Summary: There’s a time, for all of us, I think when we believe…but we don’t have the foggiest idea what that means. That must be a little like what the first disciples of Jesus Christ felt.
“The Eyes Have It!!!”
By: Ken Sauer, Pastor of East Ridge United Methodist Church, Chattanooga, TN
I remember a time, long ago and far away…
…on a distant planet…
…that’s not right…
I remember a time when I was asked by the associate pastor of my church to read the Scripture passage before his sermon.
I was a brand new Christian, and although the basics of the Bible and the basics of the Christian message had come alive for me…
…well, I still hadn’t really studied the Scriptures all that closely.
I can’t remember the passage of Scripture that Pastor Dale asked me to read, but I do remember that it made no sense to me whatsoever.
It might as well have been written in the original Greek!
I didn’t understand and was unable to ingest a lick of it!
But that wasn’t my main concern.
My main concern was to read it well, to pronounce the names and places correctly.
So, I practiced and practiced reading that passage of Scripture.
And the Sunday morning that I stood up in front of the congregation, with knees shaking, I knocked the reading of that Scripture right out of the park!
I got a lot of compliments that morning.
And my parents were impressed, if not a bit surprised.
It felt great.
In my world, it was a big accomplishment…
…even if I didn’t understand a bit of what I was reading.
There’s a time, for all of us, I think
when we believe…but we don’t have the foggiest idea what that means.
That must be a little like what the first disciples of Jesus Christ felt.
They had sacrificed a lot to follow Jesus.
They had listened and listened to Him talk over and over again.
They had even read the Jewish Scriptures or had heard them read from the time they were old enough to sit.
But they hadn’t really understood much of any of it.
They had accomplished a lot, but they sure had a long way to go.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
In our Scripture lesson for this morning we find that as the two disciples walked along, talking about everything that had happened, “Jesus himself came up and walked along with them.
He asked them, ‘What are you discussing…’
They stood still, with their faces downcast.
One of them, Cleopas, asked him, ‘Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?’
“What things?’” Jesus asked.
And as they talked it became more than evident that they, like everybody else in Israel had been reading the Bible through the wrong end of a telescope.
They just didn’t get it!
They had been seeing it as a long story of how God would redeem them from suffering, but it was instead the story of how God would redeem them through suffering; through the suffering which God would take upon God’s Self.
In verse 27 we are told that Jesus, “beginning with Moses and all the Prophets…explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.”
And when Luke tells us this, he doesn’t mean that Jesus collected a few, or even a few dozen, isolated texts or verses chosen at random.
He means that the whole story, from Genesis to the last book of the Bible pointed towards the fulfillment which could only be found when Christ took the entire world’s suffering upon Himself, died under its weight, and rose again defeating death and opening up the Way for people to be saved.
This is what had to happen; and now it just had happened!!!
And as Jesus talked to them on the road, opening the Scriptures up for them, they found that their “hearts” were “burning.”
And though their hearts burned, they still didn’t recognize Jesus!
We may find this to be amazing.
I mean, they certainly knew what Jesus looked like!
But as we look upon the other Resurrection accounts we find a similar feature.
It seems that Jesus’ body, emerging from the tomb, had been transformed!
It’s like it was the same, yet different…
…it’s a mystery we will probably never completely understand until we ourselves experience the Resurrection of our Bodies through our Risen Lord!
But Luke seems also to be telling us that the disciples couldn’t recognize Jesus at first because they didn’t understand Who Jesus really was.
And in order to understand Who Jesus really is we need to learn how to read the Scriptures…
…be aware of Christ’s presence among us through our times of trouble, and when we break bread together as a community of faith.
…and for that, we need, as our Teacher, as our Guide, as our Friend and Companion along the Way the Risen Lord Himself!!!