Man of Granite with a Heart of a Child: J C Ryle

J C Ryle

John Charles Ryle was made the first Bishop of Liverpool in 1880. He was greatly loved, and many affectionately referred to him as “the working man’s Bishop.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon called him an “Evangelical Champion…One of the bravest and best of men.” His writings are so very topical, and to many it appears that they were only written yesterday, as they are so up-to-date. (taken from SermonAudio.com)

Here is a talk on the life of J C Ryle by our pastor, David Fielding, from the 2016 Stanton Lees Bible School.

Mission Unstoppable: An Introduction to the Acts of the Apostles

The Acts of the Apostles is the companion volume to Luke’s Gospel. Both books are addressed to Theophilus (see Luke 1v3 & Acts 1v1). Some would like to rename the Book, ‘the Acts of the Holy Spirit’, because, as they point out, the Holy Spirit is mentioned sixty-one times! But this might give the impression that Jesus’s work is over & He ceases to be central. Rather, Acts tells how the ascended Jesus continued to work through His Spirit-empowered apostles & people.” Rodger Crooks – One Lord, One Plan, One People

The Writer

The writer of the book is Luke, a physician and historian of remarkable ability. In his book, Church on the Move, Peter Williams says, “It is not difficult to see what we owe to Luke. Without his history, we should know little, if anything, of the origin and progress of the church, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the organisation of the church and its methods of evangelisation. Also, in a more general way, Acts serves as a link between the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament.”

Contents

Calvin describes The Acts as “a vast treasure”. Peter Williams’ book is called “Church on the Move” and the IBS Study booklet calls the Book, “Mission Unstoppable!”. The NIV Study Bible refers to it as “a bridge that ties the church with each succeeding age”. All of these descriptions are helpful to us in getting to grips with what the Book is going to tell us.

Luke, in his Gospel, shows what Christ began to do on earth; Acts shows what He continued to do by the Holy Spirit through the disciples. The ascension of our Lord is the closing scene in Luke. It is the opening fact in Acts.

  • The Gospels set forth the Son of Man, who came to die for our sins. Acts shows the coming of the Son of God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • The Gospels tell of the crucified and risen Saviour. Acts portrays Him as the ascended and exalted Lord & Leader.
  • In the Gospels we hear Christ’s teachings. In Acts we see the effects of His teachings on the Apostles.

Acts is not a record of the acts of all of the Apostles, as no extensive accounts are given of any of the Apostles except Peter & Paul! It records the acts of the Holy Spirit through the Apostles. His name is mentioned about seventy times. Look for some of the Holy Spirit in every chapter of this book.” H. Mears – What the Bible is all About

Timeline (All dates are approximate)

Acts 1 – 8:

  • 30AD Ascension of Christ. Pentecost and beginnings of the New Testament Church.
  • 32AD Martyrdom of Stephen. Missionary journey of Philip and conversion of the Ethiopian.

Acts 9:

  • 34AD Conversion of Saul of Tarsus.
  • 35AD Paul visits the Jerusalem church for the first time

Acts 12:

  • 44AD James is martyred. Peter is miraculously freed from prison.

Acts 13:

  • 47AD Paul begins his first missionary journey with Barnabas (& for a time, John Mark).

Acts 16:

  • 49AD Paul begins his second missionary journey with Silas (& later, Timothy & Luke).

Acts 19:

  • 52AD Paul begins his third missionary journey with Timothy & Titus (& others joining them at various points).

Acts 22-23:

  • 56AD Paul imprisoned in Jerusalem and then in Caesarea.

Acts 27 – 28:

  • 59AD Paul imprisoned in Rome.

Not recorded in Acts:

  • 61AD Paul makes his final travels.
  • 64AD Great fire at Rome – many Christians put to death.
  • 64AD or 67AD both Peter & Paul are martyred

A Summary

In the preface to Gordon Keddie’s commentary, he refers to three key areas that the Book of Acts demonstrates for us, namely:

  1. The history of the work of the Holy Spirit.
  2. The setting out of the doctrine of the church.
  3. The striking “evangelistic impulse that bursts out of every page”.

