Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Things Concerning Himself

Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles from Jerusalem. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him.

And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”

Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
And He said to them, “What things?”

So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who 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 crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”

Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?” So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.

Now as they said these things, Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit. And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”

When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled, He said to them, “Have you any food here?” So they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb. And He took it and ate in their presence.

Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:13-49)

All their lives these two had dreamed of the day that God would redeem Israel. And just when their dream seemed attainable, it was cruelly shattered. Their joy had turned to sadness, disillusion and doubts as they tried to make sense of all that had happened.

Yet in the midst of their discouragement, Jesus drew near. He is near you also, right now, and He cares deeply about what you are going through. Notice how Jesus asks them a question in order to permit them to share their hurt and pain. That is our Savior. How easily He might have sat them down, and given them a lecture. Instead, His concern is for them. Do not ever be afraid to tell Jesus how you feel or what is discouraging you. You may be focused on your problem, but Jesus is focused on you.

Jesus did not give them a sermon on what they needed to do. He said they were slow to believe what the prophets had spoken because they did not understand (the actual meaning of the Greek word translated foolish) that all the prophecies were about Him!

“Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. (Luke 24:26-27)

That is what we are supposed to be hearing from the pulpit! Every sermon is supposed to be a fresh revelation of the loveliness of Jesus. Here is Jesus preaching the first New Testament sermon ever.

What did He think was the most important subject of all? Seeing Jesus in the scriptures.

You would think that Cleopas and his friend would have been tired at the end of their seven-mile journey home. But their hearts burned within them and their strength and joy had returned. They rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the other disciples who told them Jesus had appeared to Peter also. Suddenly, Jesus appeared to all of them and they were terrified and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost.

Jesus did not condemn them for their unbelief. He was so personal and compassionate. He showed them His hands and feet. He told them to handle Him and give Him a hug. And because they were still struggling to believe, He asked for some food and ate it before them. What grace! Instead of condemning their unbelief, it was as if Jesus was willing to do whatever it took for them to believe.

He will do the same for you my friend.

Copyright (c) 2016 Rob Gore Ministries

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