Good morning, Aloha. Yeah. We live in Maui now. We’ve been retired for about two years, and I thought I’d wear my Aloha shirt this morning and it really is a joy to be with you. I have to say Eddie was overly kind with his words.
Thank you very much for all those kind words and great great memories back in those days. I was baptized in 73, but we were together there in the Crossroads Church of Christ. And God put a lot of good things on our heart during those years. I do want to say I’m very honored. I feel very privileged to be able to be here today. Back in Orlando was said we’ve done 40 years of Ministry, and we thought that was probably enough, but it’s always a joy to be able to speak.
I am still able to speak, although I am retired, you know, and things. But, you know, I admire all of you. I respect each of you. You’ve given your life to Jesus. That’s the most important, most incredible thing you’re serving Jesus.
You’re bringing other people to Jesus was great to hear about that baptism, and I’m sure that there will be many more that are being studied with that’ll, become true Christians in time. And certainly that’s what it’s all about. I certainly want to thank Eddie and Lapatic for allowing us to come and speak here. It’s wonderful to just see you guys and be able to be with you.
You know, they have certainly loved the Church family here in incredible ways for so many years. You’ve got to admire that. You’ve got to love that. You’ve got to appreciate that.
They just pour themselves out for God. They pour themselves for their brothers and for their sisters, they’re certainly a man of great faith, a woman of great faith, man and woman of great love and service. And I hope that you keep holding up their arms. And I hear that you’ve got Amy and Marcus Overstreet here now, which is great, I guess back from Scotland, I hope he’s not speaking like the Scottish dude because I can’t understand them and things, but I know that’s a joy in a privilege for all of you, too.
We’re actually here celebrating my mother’s 93rd birthday is one of the main reasons we came back into into town. Also, I’m getting with Marshall because I’m working with him on the 2022 moved two years, didn’t it? Conference. And I can’t believe you guys took that on. But thank you for taking that on Orlando Church of Christ.
I know it’ll be great for the Kingdom, for sure. I was asked to oversee a segment of the conference for disciples that are basically 50 and over. I guess they thought I fit into that category pretty well. So here we go. And it’s called Forever Faithful.
So it’ll be great to see all of you that fit in that category to be a part of that also, Amen. It’ll be a great time. Well, today I’ve entitled The Lesson, the Book of Jesus. Is that okay? The Book of Jesus.
And I’m going to start by telling you how the lesson ends today. You probably have never had that before. It ends with great joy. Is that okay to end with great joy? So my hope and my prayer is that you leave today with great joy.
It is always good to be together. Right? Even with masks on, we can’t see our smiles. I’m hoping that you’re not sticking your tongue out at me out there and things. But the Book of Jesus.
Do you know it? The Book of Jesus? Have you read it? The Book of Jesus. It has two main parts, the old part and the new parts. It’s made of 66 sections.
It begins with Genesis and it ends with and it ends with Revelation. You know, have you ever heard the expression you can’t see the forests from the trees? You’ve heard that, right? You’ve said that probably yourselves. Often heard that used that expression myself to describe the difficulty of getting above the details, to get a grasp of the bigger picture of what really is going on around. You know, it could be used to describe the problem that many seem to have with the Bible. You know, there are stories, there are characters, there are our doctrines. But do we grasp the fundamental theme of what the Bible is really, really all about? You know, the fundamental theme is Jesus.
Can I have an Amen on that one? The fundamental theme is Jesus. Jesus absolutely throughout all of God’s word.
It’s Jesus. It’s the Christ, it’s the Messiah, it’s the Savior. It’s the light. It’s in the old Testament in the New Testament. You know, the presence of Jesus is literally from Genesis all the way through Revelation.
And so to start today’s lesson, let’s join Jesus on the road there of Emmaus. And let’s turn to Luke 24. And we’ll be staying in Luke 24 for most of the time. So you can get your devices out or actually get a book out called the Bible and read along with me. That would be great.
Or maybe they’ll put it on the screen. I’m not sure how you do it here. But let’s join Jesus. And here he explains to two weary and dishearten disciples. It says, beginning with Moses and all the prophets, what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
That’s in Luke 24, verse 27, I’ve got just three points today. A changed direction, a changed life and a changed loyalty. So let’s first talk about a changed direction. You know, it’s been a painful agonizing week. The one that put their hopes and their dreams on Jesus has been I mean, he’s been arrested, has been falsely accused, he’s been beaten. And finally, Jesus is crucified. He’s dead. And they thought they had reached the end of the road when the stone was rolled into place over the entrance of the tomb. It’s over.