Relevance for us today:

“Here, most personally and immediately are our own ‘roots’ as the followers of Jesus.” Gordon Keddie – You are my Witnesses

“It is both thrilling and wonderful… to think that Jesus did not leave this world and return to the Father’s glory without first making arrangements for the on-going work of the gospel here below. What makes it thrilling is that He did not entrust that work to angels or divine beings but to ordinary men like the Apostles and through them to ordinary people like ourselves. There is a real sense therefore in which we can say that the ministry of Jesus never ends, and is being continued to today in the lives and witness of all Christian believers through the power of the Holy Spirit at work in the church. What a great privilege and enormous responsibility we have therefore in being part of the body of Christ in the world.” Peter Williams – Church on the Move

3 Essentials to begin:

There are three essentials that occur at the beginning of “mission unstoppable”. They set the scene for the rest of the story!

  1. The promise of the Holy Spirit (1 v 4 – 8)
  2. The ascension of the Lord Jesus (1 v 9 – 11)
  3. The necessity of corporate prayer (1 v 12 – 14)

Useful Commentaries:

In addition to those written by Peter Williams & Gordon Keddie which are mentioned above, other good commentaries include those by John Calvin, Richard Lenski & Joseph Alexander.

These notes accompany the sermon series preached at Castlefields Church in 2020. Click here to listen to the whole series for free!

Click here to download this article as a pdf.

Six Essentials for a church in ‘lock down’ (& beyond!)

“Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come —and the books, especially the parchments”. 2 Timothy 4 v 13

Please read 2 Timothy and especially note v13 in the context of chapter 4 v 6 – 18. 

When we read Paul’s second letter to Timothy, we read the last remaining letter of the Apostle. He is in ‘lock down’; literally! He is writing to his dear young friend Timothy who is the Pastor of the church in Ephesus. Paul is in prison in Rome and believes that soon he will face the Roman court once again – and this time the end of his life will come. 

His writing is full of pathos and feeling, yet realism and instruction. Luke seems to be in Rome and able to visit Paul but his request is for Timothy to come, if he possibly can. His request for Timothy to bring with him the three “essentials” mentioned in v13 is very instructive. 

Using this verse, its context and the wider reminder of other Scriptures, we can apply this request pertinently to ourselves at Castlefields in our ‘lock down’ in these days. Whilst there are many other things that we would love to have, here are six ‘essentials’ for us to ensure that we have in place as our ‘lock down’ eases. 

1. A right perspective of the ‘big picture’. Paul had been in prison in Rome before – but not quite like this! Note Acts 28 v 30/31. This time it was serious (v6). All around him things were changing & normality was crumbling (v10- 16). That is just what has been happening in our days of lock down. But Paul had an awareness of the “big picture” (v17/18). It needs to be the same for us. It is essential that our eyes look in faith beyond the present trials to the big picture of God’s sovereignty & His purposes for the church. “Mission Unstoppable”, begun in Acts, still goes on and will be completed, we should not lose sight of that truth. 

The Prophet Habakkuk lived in desperate days but in Hab 2 v 1 we read that he went up into a ‘watch tower’ to wait & see what God would do. There he received the encouraging word of Hab 2v14: “For the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea”. 

Personally, we must not forget that the Lord is progressively sanctifying us so that we might be “blameless” at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thess 5 v 23/24). It may be, that through our ‘lock down’ that is being achieved in specific ways – so we must recognize that and thank God for it. 

