Today, I don’t know how many of you know this, but two years ago this Sunday was the first Sunday that I preached at Emmaus. A lot has happened since then. Today I wanted to do a little vision casting for us. Since coming here I have preached a lot of sermons, but I have not taught on the text that this church is named for. Today, I want to preach on the text that speaks about the town near Jerusalem called Emmaus. There are a few things that I want to draw out of this text of scripture that I have hoped would mark this church body, and I hope will mark us for years to come.
Jesus met them on the road: The Christian Life is a journey, not a destination. We must never feel that we have arrived, we are all in a process, and need to continue to move forward in our lives, and as a Church. Emmaus is our destination. We are in a Liminal State…
a. We look ahead, not dwell in the past. Philippians 3:13, 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained. 17 Brothers, join in imitating me, and keep your eyes on those who walk according to the example you have in us.
b. We don’t get complacent. There is no such thing as retirement from ministry. Colossians 1:9, 9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
c. Be eager for what God has in store for us. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.
They were honest about their disappointments: Jesus doesn’t do things the way we think. We share our hearts on the road to Emmaus. a. We share our hearts with one another. None of us are perfect, lets be honest about that. 1 John 1:5, 5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. b. Get past the superficial, and talk about the things that matter. c. Share your failures, your faults, your fears, and your victories. James 5:16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
Jesus opened the scriptures to them to explain His purpose: As Christians, we must find our footing in the Word. Emmaus is grounded in the Word. a. Don’t say, “I think” say “The Word says.” 2 Timothy 3:12-17 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. b. Wrestle with the word, these people didn’t get it the first time, Jesus explained a lot. 2 Peter 3:15-18, 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. c. All of the scriptures, Old and New are pointing to Jesus. “It’s All About Jesus!”
Some questions to consider: Do you view your life, and this church as a group of people on a journey? How can you be more honest about your life with your church family? Do you run things through the scriptures when you hear them?