The Week That Changed The World 4: Video Link
Sunday Afternoon On The Emmaus Road - Luke 24:13-36
The preacher went visiting one of his church members to try and get him more involved at church. The man met the preacher and they set down on the porch. The pastor then tried to get the man, who was the laziest member of the church, to get more involved with church, to come more regularly, and every service. Maybe use some of his skills to help with some of the church yard work or maintenance.
The man kept telling the pastor how tired he was on the weekends and just couldn’t do much at all. “Brother,” the pastor said, “One day you’re going to die and we’re going to bury and then you’ll get all the rest you need!”
“I doubt that, preacher” said the man, “With my luck the day I die, will be day the Lord comes back, and the first thing I’m going to hear is Gabriel blowing that blasted trumpet and telling me to get up and get going!”
Now that man, was just lazy and we do have plenty of lazy Christians, sometimes I’m one myself. But I’m not dealing with physically laziness this morning. I want us to consider, our motivation in our serving the Lord. What does it take for us to get up and get going when it comes to our Christian life? If you think that a preacher getting up in the pulpit and doing a spiritual pep rally will do it well you’re going to be disappointed. First because I always hated pep rallies and second because emotion only get you so far before they evaporate. We need something more lasting, more substantial, more powerful and I believe the thing that will motivate us, and keep us faithful in our service to the Lord is what we’ve been dedicating the last few week to, the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If Jesus is real, and we are really His disciples, then we will really serve Him. We will do anything, everything and stop at nothing to serve our risen Savior.
We see an example of such motivation and service in in Luke 24:13-36, we call them the Emmaus Road disciples.
The two travelers on the road to Emmaus are basically unknown to us until this event recorded in Luke. We only know the name of one Cleopos the other still remains a mystery, some have speculated that it may have been Luke himself though this seems wildly, unlikely. Cleopas might have been the husband of one of the Marys according to John 19:25. He may have been the father of the other apostle James who was not the brother of John, Luke 24:10. What does seem likely is that he was the one who related the details of this story to Luke, when he wrote his gospel account. Emmaus the village no longer exists and as of yet no trace of it has been found, but during Jesus time it was a small mountain village about 7 or 8 miles from Jerusalem. On the afternoon of the Resurrection, there would have been many people traveling the road back to their hometowns now that the Passover was over.
We pick up the story with Luke’s two transition words, in 24v12, “and behold” something out of the ordinary is about to happen.
Lacking the Reality - Luke 24:13-24
And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
Dazed and Confused Then
The two disciples are walking and as they walk they are they “talked” of all these things, the things that had happened that day. The word talked is used here and in vs 15 the same word is translated “communed.” In Greek this is the word, ὁμιλεω [homileō], where we get out English word homiletics. It means to be in company with, and while in that company to converse, to have a deep and long conversation with a companion. (interesting idea on what a the homiletics of a sermon may have originally meant.)
They are walking and deeply engrossed in their conversation about what had happened that Sunday and with the events of the previous week, the week that we now know changed the world. As they walk, Jesus just walks right up to them but they do not recognize Him. This by the purpose of God, the Bible says their eyes were holden.
Jesus asks them, Luke 24:17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?”
So Cleopas, the only named disciple here, says, Luke 24:18-19 Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, (have you been living in isolation while you were in Jerusalem) and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? (It would be like us meeting one of our neighbors after a tornado went through our town and they walked up to us and said, “What are you talking about?) (Then notice what has to be some humor on the part of Jesus,) And he said unto them, What things? (You can’t tell me Jesus wasn’t smiling at least on the inside when He said that. He was the center of all those things and now he’s seeking information from these two who were only on the furthest extremities of the events of that day. It’s like saying what tornado? when you were the tornado! And it’s a little bit funny.)
They then fill in Jesus about the events of the week and especially of that day, Luke 24:19-24 And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
They speak of Jesus as a great prophet, a miracle worker, empowered by God, but they didn’t fully know Him. They knew he was crucified; they knew of the promise that He would rise again the third day but they don’t really believe it in spite of the fact that, they had heard of the women who had been to the tomb and spoke with the angels and they even knew that Peter and John had seen the empty tomb.
No wonder Jesus said, Luke 24:25-26 “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?” This word fool, is ἀνόητος anoētos; in Greek and it means unintelligent and sensual, not using your spirit or brain but instead only depending on your physical senses.
These were two disciples who were dazee and confused by the events that had happened, they were hurting, hopeless and helpless. And isn’t that always the perfect time for Jesus to show up? They don’t know what to believe. They don’t even realize that Jesus is walking right there with them. All of this confusion is because they lack the reality of a resurrected Lord.
