During the times of Christ’s walk in the flesh, in which he began the gospel, the good news, he assembles to himself, chosen disciples. When the time arrived for him to be delivered into the hands of men, to do with him what they would, there were a good many individuals who were convinced that he was Messiah, but their expectations of what Christ, as Messiah, was to do, conflicted with what actually happened. What actually happened?what were the expectations of his disciples?where did they get it from?
Christ was, as foretold the scriptures, offered up for the sins of the world, received up into glory, instilled in power at the right hand of the Majesty On High, and came again expediently, as he had said he would, the Promise of The Father, the Spirit of Truth filling the temple, not of stick and stone, but the Spiritual House of Many Houses, to which house have been added daily, from the resurrection to this present moment, as many as receive him. Having gone before us, he empowers each individual to follow his course, from conception, to gestation, to birth, until each stands and appears before God, having substance and being in Him. So true is this present reality, that this is not a salvation coming at some time in the future, but present and ready to be revealed now. The Kingdom of God is not far off, somewhere “over the rainbow”, it is in you (if so be it is in you).
The expectation of the first disciples were not surprisingly so different than the collective expectations of Jewry and organized Christianity of today. It was taught, and is taught, that a man of flesh, descended from David, would be a king, sit on a material throne, in a material house ( of this present building), reunite the dispersed tribes, restore the nation, drive out occupiers, and, to put it in common language, make flesh behave itself. Today, the shared expectation is that a temple will again be built in Jerusalem, Christ will “return” ( or Messiah will “come”), and Christ will put all things to rights, evermore reigning from this expected vision.
The first disciples were Jews, and they obtained much of their preconceived expectation of Messiah, not from God, but from men. From the high priests, scribes and scholars, the people had been given an expectation, from generation to generation, that simply did not bear much resemblance at all, to the actual accomplishments of Messiah, accomplishments both Moses and Elijah were witnessed to discuss with Christ on the mount called “transfiguration”, when as yet He had not suffered and entered into glory. In his resurrection, Christ became the Apostle and High Priest of our profession. In doing so, he dissolved the former things. As they were in the act of deciding how to murder the just and righteous one, the last high priest of the Jew’s religion, Caiaphas, was moved of the Holy Ghost, to witness to himself, his piers, and his nation. In that witness is revealed, the sum and total of their collective doctrine and body of understanding of scripture, from the time of Abraham, until the then present moment:
“And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.”
If the collective knowledge of the Jew’s religion, as taught by it’s collective of leaders, was zero, ( as, I will propose, is the preponderance of the collective knowledge of today’s leadership of organized Christianity), where is truth and knowledge to be had? It is obtainable from the same who was qualified to pronounce the ignorance of the Sanhedrin. The Spirit of Christ, who had delivered to them the oracles which they did not understand.
The road to Emmaus expounds to us, all of which I speak. Two disciples leave Jerusalem for Emmaus, downcast because all their expectations of Messiah had seemingly been dashed when Christ was murdered. These expectations had not come from Christ, nor from rightly dividing the word of truth. Jesus, speaking to them, calls them fools and slow of heart, slow to believe what the scriptures testify of Christ, fools because of where they had obtained their ill conceived expectations. Truly had the Spirit spoken by the prophet, “They that lead you, cause you to err”. There, on the road to Emmaus, for those two believers, true teaching began. Teaching that they later described as a burning in their hearts, as the Lord spoke with them in the way.
“Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”
Today, as then, dashed expectations are replaced with truth, not on the road that leads to Jerusalem beneath, but the road that leads away from it.