2. A right love for the local church. God has brought us all here to Castlefields for His purposes and we are to love the church into which He has placed us. It is very easy to become dissatisfied and envious of larger, more ‘tech savvy’ & prosperous churches. We can easily ‘church hop’ on line but this can result in us becoming critical and ‘picky’ with the leadership and with the way things are done here. Excessive comparisons can leave us feeling that Castlefields is a very ordinary sweet in a bag of other church goodies that are on offer. We all need to place ourselves into the spirit and practical outworking of Romans 12. Timothy was reminded by Paul that in Ephesus, the local church into which he had been called, he was to “hold fast” (1v13), “be strong” (2v1) and there to faithfully “preach the Word” (4v2). All that was to be “in season and out of season”. In other words, at all times, whatever the circumstances; even in ‘lock down’. 

3. A right involvement in service for the Lord. Paul was a man who had travelled many miles, preached to thousands, pastored, mentored & taught to great effect. He was a man of massive ability and usefulness; and yet, now he is ‘locked down’. Was this a time to give up and give in? No! Paul calls for “books” – so that he can read and learn yet more of God, and “parchments” – paper to write on. Maybe further Epistles were in his mind, to Timothy and other churches. He saw that ‘lock down’ was still a time to serve! How Timothy must have benefitted from this wonderfully encouraging & practical letter. How we still benefit from it today, as inspired Scripture. We are glad that Paul did not give up on serving the Lord in ‘lock down’.

Our preaching series in Acts chapter chap 8, impressed upon us how we might come alongside someone – although not in a chariot these days! – and share the gospel with them. We could ask them, about the Bible they are reading, “Do you understand…” just as Philip did to the Ethiopian Eunuch. We could guide them into reading Christian literature and biography. 

By writing as he does in v13 Paul is saying what we must say, “I’m not done serving yet – despite being locked down!” 

4. A right awareness of the dangers that surround us. For the Christian there are always dangers to beware of. Every period and phase of life presents its own temptations, pitfalls and trials of faith. A period of ‘lock down’ is no different! In chap 2v3 Paul reminds Timothy that he is a “good soldier of Jesus Christ”. Soldiers are for fighting, for warfare and for winning battles. As Christians we should never forget these truths. 

The temptations of ‘lock down’ are many, here are just a few: Selfishness; Idleness; Over-work; Introspection; Doubt; Anxiety; Boredom; Time wasting; Moodiness; Hard heartedness (towards your spouse, your children, your parents, the Government, church leaders); Internet sinfulness; TV bingeing; Xbox gaming (too much!) 

We need to pay special attention to the Lord’s Day and ensure that we do not lose the blessings of Isaiah 58 v13/14. Self-discipline in “attending” the services at the set times (as we always would have done) will help us to keep a good structure and discipline to the day for our spiritual good. This will particularly help with the raising of children and profitable family life. 

A ‘lock down’ is wearing, and that is a strategy that Satan loves – to wear us down so that we lose our spiritual sharpness! We need to watch out, because he wants to “devour” us (1Peter 5v8). Take action now – before it is too late! ‘Lock down’ can, and should be for profit – pray that it certainly would not be for loss! 

5. A right balance of praise & worship. Maybe our attitude is, “we’ll sing when ‘lock down’ ends”. We might feel like the Old Testament people of God in Psalm 137 v 4, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?”. We see ‘lock down’ as a foreign land and we just want to be free of it! Until then, how can we really praise God? 

Paul longed to be joyful – we can see that in chap 1v4. If Timothy could come to visit him, he would be filled with joy. Sometimes we take that to an extreme and say “if only… then I will sing” but that is not right. God has not changed; Jesus has not changed and everything that is true about our salvation has not changed – every Christian needs to sing – now! 

Everything about the coronavirus is horrible, fearful and terrible. What a contrast in Psalm 147 v 1, it tells us that singing praises to our God is “pleasant” and praise is “beautiful”. In the previous Psalm it tells us that we should sing praise while we have life and being! Even in ‘lock down’ we have those things and we need to balance the difficulties, fears and worries with praise! 

