Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
ReVision

The Fellowship of the Saints

We need to learn from one another.

Opened Minds (6)

So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread. Luke 24.33-35

The company of friends
Their minds suddenly opened to the truth that is in Jesus, the two disciples who had walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus now saw everything in a new light. They were excited and encouraged as they had never been before. And they were filled with joy. They needed to talk about what they’d experienced, and to share what they had seen and what they were learning with others.

Why didn’t they just go next door and talk to their neighbors about their experience of Jesus opening their minds? What was so important back in Jerusalem – several miles distant, at the end of a long day of walking – that they felt they needed to get back there as soon as possible?

What awaited them in Jerusalem, they knew, were others like themselves, with whom they could share their experience, from whom they might learn even more about their Savior, and in whose company they could determine what they should do next. They sought out people who shared the mind of Christ with them, to encourage and learn from them on this new journey of seeing all things being made new.

Here is a second effect of having our minds opened by Jesus Christ: We seek the fellowship of God’s people for further growth and mission.

Sharing information and experiences
We note, in the first place, that when they finally arrived in Jerusalem they were first given more information about the Lord Jesus: He had risen from the dead and appeared to Simon. This was an important affirmation of their experience and their new thinking. The news that Peter had seen the Lord surely must have encouraged those two disciples. They hadn’t imagined this. They had truly met the Lord, but they didn’t know anyone else had met Him, though they had heard rumors.

Simon Peter’s experience would have confirmed their own, and further bolstered their resolve. Then they shared their experience of being with the Lord on the road. Their story laid a foundation for what would happen when Jesus appeared, later in the chapter (vv. 45, 46), to teach the other disciples as He had taught them.

The disciples from Emmaus were affirmed and encouraged by the brethren in Jerusalem, as they learned from them of their experiences of the Lord. They encouraged and affirmed the other disciples as well by sharing eagerly of their own encounter with Him. In the presence of fellow believers, these two disciples were affirmed and stretched in their understanding of what they had come to know.

When those whose minds have been opened by Christ come together to share their insights and experiences, it’s like iron sharpening iron, as they build one another up in their most holy faith. The joy and anticipation of those two disciples fueled the same in the other believers, as they wondered together about the larger significance of these events.

Doubtless they must have been thinking about what to do next, when suddenly Jesus arrived and laid out the agenda they would adopt for the rest of their lives. He commissioned them to serve together as witnesses to His suffering and resurrection, and as missionaries to take the Gospel to the nations (Lk. 24.46-48). Whatever else these people had on their plates, it would all now have to be reorganized around this new and more urgent commission.

That commission has been given to us as well. And we may hope to make progress in that commission, and in all aspects of the mind of Christ, as we join with other believers to share what we’re learning and experiencing as we press on toward maturity in our minds and lives.

Strength in numbers
There is strength in numbers when we take up a work for the Lord. Jesus could have commissioned these disciples separately; instead, He waited until they were gathered, sharing eagerly and learning from one another, and then He came into their midst to tell them what they needed to do next.

Their acceptance together of His teaching and mandate would have helped them remain faithful to His calling, and to seek recurrent fellowship with their fellow-believers, to renew their perspective and their labors in the days to come.

They whose minds have been opened by Christ will seek the fellowship of His people to share, learn, and join in mission. That fellowship will be not only with those who are living and nearby, but with those who are distant or perhaps even deceased, but whose works and writings are still available to encourage and equip us.

This is a clear mark of becoming mature in our thinking. Old agendas and priorities fade away, and we long to press on toward greater realization of the mind and mission of Christ (Phil. 3.7-15). We need the fellowship of other believers to help us continue to make progress in the mind of Christ. Together, those first believers became a potent force for persuading timid, uncertain, or infant believers to lay hold on the Kingdom and promises of God with greater boldness, and for leading lost souls to discover the fullness of joy and purpose that come with trusting in Jesus Christ.

We should expect as much for ourselves as well, and prepare for such ministry in the fellowship of other committed believers.

Jesus is ready to meet people as they travel their disappointing journey in life. May it please Him to use us in that growing army of persuaders who, together with His Word and Spirit, are the means whereby God continues opening the minds of many in our day.

For reflection
1.  Can you think of any ways other believers have challenged or stimulated you to continue growing in the Lord Jesus?

2.  Who are the believers God has placed in your Personal Mission Field? What are some ways you might encourage them in their pursuit of a mature mind of Christ?

3.  Do you have a prayer partner, study partner, or soul friend? How might having some people like this in your life help you to keep pressing on toward maturity in the mind of Christ?

Next steps – Preparation: Give thanks to God for your fellow believers and for those believers from the past who have helped you in your walk with and work for the Lord. Begin praying daily about the opportunities you will have to encourage other believers each day. Make new plans. Make this a priority in your life. Consider in advance how you might stimulate other believers to growth, love, and good works (Heb. 10.24).

T. M. Moore

For more insight to the broad scope of how Christians can think with the mind of Christ, order a free copy of our book, Vantage Point, by clicking here. This brief study will help you understand time and how we as Christians can redeem and make the most of it by thinking with the mind of Christ.

All the installments in this “Strong Souls” series are available in PDF by clicking here. Check out our newest feature, Readings from the Celtic Revival (click here).

Thanks for your prayers and support
If you find ReVision helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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