 25 2015
Luke 24: 13-32
Two men in our church got the same vision during a Sunday service. In it they saw a large table with all the settings in place, but there were no people at the table and there was no food on it. It was obvious to me that it was the Lord’s Table and God was calling our church to it. What was less clear was why there was no food.
During the week that followed I felt urged by the Holy Spirit to speak on this vision in church, so I took time in prayer to hear from God as to why his table was empty. As I waited on him I heard nothing, all that happened was that I got increasingly hungry. So I went to the kitchen and warmed up some food in the microwave, ♦ but all the while my mind was focused on the vision. When the food was ready I put it on the table and thanked the Lord for it as usual. As I did this I suddenly saw the food in a different way, I saw it as something coming from God – his provision. Right then the vision of the empty table made sense. God was saying that our eyes have to be opened to see his food, but our eyes would only be opened if we first came to his table.
My mind was then drawn to Luke 24: 30-32 where the resurrected Jesus sat at a table with two disciples in Emmaus and as he gave thanks and handed them bread their eyes were opened and they saw that this stranger they had met on the road was actually him. This was to be my text for the next Sunday message. That same week a lady in our church confirmed my interpretation. The Lord told her separately that his food is only served once we’re seated.
Now you may be wondering what the food of God is? Well, it’s his revelation. Revelation of God feeds our faith. The more revelation we have the more our faith is built. Revelation is about seeing; seeing God in the scriptures and seeing God in our daily lives. It is no coincidence that when the two Emmaus disciples had their eyes opened they said “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the scriptures to us.” The disciples had got revelation twice that day – once when Jesus explained the scriptures and later when he opened their eyes and they saw him. Jesus is the Word – God’s Revelation in the flesh.
God’s message is clear; he is calling us to the table of his Word. We must come in faith expecting that he will reveal himself through the scriptures. Only when we are seated and reading his word does he open our eyes and give us revelation. But often God’s people refuse to come to the table saying ‘the Bible is boring’. It is only boring if we come without faith. When we read in faith revelation appears – it’s a case of ‘believe and you will see.’ This is not hard to do. People go to church in faith that God will speak, and often they say ‘Hey, what the preacher said today was for me.’ God is just saying that we must go to our Bibles at home with the same faith and he will speak.
I like to think of the Bible as the App of God. Think of how an app on your mobile phone works. Many apps have both offline and online ability. People who enjoy English Premier League football sometimes download an app that has this ability. They can study football rules, teams and fixtures offline, but when they want minute by minute updates on a particular game they go online where they receive live text messages. The Bible works in a similar way. You can study it for information like a Bible college student; this is like being offline. Or you can read it devotionally expecting God to speak to you personally and prophetically; this is like being online. Very often people experience this online dynamic when a verse seems to jump out at them because the Holy Spirit has highlighted it as something for today. While the offline reading builds our knowledge and understanding, the online reading builds our faith. Just like with the Emmaus disciples, it’s when we see Jesus in our situation our faith is increased.
Many believers get excited about the online dynamic, but studying God’s word offline is vital. When we do it we see what God said to the apostles and prophets in Bible times and we can judge what we are hearing now by what they heard then. In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, we see how he received revelation directly from the Lord (1:12) but then he went to see the apostles in Jerusalem to check that he had heard correctly, to “be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain” (2:2). Why would he check his revelation with the apostles? It is because they had been with Jesus; they knew what he taught and could verify the revelation. You and I cannot consult the twelve apostles in person today, but we can read what they said when we read the New Testament. Our revelations must be measured by what they wrote. Without their testimony we have no rule of measurement; we have no way to judge the voices we hear. So studying the Bible ‘offline’ is foundational to getting revelation ‘online.’
Jesus put a big emphasis on the authority of scripture. On the road to Emmaus, he used it to verify that he was to rise from the dead. In fact he said to the two disciples “How foolish you are and how slow to believe all the prophets have spoken. Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” And then it says “Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24: 25-27). Not only did Jesus know the scriptures, but he also expected these two disciples to know them.
Let me ask you a few questions if I may? Do you own a Bible? Here in Kenya you can buy a Bible for the price of a hamburger and soda, and if you have a smart-phone you can get the Bible for free by downloading an app. Please make sure you own a Bible!
If you do own a Bible, do you read it daily? Remember, it’s not weekly bread, its daily bread! We need to feed off God’s word every day. God gave the children of Israel manna daily and the manna they received could not be kept for the following day. We need fresh revelation every day.
If you speak English and are wondering what version of the Bible to buy I would recommend the New International Version (NIV). It’s the most popular Bible around the world right now, it has a high degree of accuracy, and it uses up-to-date language – something vital for good understanding.
If you are looking for a Bible that flows from cover to cover like a story in super modern expression I would recommend The Message. It’s a great version to take on a bus or plane trip and a delight to read it alongside the NIV.
Whatever Bible version you use, I urge you to go to the God’s Table daily. Open the scriptures with an expectation that he will lay the table with nourishing revelation – this is a believer’s delight!
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