Luke24: 33-53Written by kathleen on Oct 19, 2014 in - No Comments
Religion or relationship?
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together 34 and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.”
After a seven mile walk one way, they were so excited to tell the great news of Jesus’ resurrection that they went seven miles back – and probably much faster on the return.
35 Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
36 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” These were words with new meaning, now that Jesus had risen from the dead and grace is now given True peace could come between God and man and among men.
John 20:19-23 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.
37 They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. 38 He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? 39 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.” 40 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. 41 And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate it in their presence.
Jesus wanted to assure them that His resurrection body was a real physical body though of a different make up than our own bodies. He wasn’t some ghost and so he has a meal with them
Jesus will reveal Himself to those whose hearts are open and hungry to know Him. Even today Jesus still says “I want to share a meal with you.” In Revelation 3:20 He says. “I stand at the door of your heart and knock,” “If any man open the door, I’ll come in and enjoy a meal with him and I’ll have fellowship with him”.
John 20:26-27 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” 28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
It has been said the only thing man-made in heaven is the nail prints in the hands and feet of Jesus; and they remain for two reasons.…
First to identify Himself; It was the nail prints that showed an unbelieving Thomas not only the reality of His Resurrection, but also the depth of His love.
Second to identify with us; Life is painful and there are hurts, pains, and problems everywhere. So when we find ourselves at the point that we think we can’t stand it any longer or handle it anymore.
Jesus would say look at My hands & feet I know the pain you’re feeling, the pressure you’re facing and I understand!
This is the point the writer of Hebrews makes when he writes, Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. Heb. 2:18The if & why zone Have you ever thought? If Jesus loves me enough to die in my place and bear nail prints for eternity, why am I going through what I’m going through right now? If I’m really in His hand, if I’m really on His heart, why is my life seem to be collapsing or my body falling apart? Why aren’t things working out the way I thought they would at this point in my life? If he really loves me, why am I being so stretched in my faith?
Again two reasons. First that we might identify with Him. Paul said, “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of suffering” Philippians 3:10
The people with whom you are closest are not those with whom you laugh, but those with whom you cry. Therefore, the Father says, “If you want to really know Me it requires the fellowship of suffering. For the result of suffering with someone creates a very unique intimacy
Second, we suffer not only that we might identify with Him, but in order to identify with others.
Acts 28 Shipwrecked on the island of Malta, Paul gathered sticks to build a fire to warm the drenched soldiers and prisoners. When a poisonous snake fastened itself to Paul’s hand, the villagers thought Paul must have been a murderer to deserve such a fate. So they watched him and waited for him to swell up and die. But Scripture records that, although he was bitten by the same serpent that had killed others on the island, Paul shook it off. And then they thought he was a god
People will listen to what you have to say about Jesus when, you’ve been bitten by the same serpents that bite them, and the only difference is that you shook it off and kept going on.
When your life goes bankrupt, when your health fails, when your kids go astray and problems mount, unbelievers expect you to swell up or fall down and no longer love God or walk with the Lord. But like Paul when, you shake off the snake and keep praising God, the islanders will take notice.
What they are waiting to see is what you do when the snake strikes, and pain comes, when things get tough. Will you swell up and die or will you keep on! That is the results of you’re suffering.
44 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.” 45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
This is so important that God opens our understanding to understand the scriptures. The Bible says “the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit: neither can he know them, they are spiritually discerned. But he which is spiritual understands all things” 1 Corinthians 2:14
So to just try to attain a relationship with God on an intellectual approach doesn’t make it. God is the one who will open your eyes to see, to give you understanding.
And when this understanding begins to open up and begins to make sense. Things that seem confusing, all of a sudden begin to make sense. You say, Wow, I see it, yes. He died for me. He rose again. And I can have eternal life by believing in Him. And it begins to make sense and then it begins to be exciting.
Then it begins to be a thrill and a joy and the flame begins to blaze inside; and the hope that we have in and through Jesus Christ of an eternal glory with Him becomes very real!
46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
Jesus wanted them to understand that the cross was not some unfortunate obstacle. But it was a necessary part of God’s redemptive plan for man and that it would be in the name of a crucified and risen Savior that repentance and remission of sins will be brought to the world
V.48 Notice Jesus calls His disciples witnesses. We often think we have to argue with people, debate against people, present persuasive cases to people. But the Lord doesn’t call us to any of that. He simply says, “Share with people what you’ve seen. Share with people what you’ve found. Share with people what I have done in and for you.”
Witnessing is a total joy when you simply share with people what blesses you. If you have an answer to prayer or an insight into the Word, share it with those around you as if they’re already saved. That way there will be a lot less arguing and a lot more sharing and leave the rest to the Lord.
