Scripture Correctly Reveals Jesus: Part II
Scripture Reveals Jesus • Sermon • Submitted • Presented • 56:42
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A recent study in a gallup poll of Christians has demonstrated that what Christians desire most in the church these days is not music or lights and smoke but what they truly desire is preaching that explains the Bible. For years the church growth movement has pushed an agenda of appealing to the felt needs of the people of the congregation and this has caused a watering down of the Scripture just to get people into the doors and present a gospel that is watered down. The result has been church that provide concert and fun application driven messages that might teach point people to 7 Habits of a Happy Home, but at what cost. These message are typically centered around a theme and not around the scripture and although Scripture can teach us how to have a happy home the passage that are used may not always be within the context of that particular book and it is also easy to make a sermon say what you would like.
For example let’s take a look at this verse here;
She kept the cloak with her until her husband came home.
See ladies when your husbands come home from work you need to make sure you are attentive to their needs. Make sure they come home and are able to relax. This way you as the wives are really helping to have a happy home.
Now if you look at the text with a viable translation you learn something about this passage. This passage has nothing to do with how a wife should treat her husband. It actually has everything to do with how a wife was seducing another man and became angry when Joseph ran off and the cloak is Joseph’s not the husbands. What the church needs is a clear explanation of Scripture and what is interesting is this isn’t new. This was the basis of the Reformation in the 1517 and it was the focus of the church in the book of Acts and it is even how Jesus teaches. The purpose and point of teaching Scripture and the purpose and point of going to Scripture, reading it and studying it, is to see Christ. This morning we will continue our study on Scripture Correctly Reveals Jesus.
Scripture Correctly Reveals Jesus
Scripture Correctly Reveals Jesus
Last week as we looked at our text in Luke’s gospel we focused on a particular human sense, sight. We looked at natural sight in respect to the fact the disciples who were on the road to Emmaus were approached and joined by Jesus but God did not allow them to see Him physically. These men had a little problem, they didn’t fully believe all that Jesus had said and done. So because they lacked faith in the spiritual they were not able to see the physical Jesus.
These men had all the proofs they need to believe but they tried to rationalize what had happened and what it meant. They were in a sense looking for an application without looking for God. Even though they had the proofs they were lacking something deeper, a connection between what has happened and what has been written in God’s Word.
Let’s go ahead and continue our study of The Scripture Correctly Revealing Jesus. We see this in Luke 24:13-35,
And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad. One of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are You the only one visiting Jerusalem and unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?” And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. “But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened. “But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. “Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just exactly as the women also had said; but Him they did not see.” And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. But they urged Him, saying, “Stay with us, for it is getting toward evening, and the day is now nearly over.” So He went in to stay with them. When He had reclined at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed it, and breaking it, He began giving it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?” And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
Last week we focused on the two men from Emmaus and how they responded to Jesus when He asked them “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another,” in verse 17. This question Jesus asked was a test, it was a test of their faith in Him and in God’s Word. The men failed the test. The men were able to explain what had happened . There explanation was seasoned with rationalism and intellectualism. They were very focused on the passed and what had happened to Jesus, that is He was arrested, sentenced to death and buried. So much so that they didn’t fully believe Jesus’ own prophetic words about His death burial and resurrection. These men provided every proof there was to Jesus being resurrected but they still didn’t believe. The problem with these men was they were trying to rationalize it. Their discussion and their explanation to the stranger was in actuality an intellectual pursuit which keeps everything on a physical plain. You can not rationalize truth because in order to believe truth you have to see the unseen and if you can’t see it you can’t rationalize it. Rationalizing the truth is an escape from the Divine works and words of God. Rationalization is a lack of faith which was their problem they lacked faith. Their lack of faith caused them to focus only on the physical and so they were missing out on the spiritual.
When we come to the Word of God we need to look at the Word of God with spiritual eyes not physical eyes. Jesus is about to let them know they have just failed the test He provided for them. He responds to these men with a harsh rebuke, a very harsh criticism as we look at the criticism we will learn we need to seek with mind and heart.