We must not forget how to sing! ‘Lock down’ may end, but the opportunity for Christians to sing praises in a corporate, church setting may not be allowed for many, many months to come. Seek out good resources – the Internet is full of them – to enable you to praise and worship the Lord in prayer and in song – it will do your soul good! 

6. A right dependence on the Lord. How very alone Paul must have felt in his ‘lock down’. How sad to read that “all forsook him” in his hour of need. So, in v 17/18, how much he was helped by the Lord standing with him, strengthening him and in knowing that in the end He would deliver him and preserve him right 

through to his final place in God’s heavenly kingdom. There was no one else he could depend on now; he was cast upon God. 

For us, as individuals, the future is totally unknown. There may well be many job losses in Derby and the practical, emotional and spiritual fall out from this ‘lock down’ may be massive. 

As a church we are faced with the tremendous logistical problems of a small building and a large congregation! What are we to do? How are we to “do church” in all its aspects (Sunday Services, The Lord’s Table, Baptism, Youth work etc)? 

Our dependence on the Lord for help in all these things is essential. Humanly speaking we have no quick and easy answers. Our dependence is to be individually but it is to be corporately too. 

There are many things that we will want to do and experience after ‘lock down’ has ended but here are six essentials that we must have right now. If they are right today, then with God’s help, they will be right during the easing of current restrictions and right when we come right through. 

Click here to download this article as a PDF document.

Virtual Sunday Services 31/05/20

Peter Leyshon-Jones
Pastor David Fielding

Dear Castlefields Friends,

Here is:

  • the CNews No32 with hymns, readings & titles of messages for tomorrow – these go on to two pages this week as some of our hymns are quite long.
  • the children’s activity sheets for morning AND evening services.

We pray that the Lord’s Day may prove to be a great blessing to all who join us.

Every blessing

David, Peter, Richard, Martin & Lee

Download AM & PM hymn sheets.

You can listen to the messages on the website front page or via these links: AM Message from Pastor David Fielding & PM Message from Peter Leyshon-Jones.

Download the sheets for children: Morning & Evening

These messages are now available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Virtual Sunday Services 24/05/20

Ben Scotton
Pastor David Fielding

Dear Castlefields Friends,

Here are the usual details for today’s services.

A ‘Junior Learning Together’ activity sheet for the children is attached also — a giant crossword this time!

Please do not be put off by the length of the recording in the morning! The service last no longer than usual but there is a short additional section which has been added at the end to help you make the most of the mini series of “Surprising Conversions” preached over the last three weeks.

Please continue to listen at the end of the service for this additional part — or listen after a break.

Every blessing.

David

Download AM & PM hymn sheets.

You can listen to the messages on the website front page or via these links: AM Message from Pastor David Fielding & PM Message from Ben Scotton.

Click here to download the children’s notes.

These messages are now available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Virtual Sunday Services 17/05/20

Pastor David Fielding
Richard Carvell

Dear Castlefields Friends,

Attached are the hymns, readings & sermon titles for tomorrow & also the “Junior Learning Together” Notes for those with young families.

Also attached this week, is a document that prints as an A4 landscape folder entitled: “Joining the Dots on Preaching”.

David writes: “It is a companion to Acts Chapter 8  and goes through the whole chapter looking at the words in the original language that speak of how the gospel is communicated in various different ways – I hope that it is of help”. 

Every blessing for the Lord’s Day,

David, Peter, Richard, Martin & Lee

Download AM & PM hymn sheet & Joining the Dots on Preaching.

You can listen to the messages on the website front page or via these links: AM message from Pastor David Fielding & PM message from Richard Carvell.

Click here to download children’s notes.

These messages are now available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Virtual Sunday Services 10/05/20

Pastor David Fielding
David Sherwood

Dear Castlefields Friends,

Here are the details of both services as usual — we are getting rather familiar with this now — this is our eighth Sunday meeting virtually!

The ‘Learning Together’ notes for children are attached too.
Apologies for the small font used for the hymns — an attempt to get them all on one side of sheet!

