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Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor


The Third Sunday Of Easter

Option #1: "The Emmaus Post-Easter Heart Syndrome"
(Luke 24:13-35)
Rev. Wayne Dobratz


I. Sad hearts--v17--"faces downcast": mournful, depressed--Jesus wasn’t in the picture, they didn’t recognize him; as far as they were concerned, He was still dead.

II. Slow hearts--vv19-24: Mary, the wife of Cleopas, was at the cross--John 19:25; a missing body, but no faith! No recall of Jesus’ promises; failure to believe the women’s testimony. From Mk 16:12-13 we learn that the disciples didn’t believe the two men on the road to Emmaus either. Heart surgery was needed by the Great Physician! (cf Lk 24:36ff)

III. The cure--Word therapy--text, vv25-27; cf John 16:22a

       A. Hearts that listen; hearts that learn; hearts that understand who Jesus is and what He has done for us, as the prophets promised.

       B. One side-effect of therapy may be heartburn!--v32, also Jer 23:29

IV. Signs of recovery--more of Jesus!: v29--stay with us!

       A. Jesus is recognized as He walks and talks with us

       B. Jesus broke bread as He did when feeding the 5,000--Lk 9:16c

       C. Jesus still breaks bread with us in the Lord’s Supper--Mt 26:26

       D. Jesus still cures broken and downcast hearts with His words of life--Jer 15:16

       E. Sharing the cure with others similarly afflicted--vv33-35; Rev 5:9-10

Richard Lenski writes about their "heart problems": "The real trouble is in the heart, of which the intelligence is only one faculty. In the Scriptures, the heart is the seat of the personality, of the ego, and thus of the thinking, feeling, and especially also the willing. ... ’Slow, sluggish’ means unresponsive to the prophetic words that ought to awaken faith. This is the resistance to the gracious power of the divine words." (Interpretation of Luke, p1188)

New Commentary on the Whole Bible: Jesus treats their slow hearts--He took bread, and blessed...and their eyes were opened--the stranger must have startled the disciples by taking the place of the master at their own table, and on proceeding to that act which reproduced the whole scene of the Last Supper, he stood before their astonished gaze as their risen Lord! They wished to gaze on him, perhaps embrace him, but at that moment he was gone! This was testimony enough to the resurrection. 32-34: They now relate to each other how their hearts were burning within them by his exposition of the Scriptures. They could not rest. They had to return and share this event with those in Jerusalem. 35: The two from Emmaus now relate what had happened to them, and while thus sharing news of their Lord’s appearances, he himself stood in their midst. What encouragement to doubting and true-hearted disciples!

+  +  +


Option #2: "Living for Heaven's Sake"
(1 Peter 1:17-21)
Rev. Kelly Bedard

A. Tourists

       1. "...the empty way of life [vain conversation] handed down to you from your [ancestors]"

       2. Fearful living: of God as Judge, seeking to gain His favor because of our works et al

B. Travelers

       1. With "...the precious blood of Christ, the Lamb without blemish or defect"

       2. Reverent living: respect for God as Judge, right living because of His favor through Christ

Notes

1. What does he mean "fearful?" Well, he means have an honest respect for the kind of being God is. Remember whom you are dealing with. You are not dealing with another [person] who can be fooled by your actions and attitudes. You are dealing with One who knows you more thoroughly than you know yourself, and he is no respecter of persons. You cannot buy his favor. You cannot trick him into treating you differently than he treats anyone else. You cannot become his favorite. God does not act that way. Now if you begin to play fast and loose with him, the results that he says will happen will happen to you just as surely as to anyone else. Now that kind of a being knows us so well that it kind of frightens you, doesn't it? That is what Peter means. Conduct yourself with fear, remembering that you are dealing with One you cannot fool. (Ray Stedman)

2. The high call for godly living makes sense in light of the price that was paid for our redemption; we weren't saved by the precious blood of Jesus to live as if we were garbage. (David Guzik)

3. A "spot" is an inherited, congenital defect. A "blemish" is an acquired defect. (Chuck Smith)

4. "Without blemish" might refer to moral perfection, "without spot" to physical imperfection.

5. "...the empty way of life [vain conversation] handed down to you from your [ancestors]" might refer to either pagan superstition or Pharisaic formalism.

6. Sixteenth-century church reformer Martin Luther told his followers, "Even in the best of health we should have death always before our eyes [so that] we will not expect to remain on this earth forever, but will have one foot in the air, so to speak." His words seem quaint indeed today when most of us, pagan and Christian alike, spend our days thinking about everything but death. Even the church focuses mainly on the good that faith can offer now: physical health, inner peace, financial security, a stable marriage... That is why I consider the doctrine of heaven one of the most neglected doctrines of our time. (Philip Yancey)

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