Summary: On the road to Emmaus the two disciples found hope.
I recently read a story about a heart surgeon and how a young patient’s faith in Jesus changed the surgeon’s heart forever.
"Tomorrow morning I'll open up your heart” the surgeon said to the 8 year-old-boy. "You'll find Jesus there," the boy said. The surgeon continued, "I'll open your heart and check the damage." "You'll find Jesus there," the boy said. "When I see the damage, I will suture you back up and then think about the next step," said the surgeon. "You will find Jesus in my heart because my Sunday school teacher told me so. She said it says so in the Bible. Besides that, our Sunday school songs say He lives there," said the boy. The surgery took place the next day. After the surgery the surgeon began to make notes of what he found. In his mind there was no hope and no cure. The little boy would die within a matter of months. The thought began to get to the doctor and all of a sudden the doctor shouted to God, "Why did you do this to the boy? Why can't he live a normal life?" God spoke to the surgeon's heart and said, "The boy is a part of my flock and will always be a part of my flock. When he is with me there will be no more suffering and pain. He will have comfort and peace. One day his parents as well as you will join him and my flock will continue to grow." The next day the surgeon went to the boy's room and sat down with the parents beside the bed. In a moment or two, the boy opened his eyes and asked very quietly, "What did you find in my heart?" With tears flowing down his cheeks, the surgeon said, "I found Jesus there."
Hope is an emotion that flows from our hearts. I believe it to be one of the most powerful emotions that God has embodied in our human makeup. Proverbs 13:12 says, “ Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” Deferred is to put off to a later time; to postpone. People around us and maybe even some of us here today are struggling to be hopeful. Our heart is sick. I want to continue with the scripture related to the Road to Emmaus. We will soon see how the two disciples on their way to Emmaus began walking on a hopeless road, but returned to Jerusalem on Hope Road. They met Jesus, the heart surgeon.
28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 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.
30 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. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
32 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?” 33 So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, 34 saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” 35 And they told about the things that had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of bread.
We learned earlier what ROAD represented: Anyone remember what the R meant? O? A? D?
Right Way Obstructions Account Detour
Tonight I want to talk to you about the HOPE that these two disciples found on the road to Emmaus. This HOPE was not meant for only them, but for you and I. Again I want to use an acrostic to relay four points.
These two disciples were downcast or saddened in just a few verses prior to our text tonight. Earlier their focus had been on the pre-resurrected Christ and the fact that he had been crucified and was dead. Remember Cleopas said, “We had hoped He was the one that was going to redeem Israel.” Jesus then allows the two disciples to give their account of the recent events. Then we see Jesus offer the detour for the heart of the two disciples. He reminds them of all the prophets and what they had spoken. He reiterates His purpose and why He had to suffer the cross. He explains the Scriptures concerning Himself.
Now we see that the road to Emmaus from Jerusalem was about seven miles. Although seven miles is a long way to walk, it does not take a tremendous amount of time. This story did not occur over a period of days. The point I am trying to make is it is not the amount of time that mattered, but who they were with. Now I believe we need to be in constant communion with the Lord, but we need to realize that a few moments with the Lord will do more for our hearts than anything else. The HOPE we all are searching for can always be found in Him.