Jesus asked, “Why do doubts rise in your minds?” Use your minds to believe, not doubt. Over the next forty days Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures and blended this with his commission. Jesus took what we call the Old Testament. It was all they had. He showed them how to use all the scriptures to preach Christ to all nations.
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE
He Opened Their Minds So They Could Understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:33-53)
by Delbert Young
He Opened Their Minds So They Could Understand the Scriptures (Luke 24:33-53)
Scriptures: Romans 10:9-10, John 5:28-29, Luke 23:55-56, Luke 24:1-3, Luke 24:4-7, Luke 24:8-10, Luke 24:11
We began our study called KATA LOUKAN The Gospel According to Luke nearly four years and 131 sermons ago. Today we conclude. I trust we enjoyed it and learned. We ended last time with the discovery of the empty tomb. The apostles and others said it was Nonsense . We talked about verses 13-32 for our Easter service. Those verses told of the first post resurrection appearance of Jesus as recorded by Luke to two people traveling the Road to Emmaus. Luke records these two were “kept from recognizing him.” Jesus talked with them opening the scriptures pertaining to him. Jesus went home with them, they broke bread together, their eyes were opened and Jesus abruptly disappeared. We will begin at this point today.
Luke 24:31-32 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our HEARTS BURNING WITHIN US WHILE HE TALKED WITH US ON THE ROAD AND OPENED THE SCRIPTURES TO US?” THEY GOT UP AND RETURNED AT ONCE TO JERUSALEM. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together
I wish everyone could experience burning hearts when scriptures open and you realize Jesus is alive, exactly as did they, and you need to tell people. Excited, they hurried back seven miles to Jerusalem. They found the others assembled together and as excited as they were.
Luke 24:33-35 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
They were about to blurt out their incredible news, but found there was more news. Jesus hadappeared to Simon Peter. The last time Peter saw Jesus was when Peter denied Jesus. What do you suspect they talked about? When you mess up what does the Lord say to you? Does he beat you? Does he say how ashamed he is of you? No, he says he loves you, forgives you, and tells you to feed his sheep (Joh 21:17). Peter was forgiven and Peter would never be the same. Do you believe we can come to a place where we say you can crucify me upside down, but I’ll never deny Jesus? Yes, when he’s not a baby in a manger, a savior on a cross, but when he appears to you as a risen resurrected Lord and King.
The two from Emmaus began excitedly telling their story. Imagine the excitement! Was it really true? Could it be possible?
Luke 24:36-37 While they were still talking about this, JESUS HIMSELF STOOD AMONG THEM and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they SAW A GHOST.
POOF! Jesus stood among them! He wasn’t off to the side. He was in the middle of them! The doors were locked (Joh 20:19). He appeared from nowhere. The first thing he said was, “Peace be with you.” I guess so! The next thing Luke says is, “They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost.” They were terrorized! I see them screaming like little girls retreating to the opposite wall. Though they are all talking and excited about the risen Lord, when he showed up they didn’t know what to do with him. Isn’t this how we are. We want the presence of the Lord, but when he shows up, we don’t know what to do with him. Jesus simply said be at peace.
Jesus wasn’t glowing like the angels in the tomb. He didn’t have a halo or wings. His physical appearance didn’t frighten them. It was his sudden appearance. Humans can’t do this. He must be a ghost. Obviously the disciples and, as we’ll see shortly, Jesus believed in ghosts. When Jesus walked across water they said “a ghost!” (Mat 14:26). Here their first thought was “a ghost!” Jesus didn’t correct them. He didn’t say, “Come on guys. There’s no such thing as ghosts.” How many of us at some point in time saw something that could have been a ghost or some supernatural something? If the Lord opened our eyes there is no telling what we’d see (2Ki 6:17). Do you think we’d be startled? Notice the next verse.
Luke 24:38-40 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and WHY DO DOUBTS RISE IN YOUR MINDS? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; A GHOST DOES NOT HAVE FLESH AND BONES, AS YOU SEE I HAVE.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.
A ghost does not have flesh and bones? Jesus verified there are ghosts. We need to be aware of a supernatural world around us and how the presence of the Lord is at hand and shows up when he wants sometimes in a way we don’t recognize.
Jesus asked, “Why do doubts rise in your minds?” Use your minds to believe, not doubt. Use your senses. Use your eyes. Look at my hands and my feet. Use your sense of touch. Touch me and see (Thomas Joh 20:26-29). Use your hearing. Use your senses to believe what God is doing, not what he’s not. What do you hear, see, and feel he’s doing? When the Lord’s presence appears in a special way we should feel, see, and hear something supernatural. Have you ever sensed his presence? You felt it. You could look around and see it on people. You could hear it. If this is true“why do doubts rise in your minds?”
