Luke: Joy & Hope restored!-03/01/20

Message: Joy & Hope Restored!
Text: Luke 24:13-35

Introduction: PP: A five-year-old boy from Texas was told that the family was going to see the Grand Canyon. They described it as much bigger than downtown Dallas. He could hardly wait to see it. When they finally got there, they asked him how it measured up to his expectations. With a little frown, he said, PP:“I thought you said that it was a big cannon.”

When you’re hoping for the Grand Cannon, you can be let down even by something as spectacular as the Grand Canyon! (Our Daily Bread)

PP: Next Slide

When our expectations don’t materialize the way we wanted, we often get depressed, when that happens often, we can lose hope.

We may have asked, over and over again…

Where was Jesus when I needed Him the most?

And we wonder, how we’re going to move forward. Well, that where Jesus’ disciples were the day of His resurrection.

Today, we’ll see two of Jesus followers

who were so devastated by Jesus’ death,
because their expectations of Jesus being the Messiah came crashing to the ground.

And they were left w/o joy or hope… so much so that they chose not to say in Jerusalem after Jesus death…

Transition: Open your Bibles to Luke 24:13.

1. Luke 24:13-27  ThroughGod’s Word

A. vss. 13-14  Setting the scene

PP: That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened.

OK, it’s Sunday, the day of Jesus’ resurrection. It’s after the women came to Jesus’ tomb and found it empty.

So… who are the two of themwho were heading to Emmaus?

Were given the name of one of them in verse 18 Cleopas.
We know they were followers of Jesus. Verse 13 links back to verses 10-12 where the context is Jesus’ disciples.
But, they weren’t two of the 11 apostles.

They had left Jerusalem, heading to the town of Emmaus. Take note:

They were there in Jerusalem when they heard the women tell them that Jesus’ tomb was empty and that His body was gone.
They were in Jerusalem when Peter and John returned to the group of disciples affirmingthe women’s story.

Yet, they still chose to leave Jerusalem.

Here’s my thought… Since they heard all of this… why did these two disciples still leave Jerusalem? The only reason I could come up with was this:

They had seen Jesus crucified on the cross and die.
They had been told that Jesuswas buried in Joseph of Arimathea’s tomb.

The crushing end to their grand expectations of Jesus and His kingdom, outweighed the news of the empty tomb and loss of Jesus’ body.

So they left Jerusalem; sad, without hope, and with their proverbial tails between their legs.

Perhaps they lived in Emmaus, perhaps they were just spending the night at a B&B in Emmaus as they returned to their homes in the morning. We don’t know. But heres something I do know…

Unfulfilled expectations and the resulting loss of joy and hope, caused them to go in the WRONG direction that day!

Finally, notice that Dr. Luke tells us that as they were traveling to Emmaus, they were discussing all these things that had taken place.

I believe that includes but not limited to the events of that Passover weekend.

B. vss.  15-17  Jesus asks a question

PP: While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing Him. And He said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad.

Pastor/ theologian Charles Spurgeon said:

When Christians make their Lord the subject of discourse they may hope to be favored with His company….Whentwo saints are talking together, Jesus is very likely to come and make the third one in the company. Talk of Him, and you will soon talk with Him (Hurt)

That’s exactly what we see in our text!

Now, the obvious question is Why didn’t they recognize Jesus? We’re not told. But notice this:

The text says their eyes were kept from recognizing Him.

There seems to be only two options here: First, the Holy Spirit kept their eyes from recognizing Jesus.

It’s possible that God wanted them to see Jesus, to have faith in who Jesus truly was,through His Word and let that  have priority over seeing Jesus physically…

The Apostle Paul has an opinion on this, and since its inspired by God, it’s His opinion as well: PP: So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

So, the Holy Spirit may have kept their eyes from recognizing Jesus.

Or second, gleaning from the text, perhaps it was because their doubt and hopelessness kept their eyes from recognizing Jesus.

Think about it, when our expectations have been demolished, and we’ve lost our joy and hope and have begun to doubt Jesus’ love and concern for us, don’t we often become blind to what Jesus is doing around us?

So, the Holy Spirit or their emotional state, which closed their eyes? Perhaps… it was both! That’s my thought.

PP: Next Slide

Anyway, the two disciples of Jesus are heading out of Jerusalem on their way to Emmaus. And as theyre talking about Jesus, He just shows up…

The Greek suggest they were so engrossed in their conversation that they didn’t notice Jesus was walking with them.

When they finally see that someone is walking next to them, that someone asks them what they are talking about. The text tells us that stopped and looked sad. I would also add confused and full of doubt.

Not only didn’t they recognize the man walking with them as Jesus,
they didn’t even notice He was walking with them till He spoke to them.

Christian, that shows just how self-centered our lives can become, when we’ve begun to doubt Jesus, all because some expectation we had was not met by Him.

BTW, it could be the expectation of how our prayer should be answered.

But there is hope. Notice that even in the midst of their despair, Jesus not only shows up…

He meets them where they areand speaks to them.

Here, Jesus asks them what they’re talking about.

C. vss. 18-24  We had hoped…

PP: (2 slides) Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered Him, “Are You the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. But we had hoped that He was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find His body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but Him they did not see.

So we now know, at least in part, what these two men were talking about. But notice what they said after they described who Jesus was and what had happened to Him.

PP: They said: We had hoped…

They once hoped; that Jesus was the Messiah, that He was God in the flesh, that He would set up His kingdom and make everything right

but that didn’t happen. Their joy, their hope was gone!