It was great for a while, but it seems to all be over right now. And then the word came that the grave was empty and that Jesus was alive. The word came on out, and the question in people’s mind was, was that fake news, or was that true news? But discouraged and confused two disciples, the followers of Jesus, they went, they went home. They went in the direction to get to home. They were leaving what they had found. But instead of the end of these two, it became the beginning for these two. Let’s look over now in Luke 24, let’s read together verses 13 through 16, Luke 24, verses 13 through 16. It says now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about 7 miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. And as they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and we walked along with them. But they were kept from recognizing him. So here we’ve got Jesus and his postresurrection body.
And so Jesus is traveling incognito and so to speak, and he’s able to appear and he’s able to vanish at this time. He’s able to move through space with no restraints. He makes the opportunity now to probe two of his followers concerning the meaning of his death and the meaning of his resurrection. And so he asked them, and now let’s go ahead and read a little bit further. Verse 17 in Luke 24, he asked them, what are you discussing together as you walk along?
Well, they stood still, their faces downcast. So probably they were a little bit shocked that somebody could be so near Jerusalem and not even know what was happening. He was asking the question, What’s going on? And so they start to sadly tell this man about the week’s events? Let’s read verses 18 through 24.
It says one of them named Cleopas, asked him, Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there these days? What things? He asked about Jesus of Nazareth they replied he was a Prophet, powerful in word and deed, before God and all the people, the chief priest and all the rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death. And they crucified him. But we had hoped noticed past tense.
We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that he had seen a vision of Angels who said that he was alive.
Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it, just as the women had said. But they did not see Jesus. So as they talk, Jesus perceives a mixture of disappointment and doubt. And I’m sure confusion in the minds of these disciples. And so he decides it’s time to enlighten them a little bit.
Let’s go on to verses 25 through 27. He said to them how foolish you are and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken. Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all this is amazing. Explain to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.
What an incredible moment here. What a great moment that’s happening right here. Jesus Christ is teaching the Scriptures and notice the word explained in verse 27. You know the Greek word here. We get our word here hermeneutics from it. And this refers to the principles of study of biblical interpretation.
So in other words, Jesus went back to the books of Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy through all the prophets, ending with Malachi and interpreted them for these two disciples. That was a pretty awesome class going on at that time. He showed them the truth about Himself, the main theme in all scripture. So it’s pretty awesome to have God himself explain the word of God to you. Right.
And they still did not know who this wise man was. So when they reached Emmaus, they wanted him to stay with them, and of course, talk further and learn a little bit more from him. And now we have the reveal. Let’s go on and reverses. 28 through 31.
It says that they approached the village to which they were going. Jesus continued on as if they were going farther, and they urged him strongly, stay with us for its nearly evening. The day is almost over and so he went to stay with them. 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 sights.
So imagine this. I mean, they’re astonished. I mean, their eyes are wide. I mean, they’re in amazement right now and they’re going, you’re, you’re Jesus, you’re Jesus, you’re alive. And then he disappears.
Let’s go on to verse 32. It says they asked each other, were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened or explained the Scriptures to us. I love what it says. There the their hearts were were burning, that they were loving it.
They were enthused. They were enthralled with what was being taught to them. You know, some translations say explained the Scripture to us. This explaining has a different meaning from the explained in verse 27. Here it means open.
Then, of course, that’s the translation that you find in the NIV, and it’s the same as their eyes were opened in verse 31. And so the implication is this scripture, scripture. It is not understandable unless we see the truth, that Jesus is the major theme in all the Scriptures. You know, it’s like trying to put together a puzzle with no picture. It is like trying to pilot a plane with no map, without seeing Jesus.
Without seeing Christ in the Bible, you travel blindly through a maze of ideas, a maze of people and a maze of events. You see a philosophy, you see a moral code, you see a better life, but you don’t really see. Remember the forest for the trees. Jesus. It’s always Jesus.
Jesus is the key. When turned correctly, it unlocks the truth and it opens up the eternal mysteries for all of us. And so the two men couldn’t even wait till morning to share their experience with the other disciples. And here they were leaving Jerusalem. And now they run back to Jerusalem, a changed direction and probably half out of breath and half laughing and certainly full of joy, they tell what’s happened to them that Jesus Jesus is really alive. He has risen. Let’s read verses 33 through 35. It says they got up and returned it once to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven and those with him assembled together and saying It is true.
The Lord has risen, 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. But you know, Jesus isn’t finished yet. Jesus has one more dramatic surprise for them. Let’s read verses 36 through 39.
He says, while they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, Peace be with you. And they were startled and they were frightened. Thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, Why are you troubled? And why do doubts rise in your minds?