Seek with Mind and Heart.
Seek with Mind and Heart.
Let’s look at verse 25. Luke writes for us, “And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!” This rebuke here is one of disappointment. Jesus isn’t angry with them He is disappointed. Just like a parent who spends time teaching their children to make right decisions and to avoid the things in the world that will cause them to have a tarnished reputation. The real emotion is disappointment in their lack of judgment. Jesus is disappointed in His pupils in the same way a parent is disappointed in a child, it is in their lack of discernment in what the prophets have said.
I love how Jesus here points out that they are ‘slow of heart.’ The word heart is an interesting word with many different synonyms attached to it. Even the Greek word Kardia has different meanings to it. The heart is a physical organ and it is also the spiritual organ that God speaks to in the person. The Israelites had a belief that the heart was the central organ of physical vitality. Simply put it is what sustains life. It relates to a physical part of the human body. The heart, however, is also synonymous with something else.
The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament D. καρδία in the New Testament.
the heart is the centre of the inner life of man and the source or seat of all the forces and functions of soul and spirit
So the way I look at this is Jesus is taking the physical organ and applying the spiritual to it. True faith, deep faith deals with more then just a rational or intellectual approach to Jesus and who He is and what He has done. It is more then just an intellectual pursuit of whether or not He existed or exists or if He died on the cross or was buried or even rose from the dead. You might even say you can start there with the intellectual or the cognitive pursuit but it needs to move from there.
When Jesus talks about the heart here He is focusing on three elements that make up the human, it is the cognitive, the emotional and volition. When they speak of the heart in the Scripture they are not only speak of emotions. We always think of the heart as only emotions. People are told to follow their hearts, do what your heart desires. Jesus when He mentions heart He means the whole of the inner man, mind and soul. He had to rebuke these men, He was disappointed in them because they were only focusing on the cognitive, on the intellectual and in order to truly see Jesus it takes the whole of the inner man not just the brain. Belief in Jesus is much deeper then having physical evidence that you can see with your eyes and it is much deeper then trying to figure out what the evidence means. Belief in Jesus is giving up the rational for the miraculous it is about explaining away what could have happened with what really happened. Faith in Jesus is taking God at His word and not injecting you own ideas and thoughts into it.
That is what Jesus is telling these men they are “slow to heart to believe all that the the prophets have spoken!” Now all that the prophets have spoken is Jesus’ way of saying all that God has said. In the Old Testament God wouldn’t necessarily speak to people directly. There are many occasions when He did but there were many different ways God would speak to His prophets. They take bits and pieces, and isn’t that what many people like to do take bits and pieces of what God has said in the Scripture. Hebrews 1:1 tells us
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways,
So God would speak to the prophets in many portions and many ways. God didn’t just speak to people directly like He did with Moses. With Moses He spoke to him face to face. That is why Moses is the great prophet. There are others like Daniel who saw visions and even other who God would speak to them in dreams like Joseph the son of Jacob. Joseph not only had dreams but he was also gifted in interpreting dreams. Each one of these men spoke for God. That is what a prophet does they speak for God that is why false prophets where stoned. The litmus test for false prophets was their prophecy had to be revealed or come true and if it did not they would be stoned. Now prophecy was not just specific to any person although that did happen prophecy was specific to what God was doing and what He would do.
The prophecy Jesus mentions here is very specific to a very specific Person and to a very specific Work the Person will perform. Jesus is speaking of the prophecy of Himself. We see that in verse 26 when He says to them, “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” Isaiah 53 for example points to the suffering servant and Zechariah 13:8.
“It will come about in all the land,” Declares the Lord, “That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it.
Not to mention these men themselves just declared to Jesus He is a prophet and they are slow in heart to believe even what He said about Himself. That He must be handed over to sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise again. The angels even repeated this in Luke 24:7 yet these men are slow to believe because there is the disconnect between the heart and the mind. If all Christianity is to you is an intellectual pursuit then you will never see the divine spiritual work that goes on through out it. You will either try to explain it away or you will take bits and pieces from it that you like and disregard the rest.