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.”
They could not do the work Jesus had called them to do unless they were endued with power from on high, and that power would come as the Holy Spirit was poured out upon them.
Jesus came to implement something called the New Covenant based upon prophesies given years earlier!
Jer 31:31-33 The time is coming,” declares the LORD when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them, declares the LORD. 33 “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
Ezek 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
Religion or relationship?
Here’s the problem the church has today: Religion so often brings about a legalistic attitude of rules and regulations and therefore, oftentimes the tendency for people is to want a prescribed program of rules and regulations like: Ten Steps to Better Parenting, Fifteen Keys to Prayer, Seven Ways to Witness.
But whenever we look for programs, plans, and pointers instead of to the Person of the Holy Spirit in our lives to guide us moment by moment it becomes a religious action.
The most radical group of believers in the history of the world was the group of Christians who, having received the promise of the Father, turned the world right side up without a single book of the New Testament
They didn’t have Romans, Hebrews, or the Epistles of John. They didn’t have the Gospels, Galatians, or the Book of Revelation.
What they did have, and the reason they were so powerful is they had an understanding that Jesus was writing His will on the tablets of their hearts, saying “Go here” “Do that,” “Stay away from this,” “Avoid that.”
2 Cor 3:5-6
Our only power and success comes from God. 6 He is the one who has helped us tell others about his new agreement to save them. We do not tell them that they must obey every law of God or die; but we tell them there is life for them from the Holy Spirit. The old way, trying to be saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, ends in death; in the new way, the Holy Spirit gives them life.
Years later, the Lord inspired writers to record New Testament teaching—not to become the law, but rather so that when believers read the writings and exhortations, they could say that’s what I’ve been doing or not doing.
Two thousand years later so many have the tendency to come to church and say, “Give us some rules, programs, regulations, laws—and then we’ll go our way.”
At that point the New Testament becomes the New Testament Law with its rules and regulations
That’s why so much of present-day Christianity is so dead with external expectations—instead of expecting the Lord to guide us hour by hour, step by step.
So many Christians wonder why their church is so dead or why their own walk is so dry. The reason is that, although they study the Bible, although they believe the Bible, although they’re submitted to the Bible—they’ve lost the essential message in the Bible, which is that the Old Covenant or the old law is over. It was only the schoolmaster to bring us to Christ who, day by day writes His will upon our hearts.… I’m talking about “when”:
You’re relaxing at home when suddenly you find yourself inspired to call someone then, you discover they needed the encouragement only you could give them.
You’re at work, and the Spirit prompts you to have lunch with your co-worker. As you do, then you find it was ordained of God.
This is when you’re Christian walk becomes vibrant and real to the degree that you’re living it hour by hour, moment by moment according to the New Covenant working within you.
The Lord is alive and moment by moment, not only will He put on your heart the things He wants you to do and say and be, but He’ll give you the power to carry them out perfectly for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13
When He says, “Write the letter,” write the letter. When He says, “Take a break and worship Me” do it. When He says meet me early in the morning Just do it!
The key to Christian life is to realize that Jesus is alive in you and will direct you moment by moment if you just do it!
Don’t let church become ritual. Don’t let Christianity become a series of responsibilities.
Don’t make the New Testament the Old Covenant. Learn to Respond to the Spirit’s leading moment by moment and your walk will be transformed as the confirmed Word of God lives in you richly!
50 When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52 Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.
Jesus left the earth blessing His Church and He continues to bless them, as much as His people will receive….
Luke’s account of the life of Jesus begins in the temple and ends with them back at the temple
What’s interesting is the Bible calls believers God’s temple and part of the people are like Zacharias—not saying a word because they don’t believe that the Lord really is with them right now and desires to bless them just as they are. So they leave in silence.
Others, because of His Word believe that the Lord loves them and lives inside of them. They believe the Lord has forgiven them and will walk beside them. As a result, they go their way rejoicing, worshiping, and praising Him; sharing their faith with excitement, passion and compassion.
Every time you meet corporately the choice is yours to slip out silently or to leave rejoicing; whether to be slow of heart or to listen to the One traveling along side you.
May God give you the grace to believe that Jesus is alive, is with you, and is truly for you!
“Broad is the way that leads to destruction,” Jesus declared. “Narrow is the way that leads to life” In fact, so narrow is the way that it is only as wide as one Person—the Person of Jesus Christ.
Because Jesus is the only One who has done the things He taught us to do, the Christian walk is not about trying to be Jesus.
It’s about being impressed with Jesus and being amazed by Jesus, and a relationship with Jesus. Most of all it’s about falling in love with Him!