Right now in their lives Jesus is not real to them.
Dazed and Confused Now
And before we upbraid and criticized the Emmaus road disciples we need to consider disciples at 1125 E. Corsicana. (That’s the address of the church in case I’m being to subtle)
We are often dazed and confused in our own daily walk for the same reasons. Instead of realzing that we walk daily with our resurrection Savior, we are going along, talking about Christ talking about church, talking about the happenings and events in and around our life. We are often hurting, hopeless and helpless, just as they were. And just like them we need to realize that Jesus is right there with us. Waiting to talk with us and open our eyes to the reality of who He is.
Jesus promised he would be with us at all times. He promised to calms our fears and dispel our hopelessness.
In Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. (Wow, what a promise!)
Just like these disciple Jesus is with us. He is always there, yet our eyes also are holden. We don’t see Him and because we don’t see Him we walk dazed and confused through life.
Unlike these disciple whose eyes were holden by Jesus, so that he might use them to teach us, our eyes are holden by other things. Things like disbelief, worldliness, unfaithfulness, ignorance, and yes lets throw it in there laziness, you can call it apathy if you need a fancy word.
Like these disciples, we think we know Him but in reality we just know about Him. We may be saved, we may believe in the resurrection but we don’t believe that Jesus is walking with us every day.
Illustration: In The Garden
1) I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
2) He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
That’s the reality of the risen Lord that we need in our life everyday to lift us out of the dazed and confused condition this world wants to keep us in.
Now after hearing the disciples give their sermon of sorrow, Jesus is going to really deliver the homiletically perfect sermon of the century. Go to vs 25.
Learning The Reality - Luke 24:25-31
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. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
Directed and Concentrated Then
Jesus directs them to scripture Luke 24:27 “And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures” and he concentrates them on Himself, Luke 24:27 “he expounded unto them the things concerning himself.” Wouldn’t you have loved to hear that sermon, delivered in Jesus’ person to person, heart to heart style of preaching and teaching?
A sermon like that, looking at all the Old Testament scriptures about the Messiah, would take hours, there are over 360 such prophecies and promises. I imagine he would have focused on those scriptures that dealt with his suffering, death and resurrection.
Scriptures like, Genesis 3:14-15 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.
Or Psalms 22:Vs. 1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
vs. 7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted on the LORD that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
vs. 13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws;
and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.
vs 16-18 they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.
And surely the Lord quoted, Isaiah 53:3-6 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. Vs. 9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death;
Jesus teaches and the disciples listen and then they come to the home of one of the disciples and Jesus acts as if He would keep going, just walking away down the road away from them, but no, that disciple constrains him, implores him to come in and eat with them. To abide with them.
And it was at that meal, when Jesus breaks the bread and offers the blessing for it, that their eyes were opened. Jesus breaking bread and offering the blessing.
Probably he offered the traditional Hebrew prayer for bread the Hamotzi, “Blessed art Thou, LORD our God, King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.” This blessing He probably prayed at the feeding of the 5000, and the feeding of the 7000. It was probably said by Jesus before His disciples at every sabbath meal and at every Passover. And when they heard it now, the disciples’ eyes are opened and they saw the risen King of the Universe sitting down and sharing a meal with them.
Directed and Concentrated Now
How can our eyes be opened to the reality of Jesus with us? Wouldn’t it be accomplished in the same way? Aren’t we also disciples walking life’s road with out uncertainties need to see Christ with us? Of course we are and we will see Jesus the same way they saw him…
First, we must see Jesus in scripture.
Not just that but I must realize and know that the Jesus, himself is speaking to me through this sacred book. His teaching of the Emmaus road disciples is the same teaching of his Corsicana road disciples. What he said to them, he is saying to us.
Secondly, you must have fellowship with the Lord. As these two walked and talked with Jesus, we also must walk and talk with Him. As these two invited Jesus into their home, we must invite Him into ours. As Jesus blessed their meal, we must seek His blessing for ours.
Finally, If your eyes would be be fully opened and see Christ, then you must not only invited him to visit but invite him in to "abide” with you.
In John 14-17 we find the last lesson Jesus taught His apostles before his arrest. There are several vital themes, the Holy Spirit, answered prayer and loving one another. But central in all these is what Jesus says in John 15:4-8 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
We must abide in Him, that is the reality, the fellowship, the walking, the talking with Jesus that will motivate us to truly serve our more powerful than death, greater than the grave, coming again, Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
You know how I don’t believe you should sing Christmas Carols outside of the Christmas season? That is a hard and fast rule as far as I’m concerned, you just don’t do it. But that rule doesn’t apply to Resurrection songs. We should sing them all the time. Sing “Christ is risen, He is risen indeed. Allelu Allelujah.” And the reason is what we are talking bout today, the birth of Christ is important because it brought Jesus into this world once upon a Christmas day, but the resurrection of Christ is vital because it brings Jesus into our life every day. Sing it, celebrate it but most importantly believe it and fellowship daily with our risen Savior.
