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Are Your Eyes Open to the Truth?

Sermon Date:April 16, 2017

Sermon Series:

Sermon Topics:Luke 24:13-35

Author:Allen Burns

Scripture Reading: Luke 24:1-12

Sermon Title: Are Your Eyes Open to the Truth?

Sermon Text: Luke 24:13-35

Memory Verse: Luke 24:26

MAIN IDEA: Believe and proclaim that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer who suffered, died, and rose again in glory.

Know the Truth (Luke 1:1-4)

Seek the Truth (Luke 24:13-21)

Hear the Truth (Luke 24:22-37)

Welcome the Truth (Luke 24:28-32)

Proclaim the Truth (Luke 24:33-35)

 

NOTE: “Scripture quotations are from the NASB." This manuscript is provided as a courtesy and is not intended for publication. The audio message will differ because the manuscript is not followed word for word. Thanks for understanding.

 

Know the Truth

The title of the message today is, “Are your eyes open to the truth?”

The first point is this: Know the truth.

Everybody desires the truth. Jesus says the truth sets us free. Our aim together is to examine the testimony of the Bible and to know the truth. Once we know the truth, we have an application for our lives.

The application for us is stated in the main idea for the message: Believe and proclaim that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer who suffered, died, and rose again in glory. The goal of preaching this message is that each person who hears will believe and proclaim that Jesus is our redeemer and that He suffered, died, and rose again in glory.

We will continue looking at Luke 24, but before we do, let’s read the first few sentences of this book. They are very helpful and explain why Luke wrote this book.

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught. (Luke 1:1-4)

Luke is writing to Theophilus, a man who is taught about Jesus. Luke desires for Theophilus to know the exact truth of all he is taught. Luke knows others have compiled an account of Jesus and believes it is fitting also to write an account.

We have available to us this beautifully written, historically accurate document, carefully investigated and compiled from eyewitness accounts, people who personally were with Jesus from the beginning. It is apparent that Luke’s account starts with Mary, the mother of Jesus and continues through Jesus’ years of ministry, His death, resurrection, and His ascension into heaven.

Like Theophilus, we may know the truth because of Luke’s writings. Luke didn’t set out to write a novel, mystery, or a fable. Luke’s Gospel is proven to be historically accurate and highly detailed. We may trust its content to be the truth. Our first point, know the truth, is accomplished by reading Luke’s gospel.

Seek the Truth (Luke 24:13-21)

Our second point is this: Seek the truth. Please turn back to Luke 24, and we will continue with the story of Jesus’ resurrection. In the first 12 verses of Luke 24, we hear of how the women find the tomb empty. They tell the apostles who think the women to be speaking words of nonsense. But, Peter went to the tomb, and he sees it is empty.

Luke picks up his account of the truth with two of the disciples who are walking to a village east of Jerusalem. These men are aware of the situation taking place on this Sunday morning.

 13 And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem.14 And they were talking with each other about all these things which had taken place. 15 While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them. 16 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. 17 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. 18 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?” 19 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, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to the sentence of death and crucified Him. 21 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. (Luke 24:13-21)

These men are walking along, and they are talking with one another seeking to know the truth. They are trying to make sense of everything. They are reliving the details of the past week and trying to wrap their minds around all that took place. They are sad. They are disciples of Jesus, not one of the 12 Apostles, but close followers. To them, Jesus is a man of God, a prophet mighty in deed before God and all the people. These men put their hope in Christ to deliver Israel. They believe Jesus to be the Messiah from God. But, Jesus is crucified. It is impossible for Jesus to fulfill their hopes because He is dead.

Jesus approaches them and hears them talking. He asks them about their discussion. God prevents them from recognizing Jesus. We don’t know why they don’t recognize Jesus. For some reason, God blinds their eyes.

They are seeking to know the truth, and they are blind to the truth. The truth is standing right next to the disciples. The one who is their hope is not dead; their Redeemer lives!

Just like the men on the road to Emmaus, we may be blind to the truth. These men put their hope in Jesus but are blind to understanding Jesus’ mission. They desire Jesus to redeem Israel’s problems with the Roman government. They are blind to the truth that this is not why Jesus came to earth. The truth is Jesus came to die for their sins. The crucifixion is not a disruption of plans; the crucifixion is the plan!

