Emmaus: What An Eye Opener! - 4/15/18

EMMAUS: WHAT AN EYE OPENER!

Luke 24: 13-35

I recently read the legend of the king who decided to set aside a special day to
honor his greatest subject. … When the big day arrived, there was a large
gathering in the palace courtyard. … Four finalists were brought forward and from
these four, … the king would select the winner.
The first person presented was a wealthy philanthropist. … The king was told that
this man was highly deserving of the honor because of his humanitarian efforts.
He had given much of his wealth to the poor.
The second person was a celebrated physician. … The king was told that this
doctor was highly deserving of the honor because he had rendered faithful and
dedicated service to the sick for many years.
The third person was a distinguished judge. … The king was told that the judge
was worthy because he was noted for his wisdom, his fairness, and his brilliant
decisions.
The fourth person presented was an elderly woman. … Everyone was quite
surprised to see her there, because her manner was observably humble, … as was
her dress. … She hardly looked the part of someone who would be honored as the
greatest subject in the kingdom. … What chance could she possibly have, when
compared to the other three, who had accomplished so much?
Even so, there was something about her; … the look of love in her face, …
the understanding in her eyes, … her quiet confidence.
The king was intrigued, to say the least … and somewhat puzzled by her presence.
He asked who she was. … The answer came: … "You see the philanthropist, the
doctor, and the judge? … Well, she was their teacher!"
That woman had no wealth, … no fortune … and no title … but she had
unselfishly given her life to produce great people.
There is nothing more powerful or more Christ like, … than sacrificial love.
The king could not see the value in the humble lady. … He missed the significance
of the teacher. … Often we miss the value of those around us.
I think it would surprise us to know how often we miss the presence of Christ …
just as Cleopas and his companion missed the significance of the stranger on the
road to Emmaus.
So: … On the road to Emmaus don’t miss: ....
1. The significance of the resurrection: … It transforms us
Look closely at what happens to these two people as they journey from Jerusalem
to their home in the city of Emmaus seven miles away. … A stranger, … whom we
know is Jesus, joins them.
He asks them what they are talking about and they stop dead in their tracks.
They can hardly bring themselves to discuss it they are so saddened by the events
of the last three days.
Their friend, … their master, … their rabbi, … the one they describe as a mighty
prophet, … has been unjustly condemned to death and violently killed on a cross.
They say to their companion, … “Are You the only visitor in Jerusalem who
doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?”
This would be enough to unsettle anyone but new and disturbing information is
being told. … Reports about his tomb being empty and the crazy notions of some
who say He is alive.
Listen to what happens next on that dusty road at the end of the day.
This is the part that intrigues me. … Jesus begins to interpret the Old Testament
and explains to them how all these details were spoken of by Moses and the
Prophets. … He opens the Scriptures to them. … He transforms their thinking.
They had no idea these events were supposed to take place.
They had concluded that Jesus’ mission had failed. … They now understand that
the last three days … was the plan all along.
Finally, … the two invite Jesus into their home. … He has dinner with them.
Again Jesus transformed the event.
There at that ordinary dinner at the end of the day, … this stranger takes bread, …
blesses it, … breaks it, … gives it to them … and their eyes are opened.
In that moment, … they were transformed!
Here’s an example: …
There’s a story about a young boy named Walter Elias. … Born in the city, his
parents one day moved out to the country to become farmers. … Walter had a
vivid imagination and the farm was the perfect place for a young boy and a
wondering mind.
One day, … in the apple orchard, … he was amazed when he saw, … sitting on a
branch of one of the apple trees, … an owl. … He just stood there and stared at the
owl. … He thought about what his father had told him about owls: … owls always
rested during the day because they hunted throughout the night.
This owl was asleep. … He also thought that this owl might make a great pet.
Being careful not to make any noises, he stepped over sticks and leaves.
The owl was in a deep sleep because it never heard Walter Elias walking toward it.
Finally, … standing under the owl, … he reached up and grabbed the owl by the
legs.
Now, the events that followed are difficult to explain. … Suddenly everything was
utter chaos. … The owl came to life. … Walter’s thoughts about keeping the bird
as a pet were quickly forgotten.
The air filled with wings, … feathers … and screaming!
In the excitement, … Walter held the legs tighter … and in his panic, …
Walter Elias, … still holding on to the owl, … threw it to the ground and stomped
it to death.
After the dust settled, … Walter looked at the now dead and bloody bird …
and began to cry.
He ran back to the farm, … grabbed a shovel … and buried the owl in the orchard.
At night he would dream of that owl. … As the years passed, … he never got over
what had happened that summer day. … Deep down it affected him for the rest of
his life. … As an older man, … he said he never, ever killed anything again.
Do you see it?
Something significant happened after that event. … Something that Walter didn’t
miss. … Something which transformed Walter Elias, … something that redeemed
him from the pit of despair, … something that resurrected him, … something that
made Walter Elias into someone who we all have experienced in some way.
You see, … Walter Elias eventually changed his name to … Walt Disney; …
who created Mickey Mouse, … Goofy … and all those wonderful cartoon animals.
2. The significance of the resurrection: … It convicts us (v.32)
The two disciples, … when they had realized who Jesus was … and were amazed
at the great news, … said: … “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while He was
talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?”
They had understood what all of the Old Testament prophecies were about …
and they had to grasp the fact that they were wrong in thinking Jesus was dead …
and that all hope was gone.
That is what conviction is all about; … realizing that we are wrong about
something … and believe in it enough … to change us!
The two disciples could have said; … “well so what Jesus is back from the dead …
but He is still not going to wipe out the Romans.”
They believed enough in the fact that Jesus had risen … and that He died for a
reason.
They accepted that Jesus was the only One who could save them from something
far worse than oppression from a government: … Oppression from Satan!
We all know of John Wesley; … he’s the founder of the Methodist Church.
John was an Anglican priest who was a very good man … but he came to a point at
which he also had a burning heart! … He was convicted that he was loved by God
… for who he genuinely was.
We should come to the point … to which we grasp that there is nothing for us to do
that will make a difference … but to repent and follow Jesus the Christ.

