The Bible was given to us for the sake of encountering a Person. Revelation 19:13b says, “….and His name is called The Word of God”. We no longer read the Bible for information, but instead are seeking to be awakened to a relationship with God; to encounter the Person of Jesus.
God desires that we would see the Scriptures as the means by which we meet Jesus, who is The Word. Jesus Himself taught the disciples to find Him in the Word when He journeyed with them on the road to Emmaus. Cleopas and another disciple were walking on the road to Emmaus shortly after the crucifixion and resurrection.
“Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about 7 miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus Himself came up and walked along with them, but their eyes were restrained so they did not know Him,
He asked them, ‘What are you discussing together as you walk along?’
They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them named Cleopas asked Him, ‘Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened in these days?’” (Luke 24:13-18)
Cleopas explains to Jesus all the events that have taken place-- that Jesus was mighty in miracles, but was condemned to death and he was crucified. And how on the third day Jesus had told them that he would be raised from the dead. So on this road, leaving Jerusalem, the 2 disciples find themselves on the 3rd day and Jesus’ tomb is empty! The women had seen the empty tomb and other disciples had seen the empty tomb. And yet, Cleopas and the other disciple are downcast and admit, “… but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel,” (Luke 24:21).
In response to this statement, Jesus unveils the whole storyline of God’s redemption in all 39 Old Testament books. He walked them through all the Scriptures, “And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.” (Luke 24:27)
The disciples urge him to travel with them and stay with them. While they ate, Jesus gave thanks and “their eyes were opened and they recognized Him and He disappeared from their sight” (verse 31). Their response is, “were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” (verse 32).
The true purpose of the Word of God is to cause our hearts to burn with love and tenderness toward God. When the Word spoke to their spirits, they felt it. It encountered them.
Jesus wants to take us on the JOURNEY OF A BURNING HEART. The Bible is meant to touch your inner self and set you on fire! He is the burning God. He is a consuming fire—He sets everything on fire all around Him! If we draw near to Him, we will be set ablaze!
God wants to write His Word on our hearts; to feel it; to delight in it; to be ignited by it; to encounter Him in it; to experience it. Jeremiah 20:9, “His Word was in my heart like a burning fire”. Oh Lord, set me on fire with your Word.
AW Tozer said, “Others before me have gone much farther into these holy mysteries than I have done, but if my fire is not large it is yet real, and there may be those who can light their candle at its flame.”