Every blessing for the Lord’s Day,

David, Peter, Richard, Martin & Lee

Download AM & PM hymn sheet: http://castlefieldschurch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/C-News24-100520.pdf

You can listen to the messages on the website front page or via these links: AM message with Pastor David Fielding; PM message with David Sherwood.

Download children’s notes:http://castlefieldschurch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/C-Newschildrens-notes100520.pdf

These messages are now available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

19/04/20 Evening Sermon Notes in Chinese

19-4-2020 Evening Sermon Note David. S

希伯来书12章12-17 坚强前行(希伯来书学习系列)

信仰长跑多有坎坷,大多数人满怀雄心壮志起跑,舍弃易得的舒适,定睛于许诺的奖励。当长跑者疲惫不堪时,他们困乏的精神也从动作中显露出来,每踏出一步都很痛苦。一些人或许偏离了道路,或许转向了更轻松的途径,自问这付出是否值得?为何要坚持这长久艰辛的长跑。

这些是希伯来书12章为我们展现的画面, 所有真基督徒都是信仰长跑的参与者。我们靠信心在耶稣基督里活,我们确信他在十字架上的牺牲救我们脱了罪,我们相信他会带领我们入天堂。个人的经历各有不同,但是我们信奉同一个主,我们都向着同一个终点前行。

希伯来书的作者希望对信仰长跑中的经受困难挫折的同伴有所帮助,

11章中写过,历史中也有信仰长跑的同伴,以他们为例,相互鼓励,就像跑完全程见过终点美景的同伴在身边激励,在终点上帝承诺的恩惠和美好。

本书也将我们指向耶稣,最伟大的领跑,一路向十字架走去,支撑信心的是终点之后的天堂的喜乐,同样的承诺和喜乐也在长跑的终点等着我们追随耶稣的脚步而至。

12章5-11节,困苦与试炼是人生信仰的一部分,不要忘记,上帝是完美的父,他以困苦管教我们,试炼塑造我们,成为他所满意的儿女,为将来继承恩惠做准备。

本节集中学习12章12-17节 

坚持前行

如何在筋疲力竭时重整体态,维持前行的道路?

  • 看向耶稣,他是力量之源,约翰福音6章35节‘我是生命的粮,到我这里来的,必定不饿。信我的永远不渴’。
  • 耶稣派遣了‘帮手’,即圣灵,约翰14章26节,他与我们同行。
  • 牢记上帝的应许

不以我们自己的想法和感受设定前行的方向,圣经为引,修直我们的道路。

两个目标

目标设立是长跑中必不可少的,专注点,追求的目标,不仅是终点线,在前进的途中节点。14节‘你们要追求与众人和睦,并要追求圣洁,非圣洁没有人能见主’

  1. 追求和睦

与所有人和睦,不论何时何地,作为基督徒,我们要化解矛盾,教众人和睦。

真基督徒的标识之一是叫人和睦,耶稣说‘使人和睦的人有福了,因为他们必称为神的儿子’(马太5章9节)要与我们的家人和睦;要与我们的同信徒和睦;要和世界的人和睦。自然,如果我们寻求和睦,并不意味着所有人都会对我们喜欢或友好相待,耶稣是最爱和睦的人但是很多人仇恨他,因为他的光明显明了他们的阴暗。

  1. 追求圣洁

何为圣洁?是在我们的品格和行为中向上帝靠近,意味着,和不信的世人区别出来。

‘非圣洁没人能见主’。见主是这场信仰长跑的最终奖励,约翰1书3章2-3节‘我们知道主若显现,我们必要向他,因为必得见他的真体,凡向他有这指望的,就洁净自己,像他纯洁的一样’。对于基督徒来说,圣洁不是可选项,如果上帝通过耶稣基督从我们的罪中拯救了我们,那就会在我们的生命中显现出来,我们不再满足于原本的生活,要从耶稣的标准中建立,而非充满罪的世界。圣洁始于心,天国八福中‘内心纯洁的有福了,因为他们会见到神’。内心的改变,若你还不是基督徒,那你要寻求上帝改变内心。马太福音15章18节‘从心里发出来的,才污秽’马太福音23章25节由内污秽的杯只清洁表面是无用的。

