Did Not Our Hearts Burn Within Us?


“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?'” – Luke 24:32

“Did not our hearts burn within us?”

The two disciples on the road to Emmaus asked this of one another after they finally realized that it was Jesus talking to them as they walked from Jerusalem to Emmaus and had dinner together.

“Did not our hearts burn within us?”

In Luke 12:49, Jesus said he came to cast fire on the earth. I wrote about this in “What Is the Fire Jesus Casts on the Earth?” In the two disciples walking on the road to Emmaus we have the first example of the fire that Jesus came to cast upon the earth.

The Greek word for burn is kaio. It means to set on fire, to kindle, to consume. According to An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon, kaio means

  • to light, kindle
  • to set on fire, burn up, burn ( to burn, scorch of the sun or to be burnt or parched of fever)
  • to burn and destroy (in war), to waste with fire
  • to cauterize

In Luke 24:32, kaio is passive, meaning that the act of burning was done to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus by Jesus. Jesus burned their hearts.

Jesus used kaio in Matthew 13:40 when he said, “Just as the weeds are gathered and burned [kaio] with fire, so will it be at the end of the age.”

And, he also used kaio in John 15:6, when he said, “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned [kaio].”

Kaio is the root word of kaminos, which means a furnace. Jesus used this word in Matthew 13:41-42 when he said, “The Son of Man will send his angels, and they gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace.” Jesus said virtually the same thing in verse 50.

Kaio also is the root word for katakaio, which means to burn down, to burn completely, to consume wholly. John the Baptist used this word in regards to Jesus. Luke 3:16-17 says, “He [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn [katakaio] with unquenchable fire.”

Jesus baptizes with fire. He burns the chaff. We should remember that the chaff comes from the wheat. Every single grain of wheat has chaff, or a husk, surrounding it. The wheat and the chaff do not represent two different groups of people. Every person is both wheat and chaff. Therefore , every person has chaff that needs to be burned away by Jesus’ unquenchable fire.

Therefore, Paul used katakaio in 1 Corinthians 3:12-15. “Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw – each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up [katakaio], he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”

So, Jesus used the same word and it derivatives throughout his life to describe the fire and the burning he was going to bring as Luke used to describe how the hearts of the two disciples on the road to Emmaus burned within them.

Why did their hearts burn within them?

Their hearts did not burn within them because they read the scriptures literally and understood them literally with their own reasoning and intelligence.

Instead, their hearts burned with them “while he talked to us on the road.” Their hearts were burned by Jesus when he talked to them. The two disciples heard Jesus’ voice.

What did Jesus speak to these two disciples?

“He opened to us the Scriptures.”

The Greek word for opened is dianoigo. It means to open, interpret, explain. Dianoigo means to open thoroughly, literally as a first born.

We first find dianogio in Mark 7:34 when Jesus proclaimed “Be opened” to the deaf ears, ears that could not hear, of a man.

Luke uses dianoigo in 2:23 to describe the opening of the womb by the first born male. Luke’s reference is to the reason Jesus was presented in the temple and called holy to the Lord. Jesus is the first born male that thoroughly opens the womb. Colossians 1:15 says that Jesus is “the firstborn of all creation.” And Romans 8:29 says that Jesus would be “the firstborn among many brothers.” So, when Jesus opens our ears it is as if we are being born again and coming into a new reality.

Stephen used dianoigo when he was stone to death.

Acts 7:54-58 says, “Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, ‘Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.’ But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him.”

When we hear Jesus, heaven is opened to us. We see the glory of God and Jesus. The result is that we become like Jesus. Stephen laid down his life. He did not fight. And, no one fought to defend him. And, Stephen cried out that Jesus would forgive them just as Jesus did from the cross. But, those who stopped their ears accused him, wrongfully, and stoned him to death. Those who stopped their ears took vengeance.

How did Jesus open the scriptures to the two disciples?

Luke 24:25-27 says, “And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Jesus told them he had to suffer, be rejected, be crucified, and rise again three days later. He spoke this plainly to everyone during his life. These things were written in Moses and the Prophets. But, you will not see these things if you read Moses and the Prophets literally, word for word. Otherwise, Jesus would not be need to interpret them. Therefore, you can only understand the Scriptures, you can only understand what Jesus did and why he did it, and therefore you can only understand God, if Jesus interprets talks to you, interpreting the scriptures for you so that your hearing will be opened and you understand them truly.

To interpret, to translate, something means that you transform one language, one way of speaking, into a second language or another way of speaking. Again, you cannot understand the true meaning of the Scriptures, what they say about Jesus, unless he translates them for you.

Therefore, Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.” God spoke in many different languages – creation, the exodus, the tabernacle, offerings, psalms, history, etc. – but today he speaks in Son. God’s language is Jesus. Jesus interprets for us all these other ways that God spoke. Therefore, “He [Jesus] is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.” (Hebrews 1:3)

Why does need to interpret the scriptures for us? Why does he need to open our ears and minds to the true message of the scriptures?

Because on the surface they seem to reveal a vengeful, angry, and violent God that destroys. But, that is just the outer husk, the chaff, that needs to be burned away from every grain of wheat.

The truth about God is something different. He suffers. He is rejected. He is crucified. He does not take vengeance. He forgives. He says, “Peace to you!” (Luke 24:36)

“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and the repentance and the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.'”

Jesus interprets the scriptures and opens our understanding of them so that we will no longer proclaim a vengeful, violent, and angry God that will destroy you.

Jesus interprets and opens the scriptures so that we will proclaim repentance. We are to proclaim the changing of minds about who God is. Instead of the old and wrong view that God is angry, vengeful, and violent, waiting to destroy you, we are to proclaim that God is good, only good, loving, kind, merciful, forgiving, a life-giving spirit who suffers with you and dies for you.

And, Jesus does this so that we will proclaim forgiveness.

To all nations.

Every person.


For all sin.

As many times as it takes for them to see God for who he really is – loving, merciful, forgiving, and peaceful.

When Jesus interpreted and opened the scriptures for the two disciples, their hearts were burned by Jesus’ unquenchable fire. The chaff around their grains of wheat was burned away. Every wrong idea they had of God was burned up.

Surely, as Jesus opened the scriptures to them they experienced pain as and sorrow concerning how badly they had misunderstood who God is. Yet, the end  result of their hearts being burned surely was an incredible joy as they immediately returned to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples what had happened to them.

So, stop reading the Bible literally through your own understanding.

Let Jesus speak to you, interpret for you, and open up to you, the truth of the scriptures.

Let Jesus burn away all your false ideas about God.

Only Jesus can do this for you.

One Reply to “Did Not Our Hearts Burn Within Us?”

  1. Precious! Oh so precious a devotional about our oh so precious God and Jesus, Jehovah Hath Delivered, our Saviour, our Lamb.

    All glory be to God!

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