Many people are blind to Jesus. They think Jesus came so they can get a better job, or more money, or give them a cure for cancer. They are blind to their sin. They are blind because they think Jesus came to make their life more convenient, not because they have a problem with sin. People think all is good between them and God. They are blind to the truth that the Bible says their sins make them an enemy of God.

They are blind to much of what the Bible says about Jesus. Many people form opinions of Jesus without ever reading the Bible. They claim to seek the truth, but they don’t look in the one place where the truth exists. They ask friends about Jesus. They listen to Muslims talk about Jesus. They watch Hollywood movies about Jesus. But they don’t look in the Bible to see what the God says about Jesus.

We need to be sure we are not blind to the truth. The truth is right here next to us. The truth is in the Bible. In seeking for the truth, don’t be blind like the men on the road to Emmaus.

We need to know the truth. To know the truth, we need to seek the truth. In seeking the truth, we need to listen and hear the truth.

Hear the Truth (Luke 24:22-37)

The third point of the message is that we need to hear the truth.

The men continue telling Jesus of the events of the day.

22 But also some women among us amazed us. When they were at the tomb early in the morning, 23 and did not find His body, they came, saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said that He was alive. 24 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.”

The men tell Jesus of how the women found the tomb to be empty and that they saw a vision of angels saying Jesus is alive. The empty tomb amazes the men. It does not fit their narrative. It is very puzzling for them to hear this information of Jesus being alive from the dead. They know Jesus is a great man of God. They hope in Jesus as the Redeemer of Israel, but He is dead. What is this? Is the tomb empty? What does all this mean? They don’t understand.

Jesus tells them the truth.

25 And He said to them, “O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!26 Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures. (Luke 24:22-37)

The Bible is the truth. These men are knowledgeable of the Scripture. But, they did not study the Scripture wisely, the studied the Bible as fools. The truth was available, but they didn’t choose to study all of what the prophets have spoken. They chose out of the Bible those things they wanted to hear and chose not to hear everything. Jesus had to teach these men what they should already know. He explains how the crucifixion is God’s plan and spoken of by the prophets. The information is there, but they are foolish and slow of heart to believe all of which the prophets speak.

People today are just like these men. Are you like that? Do you choose only to hear the parts of the Bible which sound good? Do you only hear what tickles your ears? Are you a fool like these men on the road to Emmaus?

There are people willing to hear about the beauty of heaven but are unwilling to hear the truth that God created hell. There are people willing to hear Jesus is a great teacher and a great man, but they are unwilling to hear Jesus is God in the flesh and will judge evildoers. There are people willing to believe God heals cancer, but some are not willing to believe that many times God does not heal cancer. People don’t want to hear they are sinners, so they find a church that believes what they believe rather than be willing to hear the truth.

If it is in the Bible, it is true. We need to be willing to hear the truth. Don’t let people candy-coat the truth. As fools, the disciples ignored truth which is difficult to grasp.

Welcome the Truth (Luke 24:28-32)

The fourth point is that we need to welcome the truth. After hearing the truth, these men welcomed the truth.

28 And they approached the village where they were going, and He acted as though He were going farther. 29 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. 30 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. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. 32 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?” (Luke 24: 28-32)

Jesus pretends He is going further. He is testing them. What is the response to these things He has told the disciples? Are they going to reject Jesus as being a lunatic? Or, are they going to welcome Him? Jesus called them fools and hard-hearted. Were their feelings hurt? Were they going to reject Him for being honest?

People are very sensitive. They don’t want to be called a fool. Some people are embarrassed to ask a question at a Bible study because they think people might see them as stupid. They’d rather be ignorant of the things of God rather than have their feelings hurt.

Some people don’t want to welcome the truth because it means they will have to change their lifestyle. They know what the Bible says about sexual relations and immorality. Rather than welcome the truth and change their life, they will rather send the truth away and live in sin.

