Summary: Jesus opens my eyes when I understand Him through the lens of all the Scriptures
This is a manuscript, and not a transcript of this message. The actual presentation of the message differed from the manuscript through the leading of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, it is possible, and even likely that there is material in this manuscript that was not included in the live presentation and that there was additional material in the live presentation that is not included in this manuscript.
I want you to think this morning about an eye opening experience or journey that you’ve had in your life.
It might be something positive like the time that Mary and I first went snorkeling and had our eyes opened to the life that exists just under the surface of the ocean. For the first time we saw coral and fish and eels and other sea life that you just can’t see until you stick your head down into the water.
Or it might be something that was much more negative, like the first time I can remember being exposed to the ugly racism and bigotry directed at people merely because of their skin color. Having been blessed to grow up in a home where we never saw that kind of behavior and having watched my dad hire minorities of all kinds and then treat them just like all his other employees, when I first saw that is not how everyone treated people who are different than them, it was a shock.
Or it might just be a longer journey where your eyes still continue to be opened. For me that certainly describes my journey to becoming a pastor, something that never even crossed my mind until well after my college days. As I look back on that journey now, I can see how God just kept opening my eyes to what He wanted for me over many years.
I often find that Christians think that finding God’s will for their lives is a complicated process and even seem to think that God is making it difficult for them to know how God wants them to live their lives. But as we’ll see this morning, that just isn’t true. God has provided the resources that are necessary for our eyes to be opened to who Jesus is and His purposes, plans and ways for our lives. But it’s up to us to apply those resources in a way that He can use them to open our eyes.
Today, we will continue with our sermon series that is titled “40 Days with Jesus”, in which we are taking a look at the various encounters Jesus had with His followers in the 40 days between His resurrection and His ascent to the Father. We began last week with His encounter with Mary Magdalene at the empty tomb. This week, we’re going to look at the next recorded encounter which occurred sometime in the afternoon on that same Sunday.
You’ll find our passage in the last chapter of the gospel of Luke – chapter 24. That is right before the beginning of the gospel of John. It’s a rather long passage, but we need to read the entire text in order to make sure we have the entire context for the principles we’ll be drawing form the passage.
[Read Luke 24:13-35]
Two disciples, a man named Cleopas, who is not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible, and his unnamed companion are on their way from Jerusalem to their home in Emmaus, about seven miles away. Undoubtedly, they had been in Jerusalem for Passover and while they were there, they had witnessed and heard about all the events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus.
As they are walking along and discussing those events, Jesus appeared on the scene and began to walk with them. Other than the fact that He just appeared out of nowhere, that wasn’t really uncommon as people often engaged in conversations with strangers as they walked between villages.
But the two disciples did not recognize Jesus. Although many have speculated about why that was, the text implies that Jesus was the one who had blinded them to His identity. As the passage progresses, it’s pretty easy to figure out why Jesus did that. Had He revealed Himself at that point, those two disciples would not have heard another word that Jesus said. They would have gotten so wrapped up in the emotional experience of seeing His resurrected body that all they would have wanted to talk about is the details of how Jesus had risen from the grave and they would have still missed the why of the resurrection.
Jesus, as He often had done during His earthly ministry, asks a question, not because He didn’t already know the answer, but because He wanted to use that question to direct the conversation to what He wanted to say to these two men.