It is disappointing that so many only read the New Testament, and sometimes that is the only part of the Bible they have. Many years ago, I went to Israel and Jordan with a Christian group and my complete Bible with Old and New Testaments was borrowed more than once!

This comment is prompted by our reading of Luke 24 containing the drama of the appearances of Jesus after his resurrection. He told the disciples on the road to Emmaus, “O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken” (verse 25). Then, after they had “recognized him and he vanished … 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?’” (verses 31,32). The scriptures referred to were, of course, the Old Testament.

Later, with all the disciples he “ate before them” (verse 43) to prove he was a real being, and not some spirit manifestation. “Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ 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 that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations …’” (verses 44-47).

Only now is the message going out to nations in every part of the world, and it is heart-warming to see genuine responses. What is proclaimed as an essential part of the original gospel is “repentance and forgiveness”. Who among those where God’s word has long been readily available will set their minds to “understand the Scripture”? Make sure you understand why “it is written” – otherwise you do not understand what salvation really is.