Pastoral Perspectives

Finding Answers

I wonder if you have ever been on a “journey” to find answers to strengthen your faith. Some may find answers by visiting sites like the Holy Land or prayer mountains in South Korea. In Acts 8, the eunuch was seeking answers from Isaiah 53 and needed help from a spiritual point of view. Philip the evangelist, who was sent by God came and explained everything the eunuch needed to know regarding his questions. This passage recounts Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins. This helped the eunuch in his faith and he believed and was baptised.

We may find ourselves in similar situations like this; not being able to interpret the Bible or events surrounding us that may affect our faith. At other times, when tragedy or illness strike us, we may seem unable to find answers to all these. In most cases, someone needs to come alongside and help us in our predicament. It may be somebody sent by God, a matured Christian, our pastor, our DGL or God can give you an understanding through the Holy Spirit.

There was an interesting incident recorded in the Bible (Luke 24:13-35) after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ regarding two of Jesus’ disciples, who were travelling to Emmaus. The two disciples of Christ were trying to find answers after Jesus resurrected from the dead. They could not see how this could help their faith in Christ. The Bible does not tell us why they were going to Emmaus, when all the other disciples and followers of Christ were in Jerusalem. It seemed that they were not prepared for what had taken place. They had a sad countenance and were discouraged. Perhaps this journey to a place called Emmaus was to find the answers.

It appears that many Christians want to see things of God, hoping that these will strengthen our faith. But here, these two disciples saw many things, they witnessed events from prophesies with their own eyes, yet their faith was shaken and could not interpret what all these meant. They could not find answers from all these proceedings.

However, whatever their doubts were, these were the facts – Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected on the 3rd day in Jerusalem. But why were these disciples so blind and did not find the answers from prophesies in the OT? Moreover, Jesus did mention also what will happen to him.

Their despair and doubts had drawn them further away from the truth in God’s word and action. Therefore, if we are in a difficult situation, at the crossroads of life or even when we have difficulty understanding God’s word let us not be in the dark, because to find answers, we must come to God for His wisdom and counsel. The danger is that we assume an event or scriptures wrongly, like these two disciples we will have doubts, fear and even being lost in our spiritual life’s journey.

The situation here is that sometimes we are distracted by some events where we don’t realize that God is with us to help us. Sometimes we are blinded by our emotions and like these two disciples, not realise that Jesus was with them. Moreover, they could only see all the bad things happening but they did not think positively from these events.

Now Jesus asked them what had happened and they were amazed that this “stranger” did not know what had happened in Jerusalem. Here, our Lord is not ignorant about these events (he was the resurrected one), but wished to know their views. So sometimes, if our church leaders ask questions, it is because they want to know where we are in our journey of faith. It is also to clear your doubts and encourage you to walk in the right path.

The point here is that someone must guide us to the truth, if only we allow ourselves that option to find the answers. John 14:26 “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you”. This may be the reason why many Christians seem to struggle with their faith, perhaps they too did not recognise that Jesus was walking with them; and they did not acknowledge him as their Saviour. By not being positive, they see things negatively. Whatever happens to us here on earth is temporary because we have eternal life. We live victoriously and positively with this knowledge and experience in the presence of the Holy Spirit.

It should not be surprising to us when Jesus got directly involved by saying the disciples were fools. So, a “fool” in the Old Testament is a person who does not allow the Bible to influence his or her thinking and behaviour. These disciples (“foolish men”) had failed to do that. When the belief in God and the application of God’s word is missing in a person’s life, then he is truly a fool. They had also overlooked the prophecies about the Messiah having “to suffer” like what the eunuch read in Isaiah 53. The disciples were not able to compare what was written in OT with what they heard and saw with their eyes.  We could conclude that they were unable to “join all the dots”.

Whatsoever happens to us should be referred to the Bible otherwise it would be heresy. Whatever our special experience with God, revelations that come to us by dreams, visions or events must be examined and understood in the light of the Bible.

Luke 24:32 “They said to each other, Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” The Spirit of Christ, the Holy Spirit is the one who warms our hearts as we walk with Jesus and as we read the Scriptures. This experience does not happen once like the road to Emmaus; but I would think it happens every day, in our journey of faith, to heaven.

As believers and disciples of Christ, let us live everyday as God’s children; in family and community by being prepared for anything that comes our way, based on God’s words. Let us be positive because life here is temporary and don’t worry, as we are guided by the Holy Spirit. Let us be pro-active, in helping others in the journey of faith so that no one goes astray or is lost, from the example of Jesus our Lord. In Him, we find the answers to our faith.

Rev Eddie Chandra

July 16, 2017