Build An Ark: Parallel Christianity
Shortly after Jesus was murdered, two of His disciples were walking down
the road to the village of Emmaus. They were talking about Him, no doubt
comparing notes on all that had happened leading up to His crucifixion.
So intent were they on their conversation about Jesus that they did not
recognize Him as He approached and began walking with them. Maybe they were
talking about some of the prophecies that Jesus seemed to fulfill. Or maybe
they were talking about some of the healings that He had performed. Maybe
they were recounting Peter's story of walking on the water. They could even
have been talking of the need for prayer, remembering how Jesus would sneak
away to be alone with His Father. What we do know is that they were so intent
on their conversation about Jesus that they did not recognize Him as He
walked with them.
So many today find themselves in that same predicament: walking parallel
to Jesus and yet not recognizing Him. Knowing much about what He did and
said, but not knowing Him with their hearts. Parallel Christianity.
If the story ended there it would be a sad story. However, as we read on
in the Gospel of Luke we find that an awesome thing happens. As the disciples
have communion with Jesus they recognize Him! That very thing is still the
same today. As we reach out with our hearts to Jesus and commune with Him,
He opens the eyes of our hearts and we see! What is it that we see? We see
Jesus! He is alive. He is for us, not against us. He loves us. We can sense
His Presence, His love reaching toward us. This happens as we reach to Him.
Parallel Christianity is a religious experience that enables one to know
all about Jesus.
True Christianity knits our hearts to the Christ who has returned to dwell,
not in a manger, but in the hearts of men and women.
Come Lord Jesus!
And one of them, named Cleopas, answered and said
to Him, Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the
things which have happened here in these days? And He said to them,
What things? And they said to Him, The things about Jesus
the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of
God and all the people, how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him
up to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that
it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is
the third day since these things happened. But also some women among us
amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not
find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels,
who said that He was alive. And some of those who were with us went to the
tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they
did not see. He said to them, O foolish men and slow of heart
to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary for
the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory? beginning
with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning
Himself in all the Scriptures. And they approached the village where they
were going, and He acted as though He would go farther. And they urged Him,
saying, Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day
is now nearly over. And He went in to stay with them. And it came
about that when He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread
and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. And their eyes
were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. And
they said to one another, Were not our hearts burning within us while
He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures
to us? -Gospel of Luke 24:13-32 (NASB)