圣洁始于新心,流转生活中所有角落,每日圣洁,在家圣洁,工作圣洁,与人交往圣洁,等等。

圣洁是信仰长跑中长存的目标,时刻都要追求的目标。

小心提防致命危机

希伯来书12章15节,我们要时刻警视‘要谨慎,恐怕有人失了神的恩。恐怕有毒根生出来扰乱你们,因此教中人沾染污秽’要相互惊醒,我们全部都在这场长跑中,路上有人遇到困难我们要伸出援手,若是我们自己力有不逮时要善于接受帮助。

若不主动追求和睦与圣洁,是为假信仰的信号,或许在和其他基督徒一并前行,参加教会活动,学习圣经,却并无真正的向神的新心,再没有比这样更危险的处境了。最终或许会表现的像基督徒却失了神的恩。

遗憾的是,这样大意的人往往不仅是将自己置于危险中,而且也会影响他人,成为‘乱生的毒根’像15节中所写。在这里借用申命记29章18、19节摩西在死前对以色列人说的话‘又怕你们中间有恶根生出苦菜和茵陈来,听见这咒诅的话,心里仍是自夸说,我虽行事心里顽梗,连累众人,却还是平安’我们要警觉‘恐怕有淫乱的,有贪恋世俗如以扫的。他因一点食物把自己长子的名分卖了’希伯来书12章16节,以扫之事可阅读创世记25-27章。以扫爱世俗享受过于爱神,甚至不惜放弃上帝的应许换取现时的享乐,希伯来书作者以此警示,当心,莫学以扫!罪带来一时的享受,却以毁灭结尾。当教会中有一丝‘毒根’乱生,会伤害整个教会的健康,罪之毒扩散极易污秽更多的人。但是以扫的终极问题在于他拒绝忏悔悔改,他向上帝所求却不忏悔自身,以扫没有恭顺的寻求上帝的宽恕,他最爱的还是世间的享受。

我们罪时需要忏悔悔改。撒母耳后书11-12章和诗篇51章记录了大卫王在罪后向上帝忏悔寻求宽恕并重获福恩。

上帝求告,祈祷的宽恕,追寻像耶稣的圣洁与和睦。

Virtual Sunday Services 03/05/20

Pastor David Fielding
Stephen Weale

Dear Castlefields Friends,

Below are the usual Sunday service details & ‘Junior Learning Together’ notes for the families with younger children.

Please pray for fruit following in our lives and the lives of those who tune in this Sunday.

Every blessing.

David, Peter, Richard, Martin & Lee

Download AM & PM hymn sheet: http://castlefieldschurch.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/C-News21-030520.pdf

You can listen to the messages on the website front page or via these links: AM message with Pastor David Fielding; PM message with Stephen Weale.

Download children’s notes: AM children’s sheet.

These messages are now available on Spotify & Apple Podcasts.

Chinese Transcript of Bible Messages

19-4-2020 Morning Sermon David. F 中文简记

路加福音 24 v13-35

在这篇路加的记录中,有两人见证并讲述了耶稣钉十字架和三日后的复活。我们可以清晰的读到,他们离去、质疑、困、疑虑、伤感,对所发生的一切感受不到其重要性,他们并没有看清这些事的意义。路加在这部分详细记录了这次事件彻底反转的三部分:毫无保障的离去、逐渐回转、满怀信心的回归。

我们将思考重点放在21至32节,整个事件的第二部分,到底是什么改变这两个人,并引向自我思考,我们在信仰成长的道路上处于什么位置?我们如何看待自己和耶稣基督的关系?

