Summary: Like the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, many of us need to be re-introduced to Jesus.
MEETING JESUS AGAIN
INTRO. Remember that the events that we have just read and those we will discuss all happened on Easter Sunday, the day of the resurrection of Christ.
The two men - disciples of Jesus. They had seen the miracles and heard the sermons. They had made their professions of faith in Him.
But it had been a bad three days. (Explain)
They were probably going back to their homes to try to start their lives over again. The past three years had been fun, exciting, enlightening, and uplifting...but now it was over.
I. It is always sad to see defeated disciples.
A. These are the "used to be’s".
1. They used to be teachers, singers, leaders, helpers, givers, etc. They were model followers back in "the good old days" when things were going right.
2. But something happened. Someone turned over their applecart. They got their feelings hurt. Or maybe they had to come to grips with just how lazy they really were as the Lord began to expect more and more from them.
3. Whatever the case, they have fallen by the wayside. Not as faithful in attendance. Don’t study as much. Don’t pray as much. Don’t participate as much. One excuse I have heard quite often is, "We want to make room for the young people." (How can the young learn without the example of the older?) They have gone from cornerstone to stumbling block.
B. Notice what happens to "used to be’s".
1. When Jesus appeared to them they did not recognize Him.
2. It is usually quite upsetting when one who was once a great worker or mover or teacher for the Lord suddenly has his own heart pricked by the sharp sin-finding sword of the Spirit.
3. I have known those who have gone so long excusing what they no longer do...and when the Bible confronts their sinful and backslidden condition...it makes them mad.
4. Most people would rather do anything than repent. Get mad at the preacher. Quit coming to church. Gossip about the other members. Even slander another’s reputation. One man, Judas, even went so far as to take his own life rather than repent.
5. Do you recognize this Bible as the very Word of God, the Sword of the Holy Spirit, the definitive word of truth and righteousness? Do you recognize that it is written to you... personally?
6. Until you can accept that the Word is speaking to you and quit worrying about whether or not sister so-and-so is listening you are in the same despicable condition as the two men in our text.
II. These men were sure they had a good reason for their defeat.
A. As Jesus came to them He asked the reason for their sadness. (vs. 17)
B. Their answer is a study in rationalization.
1. (vs. 19-20) It is interesting to note that blame is laid on the Chief priests (Jews) and the Rulers (Romans) but there is no mention of the fact that when Jesus was arrested none of the disciples stayed with Him.
2. (vs. 22-24) Here they discuss the rumor of the resurrection verses the idea that the body was stolen. "In either case, none of us has seen Him." Is there maybe just a touch of cynicism here?
3. (vs. 21) Here is the real reason for their defeated state of mind. Quite simply put, God did not work the way we thought He should!! (Explain)
C. Everyone who gets away from Christ think they have a good reason for doing so.
1. The lost man won’t come to Christ because of the hypocrites or because of what he has heard about the church from gossipy church members.
2. One won’t give because the money is not being used correctly. One won’t attend regularly because somebody teased them too much. One won’t shake hands with the preacher because he didn’t go visit their aunt Soodie. The list goes on and on but believe me each one thinks they are justified in turning their back on the God who saved them and called them into His glorious light.
D. Notice the answer of Jesus. "O fools, and slow of heart to believe". He doesn’t make excuses nor does He waste any time trying to smooth out ruffled feathers. He goes right to the heart of the matter. The problem is not in others...THE PROBLEM IS IN YOU!!
III. Jesus felt that all the answers they needed could be found in the Scriptures (vs. 27).
A. You don’t need another church. You don’t need another gospel. You don’t need more time. You don’t need better company. You don’t need more freedom. The answer is simple YOU NEED THE WORD OF GOD.
B. The God who called you is still the God we worship ... three times a week. The Lord who saved you is still the subject of our teaching. The Bible that informed you is still the Bible we proclaim. The Spirit who washed you is still the Spirit that empowers this assembly.