Look at my hands. Look at my feet. It is I myself touch me and see. A ghost does not have flesh. A ghost does not have bones as you see I have. So Jesus, I mean, he proves it. He’s not a ghost. It’s not an imagining. He lets the disciples come close, they touch him. He eats a piece of fish, and basically I am alive is what he’s saying. Verses 40 through 43 it says when he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet and why they still did not believe it. Because of joy and amazement, he asked them, do you have anything here to eat? They gave him a piece of broiled fish and he took it and ate it in their presence.
So right now I think he’s got their full attention. Are you with me on that? He turns again to the Scriptures to explain himself and to explain his death and to explain his resurrection verses 44 through 48, he said to them, this is what I told you while I was still with you. Everything must be fulfilled. What is written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets and the Psalms.
And then he opened their minds so that they could understand the Scriptures. And he told them, this is what is written. The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and repentance for forgiveness of sins will be preached in the name to all nations. Beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these of these things.
Now the disciples see for the first time what the Scriptures are really, really all about. You know, just imagine with me for a moment their responses. Maybe,oh, yes, of course. Why didn’t I see that one before? Now I understand.
Now I get it. I really get it now. You can just hear them. That’s the changed direction from going back to the old life to going forward in the new life. Now let’s talk for a moment about a changed life.
You know, one of the disciples in the room that night later became a courageous witness for Jesus. After running away. Now, standing before those who shouted to crucify Jesus, Peter is the one who proclaims this new understanding of the Scriptures true meaning. Now he’s got it. It’s been explained to him.
And so in Acts two, Peter quotes the Prophet Joel also quotes the Prophet David. Where do you think he learned all that? Now he explains the Scriptures to these people, just as Jesus had explained the Scriptures to him. And then, of course, we know that Peter was given the keys to the Kingdom. And Peter opens up the Kingdom by telling people for the first time how to become a Christian.
Acts 238, repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. You see, when a person really gets it, they’ll have a changed life. We’ll know that the scriptures are all about jesus. We’ll be thrilled with the Scriptures.
Thrilled with Jesus. We’ll open the Scriptures up every day with expectation. We’ll courageously teach the Scriptures and tell people tell people all about this Jesus who has saved them. In Acts chapter three, verse 18, Peter says this, but this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Messiah would suffer. And then Peter again in acts 10:43. He says all the prophets testify about him, that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. So Peter, the one who weeks earlier had left Jesus and denied that he even knew Him.
What changed him? You know, often people say, well, seeing the resurrected Christ. And obviously that’s true. But there’s more there’s more to this whole thing. What changed Peter’s heart of fear into one of courage? The understanding that he was given by Jesus from the Scriptures that transformed his life.
And let me say, we’ve not really changed if we’re not speaking courageously and consistently about Jesus. And obviously for some it’s easier than others. It comes maybe more naturally. But for everyone who names the name of Jesus is to be their way of life.
Yes. You know, some have more of a challenge to get out of themselves, but to have a changed life. Our understanding of Scripture will need to be strong, and it’ll need to be clear. And we too will need to grasp the central theme of Christ throughout all throughout all of God’s word that Jesus what life is all about, that Jesus is the only way to life. That Jesus he’s wonderful, he’s awesome, he’s powerful, he’s merciful. You know, just consider this for a moment.
In Genesis He’s the breath of life, the woman seed Salvation’s plan. In Exodus the Passover Lamb in Leviticus our high priest. Numbers fire by night, the bronze serpent Deuteronomy he’s Moses voice the promised prophet. In Joshua He’s Salvation’ s choice, the unseen captain. Judges the lawgiver our deliverer. In Ruth the heavenly Kinsman Redeemer. First and second Samuel our trusted Prophet. In Kings and Chronicles our sovereign our promised King. Ezra true and faithful scribe. Nehemiah he’s the rebuilder restore of broken walls and broken lives.
In Esther He’s Mordecai’s courage, our advocates. In Job the timeless Redeemer. In Psalms He’s our mourning song are all in all. In Proverbs wisdoms cry our pattern Ecclesiastes the time and season our goal. In the Song of Solomon he’s the lover’s dream, our beloved. In Isaiah he’s the Prince of peace, Jeremiah the weeping Prophet and lamentations to cry for Israel, Ezekiel he’s the call from sin in Daniel the stranger in the fire in Hosea he’s faithful forever faithful in Joel He’s the spirits power in Amos the arms that carry us in Obadiah he’s the Lord our Savior in Jonah he’s the great missionary in Micah the promise of peace in Nahumm he’s the strength in our shield.
In Habbakkuk and Zephaniah he’s pleading for a revival in Haggai he restores the lost heritages in Zachariah he is our fountain and in Malachi he is the Son of righteousness rising with healing in his wings. In Matthew he is Christ the King in Mark he is Christ the servant in Luke he is Christ the Son of man, and in John he is Christ the Son of God.