Truly encountering Jesus involves having our minds and our hearts open to hear what He has to say. It involves more then sight it involves our hearing also.
We need to see with spiritual eyes and we need to hear the truth that points to Jesus. Paul the apostle was very familiar with not seeing with spiritual eyes and not hearing the full truth even though he knew the Hebrew Scriptures. In fact he was educated under Gamaliel, who was a very well known and respected teacher of Paul’s day and Paul was a Pharisee of Pharisee’s. Still even though he heard the truth it didn’t mean he understood the truth. Not until his eyes, his spiritual eyes were open then he understood it and he was a great herald of the truth and he knew where true faith came from.
The apostle Paul tells the Roman church this concerning faith,
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
Faith is not something that just comes to us or something we attain it comes through One source and this source as Paul is telling the Roman church and us also is faith comes when we hear the word of Christ preached. The word of Christ is truth and this truth can only be found in Scripture. This truth is what Paul had at his finger tips and yet until their was an intervention by Jesus Himself and the Holy Spirit opening Paul’s eyes, physically and spiritually, Paul didn’t see the truth pointing to Jesus.
To see Jesus correctly revealed in Scripture we need to see with spiritual eyes and we need to seek with Mind and Heart we also need to seek a clear explanation.
Seek a Clear Explanation
Seek a Clear Explanation
Luke continues in verse 27, “Then begging with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” He began with Moses, the first five book of the Bible are attributed to Moses. Where do you think Jesus would have began. Well Genesis 3:15, which points to the necessity of the Son of Man and the Son of God having to suffer. Jesus would go from the need for a suffering servant to Abraham and how all the nations of the world would be blessed through Him. Then He would go to Egypt and how God called His people and delivered them from slavery in Egypt and how God provide the nation with a King and then provided the Davidic Covenant and Jesus is the fulfillment of this covenant. The whole rest of the trip was Jesus teaching these men. Listen all He had was the Hebrew Scripture and that is exactly what He was explaining to them.
This is the pattern of the gospel presentation through out the book of Acts whenever the Israelite Christians made a defence of the gospel. They would continually go through the Scripture and explain the Scripture. Peter does this in Acts 2, Stephen does this in Acts 7 and when Philip is taken to the Ethiopian Eunuch Philip does this also. In fact let’s take a look at that very passage.
But an angel of the Lord spoke to Philip saying, “Get up and go south to the road that descends from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a desert road.) So he got up and went; and there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure; and he had come to Jerusalem to worship, and he was returning and sitting in his chariot, and was reading the prophet Isaiah. Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go up and join this chariot.” Philip ran up and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “Well, how could I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of Scripture which he was reading was this: “He was led as a sheep to slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He does not open His mouth. “In humiliation His judgment was taken away; Who will relate His generation? For His life is removed from the earth.” The eunuch answered Philip and said, “Please tell me, of whom does the prophet say this? Of himself or of someone else?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him. As they went along the road they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look! Water! What prevents me from being baptized?” And Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
It is not enough to look at the Scripture as a piece of literature or ancient rules and regulations that are antiquated not useful for today. It is not enough to just look at scripture as a means of trying to pull out some nice principles just to apply to your life it is God’s revealing Word about His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
Listen to this by
Go to the Bible looking for God.
Find Him, and application will follow.
But go looking for application and you may miss both.
God is the reason for the Scripture and our purpose in going to the Scripture is to know Him. When we going only looking for application, then we only go looking for what we want not what we need and what we need is to know God, what we need is to see Christ, and the only way to see Jesus correctly revealed is through His word by utilizing all the senses God has provided, sight, sound, mind, heart and Spirit. Allow God to clearly reveal Himself and His Son and don’t miss out on the Spiritual because you want to rationalize the physical.