7749 - Excited Men


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What an exciting and amazing thing it must have been to have Jesus personally teaching you the scriptures.

In our last few studies we have reviewed some of those appearances, which Jesus made with people who had loved him and who were committed to him. Its true that reality was not what they had anticipated, but in the following weeks and months it was exhilarating and fulfilling to be in on those early days of the church age.

Today we want to take another glimpse at Cleopas and the other disciple who were privileged to be with Jesus for an extended time on the afternoon of the resurrection. These were the two fellows who were walking along the road on the way to Emmaus when a third party joined them. This third figure was Jesus although they were kept from recognizing him most of the trip. They talked a lot about what was happening in the area. Eventually they arrived at Emmaus and persuaded Jesus to stay with them for the night, so he entered where they were staying.

Listen to what happened there in the house, from Luke 24:30-35:

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 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 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.

As they prepared to eat together, Jesus took the bread, offered thanks, then broke the bread and passed it to them.

At that moment their eyes were opened to understand who he was. Just as this happened Jesus disappeared. Now that would be hard to figure out.

But then the two of them got excited. Just think they had spent the past few hours in conversation with the risen Lord. As the master teacher, he had taught them. They understood the sections of Scripture in new and deeper ways. Jesus explained what was said about him from the history books of Moses and on through the books of prophesy. I’m sure, for the first time they really understood what heavenly plans were unfolding on earth. Their hearts burned within them while Jesus opened up the Scripture.

Remember, it was now near night and it was about seven miles back to Jerusalem. They had exciting news to tell those guys.

They probably were out of breath when they found all the others assembled together. As they entered they were greeted by words from the others. Quickly Peter and the others affirmed that it was now a certainty that Jesus had risen and was alive, because Jesus had appeared to Simon Peter. All doubt had been blown away. Jesus was alive.

As soon as the two new arrivals had heard this good news, they too shared what they had experienced with Jesus that afternoon, and how they had not recognized him until he broke the bread. Then their eyes were opened.

Oh, there was a lot to share because Jesus had also appeared to Mary Magdalene and then to the other women.

Despair and uncertainty had been wiped away. Now they were struggling to understand what they had experienced and heard. They could contemplate the future and wonder what would unfold now that Jesus was alive.

Of course they could have no vision of Pentecost and the power of God being placed within each believer. They could not possibly have known they would be scattered throughout the world to share the ‘new’ gospel message with others who needed peace. They could not have known that the Church would be established as the body of Christ.

Neither could they have foreseen that the new age of the Church would be resisted by the religious establishment. They could not have known that five of those apostles would be martyred, and they all would face persecution.

They did not know that the risen Christ would come to indwell each believer, that it would be Christ who would live his life out through them, to accomplish his purpose.

But yes, for the moment, excited men faced exciting times.