What about you? Are you so sensitive that you will not allow people to tell you that your life or your beliefs are wrong according to the Bible? If I say something that you find offensive, (I am just reading the Bible), will you find another church? If the Bible offends you, will you find another religion? The question is, will you welcome the truth? Or, will you choose to live as a fool in the eyes of God?

The disciples on the road to Emmaus welcomed the truth. They invited the truth to stay with them. The truth burned in their hearts. The truth touched their soul. The truth is too important to let it pass. It did not bother them that they were fools beforehand. They are no longer fools.

Because they are willing to seek the truth, hear the truth, and welcome the truth, God opens their eyes. They now understand. They see the risen Christ. They see Jesus their Savior. Their Redeemer is alive.

What about you? Are your eyes opened? Are you willing to allow the Bible to call you a sinner? Are you willing to humble yourself and welcome the truth that you need salvation? Will you humble yourself and not be sensitive to what others think about you?

If you give your life to Jesus, and your friends call you a fool? Will you change your mind? Or, will you welcome the truth because you will rather be wise in the eyes of God and a fool in the eyes of men?

Jesus is calling people to put their faith in Him as the punishment for sin. Do you welcome the truth that you are a sinner? Do you believe the Bible when it says sinners face judgment and punishment in hell? Do you believe Jesus took the punishment for your sin, so you don’t have to go to hell? He is the risen Savior who conquers the grave. The tomb is empty. Do you believe in the risen Christ? Do you welcome the truth that God is calling you to put your faith in Jesus and to follow Him all the days of your life?

Luke is writing the truth, so we may believe that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer who suffered, died, and rose again in glory.

Welcome the truth so God will open your eyes.

Proclaim the Truth (Luke 24:33-35)

The last point is that we need to proclaim the truth. After welcoming the truth and having their eyes opened, these men cannot wait to proclaim they have seen the Savior.

33 And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found gathered together the eleven and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon.” 35 They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread. (Luke 24:33-35)

They arrived around dinner time, which is around 6 pm. They immediately leave and return to Jerusalem, which is about a three-hour walk. They arrive in the evening and find the apostles and others gathered together. Before they can say anything, the disciples in Jerusalem tell them, “The Lord is risen and appeared to Simon.”

The disciples from Emmaus want to tell of their great news, and before they can, the disciples in Jerusalem blurt out that Jesus appeared to Peter. After hearing this, the disciples from Emmaus talk of their experience and how they also have seen Jesus.

It is easy to imagine the disciples, in their excitement, telling one another about the risen Christ. The disciples from Emmaus share about how they now understand all of what the prophets have spoken. They confess they were foolish and slow of heart to believe, but now, they may rejoice in knowing about Jesus. It is easy to picture them unrolling the scrolls and reading the Psalms, Isaiah, and the other writers of the Scripture and teaching one another how Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

They were eager to proclaim the truth. The reason our church exists is because, beginning in Jerusalem, and on through the centuries, people proclaim the truth. We are to proclaim the truth until Jesus comes again.

Closing

There is nothing more important than the truth. We need to know the truth and seek the truth. Jesus says seek, and you shall find.

We need to recognize that sometimes the truth hurts, but we need to hear the truth despite the pain. The Bible says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. We need to be hearing God’s Word.

When we hear God’s Word, we need to welcome the truth. Don’t reject the truth. Don’t turn your back on the truth or only believe the truth you want to believe. Hear all the truth and welcome all the truth in your life. The truth is what sets us free.

Lastly, proclaim the truth. The disciples were all very excited and could not wait to tell others about the risen Christ. They are willing to walk seven miles at night so that others may hear the good news. If you know of a genuine cure for your friend with cancer, are you willing to walk seven miles to tell them of the cure? Of course, you are.

The Bible does not tell us the cure for cancer; the Bible tells us the cure for all who die. The Bible tells us the cure for the disease of sin.

The Bible is the truth which gives liberty to those who are captive.

The Bible is the truth which gives joy to those who mourn.

The Bible is the truth which grants the unfathomable riches of Christ to those who are poor.

The Bible is the truth which gives life to those who are dead.

Believe and proclaim that Jesus Christ is our Redeemer who suffered, died, and rose again in glory.