We need to look at how we REALLY live our life … and be able to turn from the
world … and follow Jesus.
Why are we here today? … Why do we come to Church? … What will we do
when we leave here?
Has the resurrection of our Savior, made any difference in our lives; …
are we convicted that Jesus is our Master … and that we should live accordingly?
Let our hearts burn also.
3. The significance of the resurrection: … It makes us witnesses (v.33)
YES, … we are transformed … and once we are convicted … there is no reason
that we should keep this conviction … to ourselves.
Once to two disciples had figured out that they had just met with the risen Lord, …
they got up … and went back to Jerusalem to tell the others.
It was dark … and they had already decided earlier that they should settle down for
the evening; … They didn’t really feel like walking any more.
Yet they got up … and walked the 7 miles (from here to Pittsburg) … to tell the
others the good news.
They had become witnesses.
What about us?
When we hear good news, … what do we do? … If I won a new car … or a great
sum money in a contest, … I’m sure I wouldn’t be able to keep it quiet!
Well, … we have heard the good news … and experienced it!
The resurrection has changed our lives … and should have convicted us!
We need to be able to go out … and tells others.
How do we do that?: … Well the first step is to live our lives … so that people (the
world) … can see we’re different.
That means that we don’t allow anything else to be our God. … Alcohol should not
rule our lives, … gambling (including the lottery) should not be our priority.
Power over others, which can result in abuse of women and children, … should not
be an obsession!
When the world looks at us, … they should see Jesus; … we should strive to be
like Jesus; … that is … the Way.
We cannot hide behind the mask of Christianity … and then live and think like the
secular society around us.
Saying kind words to people makes a difference; … reaching out to those in need,
… that is all being a witness to Jesus.

To finish this lesson: …
I want to challenge us today, … that we should not live our lives, … without
allowing the resurrection … to be a part of … that life.
That is Christianity; … resurrection, … power over death!
It must transform us, … convict us … and make disciples of us.
AMEN