Summary: A sermon about seeing Jesus.
"From Road Rage to Praise"
Mary had thought Jesus was a gardener, and now two other disciples think He is a stranger.
As these two people--one was named Cleopas and he may have been Jesus' uncle--set out on the Road to Emmaus they were joined by Jesus.
In his translation of the New Testament, William Barclay translates this text by saying that "they stood with faces twisted with grief."
So, the two disciples' faces were "twisted with grief"--as they walked the Road to Emmaus.
When you think about it, we all walk the Road to Emmaus with our faces "twisted with grief" sometimes.
Perhaps you feel that way today.
One day I got an email from a friend whose 23 year old daughter was celebrating her birthday that week in prison.
He wrote about the sadness he felt for "the loss of our dreams for our daughter. The pain of seeing her in prison.
The knowledge that she had made so many mistakes and that he and his wife could not stop them."
My friend was walking the Road to Emmaus.
Recently, I received a letter from a man who told me about his 18 months of unemployment and his feelings of discouragement and disappointment.
This was his Road to Emmaus.
What is your road to Emmaus?
So, these two disciples, their faces twisted with grief were joined on the road by Jesus.
And it's important to note that Jesus came to them as a stranger.
Pastor Adam Hamilton writes, "One afternoon during the week before Easter I stepped out of my office and noticed George and Vicki standing in the memorial garden located in a courtyard of our church.
This was the one year anniversary of their son Travis' death.
Travis died in a car accident as he was driving back to college.
His ashes are inurned in our memorial garden.
I stopped to visit with George and Vicki, and they said, 'Pastor Adam, you won't believe what happened this morning.'"
Hamilton continues, "They told me that when they woke up, they saw something on the front porch of their home.
They opened the door and found that 35 of their friends and neighbors had bought dozens upon dozens of red geraniums and had left them there for George and Vicki to find on the morning of the anniversary of their son's death.
There were notes of encouragement and a beautiful poem about God's care for their son and the promise that one day they would see him again."
Hamilton writes, "Vicki said to me, 'Adam, you have no idea what this meant to us.
We felt God's love and the hope of the Resurrection through our friends and neighbors who remembered our son's death and showered us with love.'"
Jesus Christ had come to George and Vicki on their Emmaus journey.
While their faces were still twisted with grief, Jesus came in the form of neighbors and friends and some who never left their names, saying: "We remember. We care. And your son is with God."
Have you ever seen Christ through the actions of others?
Have you ever been Christ to someone else?
Remember in Matthew Chapter 25 that Jesus will say at the final judgment, "whatever you did for the least of these you did for me."
In serving others, we serve and begin to recognize Jesus Christ in the faces of those in need.
Are you serving others?
What ministries of this church could you become involved in, in order that you will experience Jesus Christ through loving service?
What ministries need to be developed here?
What is God calling you to do?
We are told that "When they came to Emmaus, [Jesus] acted as if he was going on ahead.
But they urged him, saying, 'Stay with us. It's nearly evening, and the day is almost over.'"
It's been said that when Jesus "acted as if he was going on ahead," it was as if Jesus was testing the two disciples to see if they remembered His teaching about welcoming the stranger.
They hadn't forgotten, and they urged Him to come in for a meal.
We are told that "After [Jesus] took his seat at the table with them, he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them."
It was at this point that "Their eyes were opened and they recognized him..."
Think of the first meal in the Bible.
What was it?
It's found in Genesis Chapter 3.
"The woman saw that the tree was beautiful with delicious food and that the tree would provide wisdom, so she took some of its fruit and ate it, and also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.
Then they both saw clearly and knew that they were naked."