There are people at Feltham Evangelical Church who need help. In fact, if we are honest, most of us need help in one realm or another. But do we care enough to help each other? To that question you may answer, “well I don’t know how to help.” Let us look then at how our Saviour helped two troubled individuals. The incident is found in Luke 24:13-35
He spent time with them
The two were journeying down from Jerusalem to Emmaus with much on their minds. As they walk they are conversing together as regards to all that had happened (see v14-15a). Meanwhile, the LORD Jesus comes alongside them and went with them (v15b). When we realise the surrounding context we are led to marvel about how He took time to be with them. Remember that He was just raised from the dead having Himself performed the great work of salvation by Himself. And surely He could have been celebrating with all the inhabitants of heaven who knew some of the significance of these tremendous events that had happened. Instead Jesus Himself (notice the “Himself”) was giving up His time for two disconsolate individuals. Are we prepared to give up our time and “personal enjoyments” so that others can be benefited?
This is the first stage then in helping others. It is to spend time with them. By spending time with others we show our interest in them. We also find out about each others situation by being with others. In fact this is the essence of Christian fellowship, it is a sharing together.
This raises though the issue of what we do when we are with other Christians. Are we motivated by a desire to help others or is our interest just in ourselves. One way of showing our interest in the position and perspective of others is to ask them questions. So our LORD asks the two “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” (v17). And then when one of them mentions about the things on their minds the LORD again brings a question “What things?” (v19b).
So easily in conversations we are just waiting to jump in to give our opinion about this and that. Such an approach really displays a selfish spirit. Rather the spirit of love is shown when we want to know about others and help others and that is seen when we ask questions.
Allow time to speak
Those who want to help others will allow them the time to speak so that they can disclose their situation. In fact the disclosure is part of solving the problem because the speaking out can often be an unburdening process. Moreover, in having to express verbally your situation you can often start to see the situation clearer and see a way to a solution.
Accordingly our LORD gives them time to speak. Notice it is both of them (v19b) who are allowed to speak and unburden themselves. The LORD was there to help both of them. They then go on to speak at length about the things on their mind (v19b-24) So we must give others time to speak if we are serious about this business of helping others. We also learn the lesson from our LORD in that He did not interrupt them, but let them speak freely.
Where is the solution?
One issue that often hinders people from wanting to be involved in helping others is that, in the end, they feel they will not be able to help others. No doubt there are times when those with specialist skills in certain areas will need to be involved. Such cases would be, for example, where there is financial problems or mental illness. However, through all problems there is one fundamental place where we can take people in order to help them. And that place is to lead people to Christ Himself through His Word.
That is what the LORD does with this disconsolate couple once they have unburdened themselves. Here was the ultimate bible study And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself (v27). Remember for all of us, ultimately, our sole encouragement is found in Christ Himself as we remember that the Son of God loved me and gave Himself for Me (Gal. 2:20). He loved me so much that He gave His life to help Me. We therefore help others when we take them to the ultimate helper who is Jesus.
This raises the issue though, about how much we know of the solution. If we do not know the LORD or know little of Him we will not be likely to be of much help to others. So let us study the Bible in order to be wise in the things of Christ and thereby we will be able to help others.
The end point
How were these two impacted by their time with the LORD? This is how Luke records part of the outcome They asked each other, ‘were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’ They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, ‘It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon‘. (24v32-34). Now they understood. Now they were relieved. Now their problems were solved. And why? Because they had seen the LORD.
Let us learn then from this account of how the LORD helped these two. Do we love each other enough to want to help one another in all our trials and problems? If we do then let us seek to follow the example of our LORD. Specialist counselors and others with special pastoral skills have their value. But each of us should remember, that we can be involved in this vital business of helping one another.
(Taken from the Feltham Evangelical Church Newsletter of February 2007)