Here’s how I see it:

They had hope, but it was not in the truth of God’s Word, not in the truth of what Jesus had told them.
It was hope in what they expected from Jesus.

In other words, their hope, their expectations were in the wrong place.

I’m sure there are some here this morning who could say … I had hoped… And there would be any number of things, expectations, that have not been realized in your life, things that haven’t turned out as you thought or wanted. And like these two men, you’ve lost your joy & hope.

What next for you? Where do you go from there?

What we’ll see in verses 25-27 is that Jesus redirects their minds and hearts to the true source of our joy & hope… God’s Word!

D. vss.. 25-27  Jesus teaches

PP: And He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into His glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

I don’t believe for a moment that Jesus was angry when He said these words. And I don’t believe Jesus is angry with us when we have doubts… but He does want to change that.

He wants us to have full assurance of faith in Him. And we see in this text, that comes from a hunger and thirsting for God’s Word.

How cool would it be to have a copy of Jesus’ sermon to these two guys, probably titled:

Jesus in the Old Testament!

Folks, Jesus just doesn’t show up in the Gospels, we can see Him throughout the OT.

In John 5:39 Jesus affirms this very thing when He points people to the OT: You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me.

I hope you read the OT and the NT. And that when you do you ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to see Jesus.

2. Luke 24:28-35  Throughfellowship w/Jesus

A. vss. 28-29  Jesus urged to stay

PP: So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if He were going farther, but they urged Him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So He went in to stay with them.

So catch this… Jesus is explaining how the OT speaks of the Messiah. He’s using Scripture to correct their false expectations about Jesus.

Things are starting to make sense…they’re starting to get excited about what they are hearing, the pieces are beginning to fit together… but they’ve reached Emmaus, it’s now dark,and they want to stop for the night… However, it seems Jesus wants to keep going.

I love this… they know something really great is happening, they’re not sure what it is, but they don’t want it to stop. So they beg Jesus to stop for the night and join them at their B&B. And… Jesus agrees!

Sidebar: The word here for stayin the Greek is the same word in John 15:4-5 for abide.

PP: Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

The 2 disciples, plead with Jesus to stay, to abide with them. At this moment they don’t know why, but they know they need to stay close to this man.

Jesus, in John 15 gives the sameimportance to abiding, to staying close to, in fellowship with, Jesus. Only in John 15 we’re told why.

We will bear much fruit.
We can do nothing with Jesus.

And by application, even have our joy & hope restored!

But this text comes with an implied challenge:

How many times have we missed out on what God wants to do in our lives simply because we let Jesus walk on by?

B. vss. 30-31  Jesus revealed

PP: When He was at table with them, He took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. And He vanished from their sight.

The two disciples sit down to a meal with Jesus and everything changes for them…

Somehow, and we’re not told how, their eyes are opened, they recognize Jesus…
They now know Hes been raised from the dead, just like He said.

I find it interesting that they recognized Jesus during a simple meal.

While this was not meant to be a reference to the Lord’s Supper, itcertainly is true

That when we gather together in Jesus’s name,
When we expect His presence at the sharing of simple crackers and grape juice,
we too can have an encounter with Jesus, our Savior and Lord!

The challenge is to ask Jesus to abide with us and we choose, seek to abide in Him.

We don’t know how Jesus vanished nor do we need too. What we need to know is that His work with these two disciples was done…

They had an encounter with the risen Jesus.
He taught them about the Messiah from the Scriptures.
And their joy & hope were restored.

We know that because of what comes next.

C. vss. 32-35  Burning hearts

PP: They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how He was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?

The Living Word was shared and explained by the Living Word of God, Jesus.
And it set their hearts on fire!!

Theologian JC Ryle tells us that our hearts burn within us is a strong expression to indicate the warmth and delight of their feelings while they listened to our Lord’s exposition of Scripture. (Bruce Hurt)

Joy, hope restored by the Living Word, Scripture, the Bible.

Dear Christian, when you readGod’s Word, does your heart burn within you?

You see, an encounter with Jesus through His Word, warms our hearts, and sets our feet in motion to tell others of our resurrected Jesus.  And that’s what happened to these two disciples. They were so on fire that they couldn’t wait till morning to return to Jerusalem.

Not worrying about the inherent danger of traveling the road to Jerusalem at night,
they risked all to be with the other disciples.
They wanted to share with them the joy the hope they now knew.
They wanted them to know Jesus was alive!

When they returned to Jerusalem and to where the 11 and the others were gathered, they found out that Jesus had also revealed Himself to Peter…

Can you imagine how great they felt? Jesus, truly was raised from the dead.

The structure of the Greek here indicates that these two guys kept on telling people what happened to them on the road to Emmaus and in the B&B when Jesus broke bread with them.

In other words, because they were so excited, they couldn’t shut up about it.

Can you blame them?

The two disciples were back where they should have been in the first place… in Jerusalem, waiting with their brothers and sisters in Christ, for Jesus  

Conclusion: PP: Next Slide

Have any of your dreams faded away?
Are you experiencing deep disappointment?
To you have unrealized expectations that you thought Jesus would fulfill?
Has joy and hope been illusive at best or non-existent at worse?
Are you not sure what youll do next?

Beloved of God,

Pour yourself into God’s Word.
Seek Jesus’ face.
Ask Him to stay, to abide with you.
Spend time with Him in fellowship.

And He will come beside you.

He will restore your joy and hope.
And He WILL set you in a new and right direction.

Please, do not let Jesus pass you by.