• Jeffrey Perry

How Jesus Teaches Us to Read the Bible

The apologetic and rhetorical function of Luke 24 can is summed up by the understanding that, “Luke's use of the Old Testament is best summed up as a prophetic & Christological use—all of the Scriptures point to Jesus and must be fulfilled by him”.[1]


This prophetic and Christological explanation of the scripture that this couple of disciples knew was the whole point of Jesus conversation with them on the Road to Emmaus. It is said that beginning with Moses, or the Torah and following the paths through the prophets He interpreted the scriptures to them those things that were about him. (Luke 24:27)




Ultimately, we can see this same apologetic theme played out again and again in the book of Acts, Luke sequel to his gospel. Peter walks through the scripture of the Old Testament showing Christ (Acts 2:14-41), Stephen does the same before the Pharisees (Acts 6), and Philip will preach Christ from Isaiah to the Ethiopian Eunuch.


These accounts of Jesus throughout the Jewish scripture would become and remain the apologetic and rhetorical functions for the early church through to today and if we are to understand the Bible and be able to convey the gospel from every point, it is paramount that we understand the same narrative that is used by Jesus Himself.


This was likely Luke’s goal, being the first Christian historian[2], and he states himself in the beginning of his gospel that he is righting these things so that we can be assured of the things that have been taught. (Luke 1:5)


While these two disciples were indeed slow to believe (Luke 24:25), the text indicates that their eyes were "prevented from recognizing Him" (Luke 24:16). I think that not only the order of the text goes to prove that the "preventing" came before exhortation that they believe, but that the ultimate purpose was that they would properly understand scripture, rather than a momentary encounter with the risen Christ.


Even in our lives, if seeing something done is contingent the strength of our faith, then we are doomed. Thankfully though, faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8), that only comes from the Word of God. (2nd Corinthians 5:17 & Romans 10:17)


This is what Jesus did for these disciples on the road to Emmaus, before giving the disciples a momentary encounter with His resurrected form, He gave them an extended encounter with the teachings of the Scriptures about Himself, and this would act as a lasting apologetic for those that have never seen the risen Christ. (John 20:29)


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] Blomberg, Craig L.. Jesus and the Gospels (B&H Publishing Group, 1997). pg. 165 [2] Ibid., pg. 167

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