Luke 24:41-43 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.
We’d say, “It’s too good to be true!” I don’t think Jesus was hungry, but he so wanted them to believe, he did something very unexpected. He so wants you to believe, he will do something very unexpected to show you he’s alive.
The resurrected body is a combination of the natural and the supernatural. It can do what a natural flesh and bones body can do, but also do what a supernatural body can do. It can be in Emmaus or be here. As we will see shortly, it can be standing talking blessing and begin to rise and disappear in a cloud. It can go from here to there without going past the middle. The amazing thing is one day you and I will get our very own resurrected glorified body.
Philippians 3:20-21 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, WILL TRANSFORM OUR LOWLY BODIES SO THAT THEY WILL BE LIKE HIS GLORIOUS BODY.
This next section is a summation of what took place the next forty days (Act 1:3) and what is called the Great Commission.
Luke 24:44-48 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of MOSES, the PROPHETS and the PSALMS.” THEN HE OPENED THEIR MINDS SO THEY COULD UNDERSTAND THE SCRIPTURES. He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and REPENTANCE AND FORGIVENESS OF SINS WILL BE PREACHED IN HIS NAME TO ALL NATIONS, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
Luke goes into more detail in his next book we call “Acts.” Over the next forty days Jesusopened their minds so they could understand the scriptures and blended this with his commission. Jesus took what we call the Old Testament. It was all they had. He showed them how to use all the scriptures and to understand the scriptures so they could preach Christ to all nations. The primary way people will come to Christ is by the preaching of the scriptures by people who understand the scriptures.
They obviously didn’t understand the scriptures. Their teachers, rabbis, etc had obviously done a poor job. None of their instructors recognized the Christ though face to face with him. Instead, they killed him. It becomes vitally important we allow someone to open our minds so we canunderstand the scriptures. How are you on this? Is your mind opened so you can understand the scriptures?
Jesus showed them how to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins in his name. He went all the way back to the writings of: Moses, the crushing of the serpent’s head (Gen 3) etc; the prophets, the virgin birth (Isa 7:14) in Bethlehem (Mic 5:2) etc; and Psalms, the crucifixion (Psa 22), raised from the dead (Psa 16:8-11; Isa 53:11) etc. No one had opened this to them. It was not so they could simply understand, but so they could preach it to others and others could understand and believe. They had missed so much. How much are we missing? Jesus opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures. I attempt to do this every week.
They got it. Jesus said begin in Jerusalem. On the day of Pentecost Peter preached using what we call the Old Testament Joel 2:28-32 and Psalm 16:10. Three thousand repented and were baptized. Stephen did this in Acts 7. Philip used the scriptures in Acts 8 in Samaria and then with the Ethiopian Eunuch from Isaiah 53. Of course Paul used the scriptures all over the world (Acts 17). They proved Jesus was the Christ to doubting Jews using the scriptures.
Luke 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until YOU HAVE BEEN CLOTHED WITH POWER FROM ON HIGH.”
This was the coming and filling of the Holy Spirit ten days later on the day of Pentecost. I’m not going to say much about this, but have you been clothed with power from on high? And don’t tell me you got it all at one time. That’s not how it works, not for them here, not for the Ephesians in Acts 19:1-6, or for anyone. The combination of opening the scriptures and preaching with the power of the Holy Spirit will change lives. This changed my life and your life, but not only our lives. It happens every place. It happens in Chattanooga, Rock Spring, Ringgold, Dalton, Summerville, and Trion! Every place it’s preached it changes lives. That’s our purpose. That’s how we make a difference in this world.
Luke 24:50-51 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.
In the normal simple style of the biblical writers, using only two sentences, Luke described something incomprehensible. Only Luke tells of the ascension and he tells it twice, here and in Acts. It’s how he ends his gospel called Luke and begins The Acts of the Apostles. Bethany is a suburb of Jerusalem about two miles from Jerusalem. Jesus stayed there several times with his close friends Lazarus, Martha, and Mary. Bethany is close to the Mount of Olives (Act 1:12). The final thing Jesus did and said was speak a blessing on them.
Luke 24:52-53 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
The story began with praise and worship: Zechariah; Mary; angels; shepherds; Simeon; and Anna. It ends the same way as his disciples burst into worship ready to change the world.
Luke began with the proclamation of John the Baptist to Zechariah as the forerunner who announced the coming of the Messiah, an angelic visit to a virgin, and the singing of a choir of angels proclaiming the invasion of God into this world by the birth of the new-born king in a manger. It concludes with a choir of humans going out into the world proclaiming the king has come. The world has never been the same since. We know the story didn’t end with Luke 24:53. It continues.
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