And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about three score furlongs.…
Our emotions are connected with our intellectual states, yet distinct from them and beyond them, because the result of them. The text records the way in which the feelings of the two disciples were excited by the conversation of the unknown stranger who joined them on the way to Emmaus. It suggests a twofold observation.
I. THE GOSPEL APPEALS TO THE FEELINGS OF MEN. It is a religion intended for man in the sense that it meets the wants of his entire nature. And the emotional is as really a part of man's nature as any other. It would not be a sufficient religion for man if it merely issued its commands as to what should be done in the shape of bodily service, or even in the exercise of a discipline intended for the subjugation of the body; nor if it only furnished the intellect with instruction and elevating material. It must address itself also to the moral and emotional nature. Accordingly, Christianity seizes on the passions, sympathies, and susceptibilities of our nature. The Old and New Testaments are alike full of them, as the experience of the godly. It follows that those whose feelings are not touched by it are unacquainted with its saving power.
II. THE GOSPEL IS ADAPTED TO EXCITE THE FEELINGS OF MEN.
1. The truths of the gospel are in themselves adapted to excite feeling. You attempt to produce emotion by the exhibition of objects that are suitable to that end. Take, as illustrations, the feelings of joy and of love. Could anything be more adapted to their production than the truth that God loves the world of sinners; that He gave His Son to death for them; and that whosoever believes in Him receives pardon and eternal life?
2. This is especially the case when they are addressed to men in certain states of mind. You would never expect to interest a dying man by placing on his pillow the crown of an earthly kingdom. A word of comfort respecting the future is incomparably more to him than all the splendours of this world. Thus, when you laboured under deep conviction of sin and consequent distress, perhaps amounting to hopelessness, the nature, sufficiency, and freeness of salvation in Christ was expounded, and you found it exactly what you wanted. Thus, when you have come to the sanctuary with some trouble on your heart that has almost shaken your faith to its centre, the theme of the ministry has been God's faithfulness and love, or the mystery along with the benevolence of His providence; and your fainting soul has felt like a falling child whose mother has tenderly taken it up and saved it from hurt.
3. Some circumstances are specially favourable to the excitement of the feelings by the gospel. The public worship of the sanctuary. The communion of Christian friends. The retirement of the closet.
4. Spiritual feelings must be sustained by the means which first produces them. Do you wish to keep your heart warm in this sense? Often walk and talk with Jesus. Let Him be much in your thoughts.
Parallel VersesKJV: And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.