In the Book of Acts he is Christ ascended, seated, sending. In all the letters he is Christ in dwelling and filling. In Romans He’s the Grace of God in Corinthians the power of love. In Galatians he is freedom from the curse of sin. Ephesians our glorious treasure.
Philippians our servants heart in Colossians he’s the Godhead Trinity in Thessalonians our coming King in Timothy Titus Philemon He’s our mediator and our faithful pastor in Hebrews the everlasting Covenant in James the One who heals the sick in first and second Peter he is our shepherd in John and Jude he is the lover coming for his bride. In Revelation, he is Christ the ruler. The conqueror rules over, conquers persecution, conquers false religion, conquers worldliness and death. He is Christ returning and he is Christ reigning Amen.
In the 39 Old Testament books, Jesus is the shadows, in the shadows, seen in analogies and seen in pictures. He’s in typess, he’s in rituals. He is prophesied. He is anticipated in the 27 New Testament books which complete the old really he’s the revealing Christ in person.
He is truth, he is reality, he’s in the present and he is in our future. And when you get this, when we get this, really get this. There will be a changed direction and there will be a changed life. And finally a change loyalty. In Revelation chapter 19, verse 16, it says on his robe and on his thigh he has this name written.
King of Kings and Lord Lords. Jesus is Lord. Our confession of faith.
It was 48 years this last Friday when I was baptized into Christ. I walked into the crossroads building up in Gainesville and went over to the Baptistry. And I touched the water. I’m hoping they changed the water by then. But just to remember that moment, I mean that moment, the greatest moment of life where you’re really given life.
Jesus is Lord. That confession of faith. Our confession of loyalty. Jesus is master, he’s leader, he’s commander, he’s King, he’s ruler, he’s director, he’s teacher, he’s shaper, he’s manager, he’s Overseer, he’s the head. And he is the ultimate authority. Before we will see Jesus as he is now in his glory in his splendor.
It all comes down to one question. Jesus is Lord in Scripture. But is Jesus Lord in your heart? Is Jesus Lord in your life, in your priorities in your decisions and your dating and your marriage and your family and your profession, in your everyday living? God forbid that we’re religious, but we’re not righteous. Church goers but accepting of sin in ourselves and in others.
God forbid that we are living a convenient Christianity instead of a consecrated Christianity. Making Jesus Lord in name, only expecting Jesus to fit our lives instead of making our lives fit Jesus. You know, I said at the beginning of my lesson that I would start by telling you how the lesson ends. And remember I said, it ends with great joy. Great joy.
Look in Luke 24, luke 24, verses 50 through 52, it says, when he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. And while he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. And then they worshiped him. And they returned to Jerusalem with with great joy. I told you that’s how it would end.
Just two directives from today. Enjoy the Book of Jesus first directive. Just enjoy the Book of Jesus. You know, if you’re off track with your daily quiet time, get back on it. If you’ve gotten lax with this, you you’ll be weak and you’ll eventually die spiritually.
You know, after five years ago, I had open heart surgery and I got off track. I could make excuses for myself being weak and hurting and needing sleep, and I needed to heal and all that. But I got out of the habit for a good long period of time, and I think now I think now and obviously getting back on it a long time ago. But I think now I’m enjoying getting into the word and prayer daily more than ever. Now, sitting in Maui with the palm trees that helps out, looking at the ocean that helps out.
But you’ve got the scriptures.
Are you with me on that one? Right. I get my cup of coffee. I have my quiet spots and I almost always really look forward to the time I get to know and I get to read and I get to study the very word of God, the very word of God, so that’s the first directive. Enjoy the Book of Jesus.
Second directive. Enjoy telling your Jesus story. Enjoy telling your Jesus story motivated out of your time in the Book of Jesus and being with Jesus. And if you’re off track with consistently offering the word of life to others to get back on it, if you need to get going on it again, what about just one new person that you invite that you get to know that you share with every week, inviting the Church, sharing your story. Your story is awesome.
Everybody’s story is incredible how Jesus has changed your life and then opening the Scriptures up so that they can see Jesus. So let’s be like the disciples at his ascension with a changed direction, with a changed life and with a changed loyalty. Knowing it’s all true. Knowing it’s worth everything. Knowing he is alive, knowing that the fundamental theme of all scripture is Jesus.
And let’s leave today and we may not see the smiles behind our masks. I don’t know. Maybe take them down and smile for a moment. I don’t know. But let’s leave today with great joy because of our great Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the son of Man, the Lamb of God, the great I am. He is the Alpha and the Omega, our God and our Savior. He is Jesus Christ, the Lord, King of Kings and Lord of Lords and the Church, says Amen.