#DailyDevotion Jesus Opens Our Minds To Understand The Scriptures
Luke 24:44–53 44“While I was still with you,” He said to them, “I told you that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must come true.” 45Then He opened their minds to understand the Bible. 46“This,” He told them, “is what is written: The Christ will suffer and will rise from the dead on the third day; 47and that repentance and the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all people, beginning at Jerusalem. 48You will testify of these things.” 49 “I am sending you Him Whom My Father promised. Wait here in the city until you are armed with power from above.” 50 He took them out to a place where Bethany lay ahead of them. Then He raised His hands and blessed them. 51While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was taken up to heaven. 52They knelt and worshiped Jesus. And then they went back to Jerusalem filled with joy. 53And they were always in the temple praising God.
Before Jesus departs visibly from his disciples he reminds them all that he had taught them concerning himself, i.e. everything written about him in the Law of Moses, the Prophets ad the Psalms must come true. The summary of his instruction was and is, the Christ will suffer and will rise from the dead on the third and that the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name beginning at Jerusalem. What preacher or teacher of Christian truth wouldn’t have liked to been there as Jesus taught them how he fulfilled the Scriptures. As it is, we have some of that teaching from the apostles in the Gospels and the letters in our bibles. Yet, these Old Testament quotes we have a just a few of Scriptures we are explicitly told that Jesus taught them.
On the other hand, Jesus opened their minds to understand the Bible. He sends upon them the Holy Spirit so as they read the Old Testament, they will be shown by the Spirit how Jesus fulfilled those Scriptures. He has given us the Spirit when we were baptized. The Spirit also opens our minds to see how Jesus has fulfilled all that was written about him. While scholars may disagree with us when we think we have read something in the Bible that Jesus fulfilled, if you think you see an instance of Jesus fulfilling a Scripture in the Old Testament, you are probably right. The Spirit, whom Jesus sends to us from the right hand of God, does continually reveal to us how Christ fulfilled the Old Testament writing. While knowing the original languages, grammar and vocabulary is very helpful at times to understand a particular difficult passage, without Jesus opening our minds we will never understand how they apply to him. As Luther writes in his Small Catechism, we cannot by our own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ or come to him, but the Holy Spirit enlightens us.
Finally Jesus blesses his disciples and he blesses us through those he has appointed to proclaim his name for the forgiveness of sins. That message and blessing has come down to us through myriad tongues and lips through the ages. In Jesus’ name we can have repentance and forgiveness of sins. We need no longer fear the wrath of God for all our wrong doings. When we turn to Christ in sorrow over our sins, with the authority of Jesus we can hear and receive forgiveness for those sins and stand before God the Father with a clear conscience.
Heavenly Father, may your Son Jesus Christ continually bless us with the Holy Spirit so our minds may be opened to understand how he fulfilled the Scriptures and that we may believe that in his name we have repentance and forgiveness of sins. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.