April 16 & 17, 2022
I. Introduction: Thank you for spending Easter here at Brookwood.
• (Luke 24:13-19a. C/R: John 20:14-16,27-28; 21:4-7; Philippians 3:10)
A. The title to this message is Recognizing Jesus, which refers to knowing Him.
B. Let’s pick up the story: Luke 24:13–14 (NLT)—13 That same day [Sunday, the day of Jesus’ resurrection] two of Jesus’ followers [two men or couple?] were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from [NW of] Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. [Trial and crucifixion of Jesus.]
- Theme verse: Philippians 3:10 (CEV)—All I want is to know Christ and the power that raised Him to life.
- Knowing Jesus is another way of saying, having faith, being born again.
- They came to Jerusalem the previous Sunday for Passover, perhaps with Jesus.
- They may have stood by the roadside, waving palm branches, shouting “hosanna” (meaning “save now”), as Jesus’ rode into the city on a donkey, fulfilling Old Testament prophecy (Zechariah 9:9) identifying Him as Messiah. (Triumphal entry; Luke 19:29-40)
- The victory shouts of “hosanna” turned to violent cries of “crucify Him!” after Jesus’ arrest and conviction!
- These two, once so excited and optimistic, now walked slowly home, bewildered, discouraged, wondering how what had looked so promising had turned so tragic.
- Luke 24:15-19a (NLT)—15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus Himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing Him. [God’s name not in Greek or in every translation, but is implied; the Greek literally says, their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.]
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently [animated] as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 18 Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”
19a “What things?” Jesus asked.
- We will see how these two came to recognize Jesus, so we can as well!
II. Recognizing Jesus… (Luke 24:19b-35)
A. #1 - Accepting facts isn’t adequate. (Luke 24:19b-24. C/R: James 2:14,19)
- Luke 24:19b–24 (NLT)—19b “The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and He was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. 20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed Him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified Him. 21 We had hoped He was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago. [Have they given up?]
22 “Then some women from our group of His followers were at His tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. 23 They said His body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! 24 Some of our men [Peter and John; Luke 24; John 20] ran out to see, and sure enough, His body was gone, just as the women had said.” [Did they believe Jesus was resurrected?]
- The speaker, likely Cleopas, knew that Jesus was a powerful prophet and great teacher, who spoke with God’s authority and could even work miracles!
- They hoped He was the Messiah, but after His crucifixion, their hope died as well!
- Even when women they trusted declared that angels said He was alive and some disciples confirmed that the tomb was empty, they were still unsure.
- They knew a lot about Jesus, and their facts were correct, but possessing accurate information about Him wasn’t the same as knowing Him or grasping His purpose!
- We’ve heard the stories of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection; but even if we believe those facts (66-72% of American adults), it doesn’t mean we know Him.
- ILL: Many of us know many facts about celebrity’s lives, but we don’t know them.
To recognize, to know, Jesus…
B. #2 - Acknowledging Scripture isn’t enough.
(Luke 24:25-27. C/R: John 5:37-40; 8:31-32) [Meaning, accepting the truthfulness of the Old Testament isn’t sufficient.]
- Luke 24:25–27 (NLT)—25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering His glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets [Law (Pentateuch) and Prophets was a short-hand way to refer to Old Testament], explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
- Jesus explained that the Old Testament predicted the Messiah’s suffering and death, implying (perhaps strongly) that Cleopas and his companion should have understood this.
- These two knew the Scripture’s teaching about Messiah—and believed it fully—but they misunderstood what kind of king He would be. [Pharisees; John 5:39-40]
- They thought He would be a military leader who would deliver Israel from Rome, not a Savior who would die as a sacrifice to deliver His people from sin.
- Perhaps these two traveling the Emmaus road to were blinded from the true significance of the Scripture’s teaching about the Messiah by their own preferences about what tasks they wanted the Messiah to perform.
- APP.: Are some of us are writing our own version of the Bible, editing out parts we don’t agree with, inserting portions that reflect cultural or personal opinions?
- Do our opinions about current social issues such as, justice, race, gender, morality, marriage, cause us to reject the Bible’s teaching on these matters?
- Do we miss recognizing Jesus by refusing what He taught on these subjects?
- [On screen] John 8:31–32 (NLT)—31 Jesus said to the people who believed in Him, “You are truly My disciples if you remain faithful to My teachings. 32 And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” [Jesus’ truth, Himself!]
- Even knowing the Bible fully and understanding it correctly does not grant eternal life; we need to know the Author of the book!]
To recognize, to know, Jesus…
C. #3 - Actually experiencing Jesus is essential.
(Luke 24:28-32. C/R: John 3:3-6; 17:3)
- Luke 24:28–29 (NLT)—28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if He were going on, 29 but they begged Him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So He went home with them.
- These two, siblings or a married couple, asked Jesus to spend the night with them.
- This hospitality was not unusual; it was expected for Jews to offer lodging to other Jews who were traveling away from home, because of threat of robbers.
- Luke 24:30–32 (NLT)—30 As they sat down to eat, He [Jesus] took the bread and blessed it. Then He broke it and gave it to them. [Unusual for Jesus to act as host, but it may have been His bread and this was His role among His followers.] 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened [passive, by the Spirit], and they recognized Him. [What else did they realize?] And at that moment He disappeared!
32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as He talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” [Spiritual stimulation]
- This pair knew the facts of Jesus’ life and had heard evidence of His Resurrection.
- They knew what the Scripture said about the Messiah, though confused about some points, but they did not recognize, did not know Him, until they had a personal experience, an encounter with Him—when the Holy Spirit opened their eyes!
- John 17:3 (NLT)—“And this is the way to have eternal life—to know [Greek ginōskō] You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one You sent to earth.”
- Greek ginōskō means “to learn to know a person through direct personal experience that begins a continuing interpersonal relationship; does not mean to learn about.
- This recognition of Jesus occurs through revelation of truth, resulting from an encounter with the Holy Spirit! (Their hearts were burning within them!)
- This encounter provides conviction about the true identity and purpose of Jesus!
- APP.: Have you had an experience with Jesus whereby you came to know Him? 12. When that happens, there will be evidence it has occurred!
D. #4 - Altering direction is evidence.
(Luke 24:33-35. C/R: Romans 6:4; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Colossians 1:9-10; Titus 1:16)
- Luke 24:33–34 (NLT)—33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. [Walked 7 miles at night despite danger.] There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said [to them], “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.” [Their experience was confirmed!]
- These two couldn’t wait until tomorrow; they had something they had to say!
- Luke 24:35 (NLT)—35 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized Him as He was breaking the bread. [We do at the Lord’s Supper.]
- When we recognize Jesus, are born again, spiritually transformed, it changes our direction, alters our lives, provides us a story to tell—our experience with Christ.
- APP.: Are you telling your story? Or are you still on the road—you know about Jesus, and you believe the Bible, but you haven’t had a personal experience with Him that provided spiritual sight so you recognized Jesus, you know Him!
- Care volunteers at front and in Care Connection room across the Concourse.
- Have a Happy Easter!