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Summary: I’M GOING TO SUGGEST TO YOU THAT THERE IS A HEARTBURN THAT YOU SHOULD DESIRE TO HAVE. IT IS A HEARTBURN THAT YOU SHOULD HOPE IS NOT QUENCHED, BUT IN FACT EXPANDED. IT IS A HEARTBURN THAT YOU SHOULD NOT SEEK RELIEF FROM.

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A ROADSIDE CONVERSATION

LUKE 24:13-35

HOW MANY OF YOU EVER HAD HEARTBURN? I’M SURE THAT MOST OF YOU, AT ONE TIME OR ANOTHER, HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH THIS CONDITION. IT’S NOT PLEASANT AND USUALLY HAPPENS AFTER WE HAVE ENJOYED A PARTICULAR FOOD, OR TOO MUCH FOOD IN GENERAL.

TODAY THOUGH, I’M GOING TO SUGGEST TO YOU THAT THERE IS A HEARTBURN THAT YOU SHOULD DESIRE TO HAVE. IT IS A HEARTBURN THAT YOU SHOULD HOPE IS NOT QUENCHED, BUT IN FACT EXPANDED. IT IS A HEARTBURN THAT YOU SHOULD NOT SEEK RELIEF FROM, AND BE CONCERNED SHOULD IT EVER SUBSIDE.

THE HEARTBURN THAT I AM SPEAKING OF, IS THE HEARTBURN THE DISCIPLES FELT WHILE ON THE ROAD TO EMMAUS.

BACKGROUND:

LET ME GIVE YOU SOME BACKGROUND TO THIS PASSAGE. THIS CONVERSATION TAKES PLACE ON THE AFTERNNON OF THE RESURRECTION. TWO DISCIPLES, CLEOPHAS, AND ONE THAT IS NOT IDENTIFIED, ARE WALKING FROM JERUSALEM TO EMMAUS, A DISTANCE OF SEVEN MILES. WE ARE NOT TOLD WHY THEY ARE GOING THERE. WE DO KNOW THAT THEY ARE DISAPPOINTED AND DISCOURAGED AS A RESULT OF THE DEATH OF CHRIST.

WE ALSO KNOW THAT THEY WERE PRIVY TO THE DETAILS OF THE RESURRECTION, BUT IT APPEARS THAT THEIR KNOWLEDGE WAS OVERSHADOWED BY THEIR GRIEF. IT CAUSED THEM TO HAVE SELECTIVE MEMORY, AND DWELL ON THE EVENTS OF JESUS DEATH AND HOW IT WOULD EFFECT THEM, RATHER THAN BE EXCITED ABOUT THE RESURRECTION. THEY UNITED THE MISSION WITH THEIR LEADER, IN THAT NOW THAT THERE LEADER, JESUS, WAS DEAD, THEY FELT THAT THEIR MISSION WAS OVER. THEY WERE SO CAUGHT UP IN THEIR DESPAIR, THAT THEY DID NOT RECOGNIZE JESUS WHEN HE WALKED WITH THEM, ALTHOUGH TO BE FAIR, THEY WERE ACTUALLY KEPT FROM RECOGNIZING HIM BY GOD.

WE FIND THESE MEN AND JESUS WALKING ALONG THE ROAD TO EMMAUS. I MUST ADMIT THAT I FIND IT STRANGE THAT THESE MEN WOULD ENTER INTO SUCH A DEEP CONVERSATION WITH A TOTAL STRANGER, WHICH JESUS WOULD BE TO THEM AT THIS TIME, BUT GOD ORCHASTRATED THINGS THIS WAY FOR THEIR BENEFIT, AND FOR OURS.

AS WE LOOK AT THIS PASSAGE I WANT TO CONCENTRATE ON THREE THINGS:

1. DISCOURAGEMENT CAUSED THESE MEN TO LIVE IN THE PAST. (V.17-24)

2. DISCOURAGEMENT CAN CAUSE US TO QUESTION GOD’S CARE ABOUT US (25-33)

3. THE REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION CAN INSTILL AN EXCITEMENT INTO OUR HEARTS AND DEFEAT THE DISCOURAGEMENT WE FEEL. (33-35)

POINT ONE: DISCOURAGEMENT CAUSED THESE MEN TO LIVE IN THE PAST.

WHEN WE ARE CAUGHT IN THE MIDST OF HEARTACHE OR DISCOURAGEMENT, A VERY NATURAL THING TO DO, IS TO DWELL ON TIMES IN THE PAST WHEN THE SOURCE OF DISCOURAGEMENT WASN’T THERE.

WE CAN SEE THIS IN THE PASSAGE. JESUS JOINS THEM IN THE MIDST OF THEIR DISCUSSION. HE KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT, BUT STILL ASKS THE QUESTION, IN ORDER THEM TO BE ABLE TO LEARN AND ACCEPT THE RESURRECTION ON THEIR OWN TERMS.

GIVEN THE RECENT EVENTS OF THE CRUCIFIXION THEY ARE AMAZED THAT JESUS HAS NO KNOWLEDGE OF THE EVENTS. JESUS ALLOWS THEM TO VOCALIZE WHAT MANY PEOPLE FELT.

LISTEN TO WHAT LUKE RECORDS THESE MEN AS SAYING:

HE WAS JESUS THE NAZARENE

HE WAS A PROPHET

HE WAS MIGHTY IN WORDS

HE WAS MIGHTY IN DEEDS

HE WAS LOVED BY THE COMMON PEOPLE

HE WAS HATED BY THE RELIGIOUS LEADERSHIP

HE WAS CRUCIFIED

THEY DO NOT SPEAK OF JESUS IN THE PRESENT, BUT IN THE PAST WHEN HIS POPULARITY AND MINISTRY WAS AT IT’S HIGHEST. IT WOULD BE AN EXCITING TIME FOR THEM TO BE FOLLOWERS. THE QUESTION WOULD ALWAYS BE, WHAT’S HE GOING TO DO NEXT? WHO IS HE GOING TO HEAL? HOW IS HE GOING TO DEAL WITH THE RELIGIOUS LEADERS AND MAKE THEM LOOK BAD THIS TIME.

IT IS IN THE PAST WHERE DEFEATED PEOPLE FIND THEIR GLORY DAYS. THEIR FAVORITE WORDS ARE “I REMEMBER WHEN”, AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THESE PEOPLE WERE DOING.

NOW LET ME SAY THAT THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH LOOKING BACK AT THE PAST WITH FONDNESS AND TO TALK ABOUT THE “GOOD OLD DAYS”. THOSE THOUGH WHO LIVE IN THE PAST ARE DISCOURAGED IN THE PRESENT AND NOT FOCUSING ON THE FUTURE AT ALL. THERE WAS NO HOPE FOR THEM AS HOPE HAS IT’S HOME IN THE FUTURE. THE SADDEST DEATH OF ALL HAS TO BE THE DEATH OF HOPE.

POINT TWO: DISCOURAGEMENT CAN CAUSE US TO QUESTION WHETHER GOD CARES ABOUT US.

AS THESE DISCIPLES CONVERSE WITH CHRIST, THEY ARE COMPLETELY OBLIVIOUS TO THE MANY FACTS THAT THEY STATE CONCERNING THE RESURRECTION. AS DISCIPLES, THEY ARE OBLIVIOUS TO WHAT IS SAID IN THE OLD TESTAMENT CONCERNING THE MESSIAH AND ALL THAT WAS TO HAPPEN TO HIM. THEY WANTED TO BELIEVE THE GOOD THINGS MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE, BUT DID NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH JESUS SUFFERINGS.

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