08/26/W – The Road to Emmaus

Judges 10:1-18; Luke 24:13-34; Psalms 100:3-5; Proverbs 22:2-4

NT: “Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. Together they were discussing everything that had taken place. And while they were discussing and arguing, Jesus himself came near and began to walk along with them. But they were prevented from recognizing him. Then he asked them, “What is this dispute that you’re having with each other as you are walking?” And they stopped walking and looked discouraged. The one named Cleopas answered him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?” “What things?” he asked them. So they said to him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him…” He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures… It was as he reclined at the table with them that he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?”” (‭‭Luke‬ ‭24:13-20, 25-27, 30-32‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Two of Jesus’ followers (not part of the core 11 disciples) left Jerusalem and headed toward Emmaus, discouraged and disheartened over the events that occurred over Passover weekend. They had put all their hopes in Jesus of Nazareth, and as far as they understood, Jesus was now dead. They believed Jesus to be the Messiah that would redeem Israel, but Jesus did not do what they expected. As they tried to reconcile all that had happened, the resurrected Jesus joined them and walked with them along the way, listening to their discussion. It stands to reason that they were probably bringing up Messianic prophecies from the scriptures as they tried to figure out what had gone wrong. Finally, Jesus spoke up and explained that they were mistaken. All had not gone wrong… all had gone right according to God’s master plan. So from the beginning, Jesus walked them through the whole of scripture and explained how all of scripture had been fulfilled. The 2 disciples couldn’t see the truth for they were fixated on their expectations. But Jesus patiently walked them through the scriptures and adjusted their perspective. As the word was opened up to them, their hearts were opened to receive and understand the truth of the word… and once their hearts were opened to believe, Jesus opened their eyes to clearly see Him. It is easy for our desires to blind us to what God is doing… and then cause us to become discouraged and lose heart when our desires and expectations don’t come to pass. It is in those times that we need the Holy Spirit to open God’s word to us so that we can understand God’s ways, clearly see the truth, and recognize what the Lord is doing.

Psalms: “Acknowledge that the Lord is God. He made us, and we are his — his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is good, and his faithful love endures forever; his faithfulness, through all generations.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭100:3-5‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

The word translated here as ‘acknowledge’ is the Hebrew word ’yada.’ It means to know by experience, to recognize, to confess. I would say that is the first step in worshipping the Lord: we first have to recognize Who He is. Just as the disciples along the road to Emmaus had their hearts and eyes opened to recognize Jesus, we must allow the scriptures to open our hearts and spiritual eyes to Who God is… that He is the Great Creator that lovingly and purposefully created us in His own image… and by faith, we become His. It is then, that we are able to approach Him and abide in His presence through thanksgiving, praise, and worship. It is then that we discover and experience first-hand His goodness, His faithfulness, and His mercy and enduring covenantal love. The word of God promises us that if we seek Him, we will find Him, if we seek Him with all our hearts. Seek the Lord and allow Him, through His Holy Spirit to open the Word of God to you, so that you may recognize God fully. Then you will be able to life your life with Him as you live your life in worship to Him.

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