Now one final thing, notice the change in the disciples after their eyes are opened and they see Jesus.
Launching By the Reality - Luke 32-36
And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Driven and Committed Then
Wow, look at how these disciples are changed by the reality of the resurrection. They have already walked 7 or 8 miles that day but they jump up and not being afraid of the night or darkness they seem to fly back to Jerusalem with an irresistible need to tell the others, “We’ve seen Jesus!” It had to be the single most important even of their lives.
Now they are not dazed and confused, they are driven and committed. They are no longer hurting, hopeless and or helpless but happy, hopefully and ready to help others.
After bursting into the room where the disciples are staying, they begin to compare notes, to examine the evidence and determine the truth. During this time the Lord and also appeared to Simon Peter, and they all now conclude, “The Lord is risen indeed.” The Emmaus road disciples add their story and say when he broke the bread, we knew him.
Then the Bible says, at that moment, while they were speaking, Jesus just appears in the room, he had vanished from the room in Emmaus, he had appeared to Peter and now he just materializes into this room, with all of them standing around deciding that yes, I’m pretty sure, we can safely conclude Jesus is risen. And then boom, bang, pow, zowie, (what word would fit this miracle?) He just appears there right in their middle of the room, the middle of their discussion, the middle of their storied and the middle of their hopes and fears. Jesus shows up in midst of them.
They still are having difficulties with all these. You and I would too. So, in order to convince them He’s not a spirit, but flesh and blood, He shows them his hands and feet where he bears the wounds of their remission. He then ask them for food and them give him some grilled fish and some honey in the comb. Once again their Lord is sharing a meal with those he loved and there is no denying Jesus is alive.
Driven and Committed Now
Isn’t that what we need, to be recharged by the reality of the resurrection, the presence of the Prince of Peace, the abiding with us of the Almighty Savior?
It is the reality, the realness, of Christ’s resurrection that will determines the reality of my service to Christ. If I could just hold on to the truth of Jesus in me the hope of Glory, every single day.
What a change it would make. I would be anticipating joy not apathetically wasting time. I would be energized and excited to tell others, I’ve seen Jesus! You can see him too. Look here in the scripture and hear the savior. Come to church and learn of my Christ! Listen to His teaching, experience his love, look at the hands and feet that were pierced for you.
If the resurrection were as real to me as it was to them, then all my money would be not be enough to give so that others could come and meet him. All my time would not be enough to serve him and be with him. All my life would not be long enough to love him and for him to love me.
And this is our reality, unless our eyes are blinded by this world, then Jesus is with us. What these physical eyes may not be able to see, our heart, our soul, our spirit should see fully and with no blurry edges to our vision. If we could just know that Jesus is with us everyday, in every way and everywhere.
One of the earliest songs I remember singing as a child was a song that speaks of knowing and walking with Jesus and how that personal knowledge makes all the difference.
Illustration: Song “I Know Who Holds Tomorrow”
1 I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from its sunshine,
For its skies may turn to gray.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.
Refrain: Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.
3 I don't know about tomorrow,
It may bring me poverty;
But the one who feeds the sparrow,
Is the one who stands by me.
And the path that be my portion,
May be through the flame or flood,
But His presence goes before me,
And I'm covered with His blood. [Refrain]
Conclusion: What if Jesus had kept going?
Remember in the story as the disciples came to the place where they would stay and Jesus acted as if He would keep going. Do you wonder about that? Here is Jesus the Lord of Creation, the conqueror of sin, death and the grave and yet he waits for an invitation to enter another man’s home. The wonder of God’s love and justice is that waits. It waits for us to open the door and let Jesus come in or to shut it in His face and he walks away. Its true for salvation, you can shut the door or open the door to grace and forgiveness. Its also true after salvation, I can open the door to the risen Lord of Life and invite Him to bless my home, family and life or I can shut the door and think, “I’ll let Jesus walk on by and catch up with him later.”
Remember what John recorded in Revelation of Jesus. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”
This is the reality of the resurrected Christ. He is even now waiting to enter our lives, our families, our church. And just like the disciples on the Emmaus Road, our eyes won’t be fully opened, to see the reality of our risen Lord, until we invite Him in, and He takes His rightful place. Until He takes the place of honor in our hearts, our homes and our church; we will not understand the blessing that only Jesus can give. Don’t let Jesus walk away, open the door and invite your Savior in.