Summary: An Easter sermon looking at the things that stop us recognising Jesus.(suitable for before communion)

The Emmaus road- what ‘keeps’ you?

Luke 24:13-35 WBC Easter Sunday 20/4/3 am

V13- “… two of them…”

Two unknown Jews, here

Told later (v18)- one of them = Cleopas

- other = wife?

 Luke himself?

o Certainly = an eyewitness

But basically – unknown. Anonymous. Just your average Jo (or Joseph, or Joanna)

- they’re not one of the remaining disciples (v33 ‘the Eleven’)

- probably just two of the crowd that followed Jesus around

But they met Jesus!

• You don’t have to be a hero to meet Jesus! Just an average person- like so many here. Me

V15 “… Jesus came alongside”

Jesus seeks them out. Knows their hearts, actually.

- = such a comforting thing! Jesus knows YOUR heart

- knows how/when to seek you out. Knows your sincerity and desire for truth

= bit of a traumatic time… week:

- hopes dashed. Violent crucifixion. Fear and violence still around

Actually- often God DOES speak to us… come to us… in time of

- trauma, trouble, shattered dreams

o (sometimes it’s the only time we’ll listen… be open!)

But the point I want to make is:

- he came alongside

- He was there… even though they couldn’t recognise Him

o (Easter version of ‘Footprints!’)

He was there. And He is with you. I pray you may recognise Him, and ask Him to stay, this morning.

But here’s the thing to me!: why didn’t they recognise Him?

- I wanna know! Why?!

Some suggestions!:

1 Different

Others in the Bible didn’t recognise him immediately, either:

- Mary (John 20)- thinks He’s the gardener

- Disciples in the boat, Jn 21, Jesus on the shore. Only Peter’s sure, immediately

o Sees with the eyes of faith. Proven right

It’s quite possible- Jesus was the same, yet different

- death is NOT the end. THIS proves it. Jesus= ‘prototype’

- but between ‘here and beyond’, ‘us now and us then’:

o = continuity of existence, personality, features (bodily even)

 cf Jesus’ wounds, and the fact that He WAS recognisable (ultimately)

o = discontinuity, too. Or should I say ‘transformation’

 (or maybe better ‘metamorphosis, cf grub> butterfly. Seed> plant)

 = new!. Fulfilment of this!

- So, somehow, we’re US… but like the angels, too

o (cf Jesus- had a body… ate… but not bodily limitations)

So- don’t be surprised they didn’t recognise Him initially. May ‘simply’ have been because of something ‘supernatural’ that we can’t grasp

2 Pain

But here’s some natural reasons why they might not have recognised Him

- certainly some reasons why some don’t, today

= the trauma of it all. Their journey so far

- Illustr: was speaking with someone recently (don’t come here) and the ‘tears in their eyes’ were certainly stopping them seeing Jesus was RIGHT THERE

o = just like Mary, Jn 20

= possible, here.

- v17. Downcast. V21 “we had hoped”

o such hopes and dreams, shattered

o oh gosh. When things don’t work out as hoped/expected- can be so v hard

 can affect our walk with God

 = almost always a crossroads for coming closer or bitterness driving apart.

Their language is v revealing, here.

- understand some things: ‘prophet’. ‘powerful before God’ v19

- ‘… was going to redeem’ v21

o understood something of coming to save, pay the price

- but didn’t understand other things: “redeem ISRAEL”

o = a give-away. May have thought He was a Messiah. But a certain kind of Messiah

 one to deliver ISRAEL (rather than PEOPLE)

 military

- Illustr: Liz & I chatting Fri. Choosing “Jesus Barabas or Jesus Christ”

o Rejected Jesus because He was not the kind of Messiah THEY wanted. On THEIR terms

And so with us. We often feel most let down by God over plans/promises that were not His in the first place

- the struggle with ALL of us is ‘God’s plans or mine’. AS His ways are not ours (but they ARE better)

- Illustr: “don’t let them die, Lord” “Why did you let them”

- Honest truth: death STINGS – but it’s better for the Xian! This is what Easter is about. We get to go to be with HIM! Don’t grieve like those who have no hope

PS 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD

is the death of his saints.

o But He’s not concerned about it in the way WE are

They’re crying to Jesus “we had hoped He would have redeemed Israel”- & He knows he’s done something better, fuller, global rather than national. For the true Israel

Pain? Tears? What’s the way through? To see Jesus through them?

Note: - HE joins them. Seeks them

 journeys with them. IS there

 LISTENS to them

 In time, brings TRUE understanding

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Steven Poetzl

commented on Apr 14, 2007

fairly good concepts and practical applicatons

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