对比第一和第三部分,可以大致分出五个改变。

毫无保障的离去, 第一部分

  1. 离去,第13节。在其他人聚集的时候,这两人从耶路撒冷离去
  2. 议论,第14-15节。这里的议论更像是两人在围绕所看所听到的分析、理论、质疑,尝试拼凑各个细节却无所得,他们开始质疑,信心动摇。
  3. 悲伤失望,第16-17节。二人满面愁容,他们并不知道途中加入他们的陌生人是耶稣,路加写道‘他们的眼睛迷糊,不认识他’。他们对耶稣所做的没有任何与个人相关的感受,毫无保障。
  4. 希望错置,第21节。他们满面愁容的原因正是因为他们的希望不在耶稣里。
  5. 质疑圣经启示,第25节。耶稣称他们‘无知的人’、‘愚人‘,在这里理解为缺乏思想、理解和考虑,却并不没有轻视。这两人并没有彻底否定或不信,但是也没有完全的确信。正如耶稣指出,他们的信心迟钝。

我们有时候也一样,尽管圣经中诸多保证与激励,我们还会紧守心中疑虑。

对比 满怀信心的回归,第三部分

  1. 第33节‘他们立时起身,回耶路撒冷去’与第一部分彻底反转。这个时候他们已经花了大半天的时间从耶路撒冷离开,天色渐暗,却重拾信心,和其他使徒众人重聚决定返回耶路撒冷。
  2. 不再议论纷纷。他们停止了疑惑、理论和斤斤计较, 回过头来想其他人讲述他们和耶稣的相遇,充满信心和保障。
  3. 不再悲伤失望。兴奋的传颂与复活的主的重逢。
  4. 重置希望。存希望在耶稣,时刻喜悦。
  5. 不再质疑圣经。他们的心合一、泉涌着真理和信仰。虽然反转的一路满是危险和挑战,他们必须返回、必须奔走相告、必须为他们的改变和改变了他们的主作见证。

对比第一和第三部分的彻底反转,在事件的第二部分里,路加向我们展示了这神奇的转变是如何发生的。第15节,耶稣亲自走近这两人,并没有马上显露自己,而是恩慈的引导他们认识,并了解认知耶稣对自己的改变。第31节,‘他们的眼睛明亮了,认识了他’。认知耶稣才是一切的支点,从个人内心认知复活的主耶稣。人生不会有任何改变直到真正认识主耶稣基督。充分的感知辨别,而不是抽象的知识,是以现实和深度为理论中心的认知。这两人是怎么重新认识耶稣的?第31-35 节,耶稣走近他们,和他们同行,与他们交谈,对他们打开圣经讲述,与他们分饼而食。认识耶稣,认识救主,认识上帝。

我们应该怎么建立或重建和耶稣的关系,以下有三点:

  1. 与他同行。尽管会有疑惑,甚至不相信,但是要承认的是虽然我们不认识耶稣,但他还会与我们同在。这两人没有完全不信或拒绝的强硬,他们充满了正常的疑问,可能我们作为基督徒也一样,会感到困惑,迷失,不确定,但是这段经文告诉我们,耶稣与我们同行。
  2. 寻找他。耶稣带这两人指向圣经,教导他们,引他们从世界之初循着圣经认识耶稣,也正是我们应该找寻的方向,理解他在我们的人生旅程里贯穿始终,从未远离,我们应该在他的真理圣经里面寻求他,耶稣在这两人面前展开了整部圣经,我们也应在整部圣经中寻找他和保障。
  3. 向他求告。求告擦亮双眼,第29节,他们挽留这位陌生人(耶稣),被引导这挽留耶稣,和他们共餐,之后从而认出了耶稣,他们的心充满了他一片火热,他们的思想充满活力,他们的嘴要传颂他,就像保罗写在提摩太后书1章12节‘因为知道我所信的是谁,也深信他能保全我所交付他的全部’。