Ministry of Love

The intention of this blog is to share Biblical messages at least on a weekly basis. Any response is appreciated. I do not expect everyone to agree with my interpretation of Biblical passages. I will try to respond with love and thoughtfulness.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

On the Road to Nowhere by John

On the Road to Nowhere
Luke 24:13-35

1. When you get up in the morning, you have some idea of what you will do with the day, don't you?
(1) You will go to church, or work, or school, or fishing, or you will drive somewhere.
(2) You have some idea about what this new day will hold.
2. We do get surprised sometimes with what actually happens during the day, don't we? ill. When we served a little church 90 miles west of Fort Worth 49 years ago, we were asked to have dinner with some people who had a turkey farm. They had not been to church since we moved there, so they gave us directions on the phone. After church, I loaded Dolores and our baby into our 1956 Plymouth, and I followed their directions exactly. When I turned off the highway, Dolores said, "I don't think this is the right road." I told her I was following direction exactly. After rocking along over some almost impassible places, we arrived at the top of a hill. The road was cut out of solid rock with a steep precipice on the driver's side. I stopped because there was a crack in the road ahead, and it looked too wide for us to cross. It was. I got back in the car, and we backed up a long, long way before we found a place to turn around. By the time we got home, it was long after one o'clock. I called the people. They had given up on us and had eaten. I apologized and I told her how we had followed directions to the letter. When I told her the road we took, she said, "Oh! I forgot that road was there! It's been closed for years!" We thought we were right, but we were on a road that went nowhere!
(1) When the Twin Towers went down in flames September 9, 2001, did you have any idea that was going to happen that day? Or what that day would mean to us and to the rest of the world?
(2) Sometimes death is predictable, but many people die without the slightest warning!
3. Our carefully laid plans frequently get changed, too. ill. Our daughter, Susan planned to catch a plane to Hawaii early Wednesday morning. She bought her ticket quite a while ago. She got up very early, got ready, and the phone rang. It was the airline telling her that her flight was cancelled. They rescheduled her for later. What a bummer! But she is a stoic! She just went back to bed!
4. In our text, two men, one named Cleopas another unamed one, were on the road to Emmaus.
5. Both were followers of Jesus, and they thought they knew what the future held for them.
5. They didn't. When we meet them, they are going home.

I. What Were These Men Doing on that Road?

1. At that moment, they didn't realize it, but they were on the road to nowhere!
(1) Before this moment, these men followed the Son of God, and they thought their future was secure!
(2) Some of Jesus' followers probably thought Jesus would lead an army, defeat Rome and restore Israel's dominance in the world!
(3) That's how their leaders understood the Old Testament references to the Messiah. That's what they taught the people.
(4) Other followers may have had a more enlightened spiritual vision, but it certainly was not fully developed.
(5) Many of us today think we can safely predict what God will do next, but we are probably as far from the truth as those early Christians were.
2. Too often when God acts, we are disappointed and dejected, and we try to go home again.
3. We know we can't go home again, amen? But we try!
(1) We may not have been comfortable in the past, but we may have been more comfortable then than we are now.
(2) We think we can find healing for our wounded spirits, right?
(3) From the beginning, most of us are aware things do not always go the way we plan! ill. When the Hebrews left Egypt and faced the pains of traveling through desert places, they longed for Egypt! (Numbers 11:4-6) "The Israelites started wailing and said, 'If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost--also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!" They wanted to turn back to the past!
(4) I think most of us are painfully aware we can't turn back the clock and undo the decisions we made.
4. That's where these men on the road to Emmaus were. For them, it was a road to nowhere!
(1) The crucifixion of Jesus dashed their high hopes for the future.
(2) The Scripture doesn't give the details, but it does tell us they stood still with downcast faces (v. 17). Then they arrived at home and invited Jesus in, (v. 29). I believe they wished things had turned out differently.
(3) I'm sure they were considered their options for the future, and that they found them hopeless!
(4) Folks, when we face times like that, it's uncomfortable, isn't it? But...
(5) Such times do not have to be bad times!
(6) We frequently get off track. Our lives need a change in direction, and that's what such times are good for.
(6) It isn't a happy time! It's traumatic! But when God works things out for us, the joy bells start ringing!

II. These Men Needed the Leadership of Jesus!

1. Without Jesus, every road is a road to nowhere.
(1) The way to get on the right road is to turn around! Whether you are saved or lost, turn around! (We call that repentance.)
(2) Repent! When you do, Jesus will lead the way!
2. These men needed to have their faith restored! Jesus always knows what we need, and He either sends someone to show us the way, or He does it Himself.
3. In this case, Jesus appeared and joined these men in their walk.
(1) They were kept from recognizing Him.
(2) If they had, they might have bolted for home. They knew Jesus died. (Didn't ghost stories scare you when you were young?... Wouldn't it scare you now if someone you knew was dead suddenly appeared and started talking to you?)
(3) Why Jesus didn't make Himself immediately known, we don't know, but the Scripture says, "they were kept from recognizing him." v. 16.
(4) God did not choose to give us the reason, but we know He always has a good reason for everything He does.
4. We do know what Jesus did. He began (v 25-27) with the prophets and explained what the Scriptures said about Himself.
5. People some of us spend years in college and seminary, and many more years in private study and prayers, but I am sure all do does not equal the lesson these two men learned in their walk home!
6. They received direct leadership from Jesus!

III. We Need a "Road" Experience with Jesus!

1. So many of us try religion, or have already tried religion, and we have discovered religion is a road to nowhere!
2. Like these two men, we are spiritually downcast.
3. We don't know what the future holds!
4. We may even wonder if there is a God!
5. We don't know why we are here!
6. We see people happy in Jesus, and we wonder, "Why can't I be happy like that?
7. The answer is, you can, and you will, but not until you turn to Jesus!
8. The answer for all of our doubts and disbeliefs is to turn to Jesus.
9. It's great to say, "Jesus arose from the dead," amen? But it is far better to say, "HE IS ALIVE!" That's what these
men discovered in the words Jesus spoke and the bread He broke!
10. We all need to have an experience like these men had!


1. Jesus opened these two men's spiritual eyes.
2. He gave them a powerful message to share.
3. He filled their future with:
1) Hope and Joy.
2) Purpose in living. and...
3) Power to accomplish His will in their lives.
2. If you know you are on the wrong road, another road to nowhere, then turn around! Turn to God!
3. Jesus is alive right now! And Jesus will set you feet on the right path! He will guide you each step of the way all your life!
4. There is no life apart from Jesus.
5. There is no hope apart from Jesus!
6. Jesus has already sent people to you to tell you what you need, and you may not have recognized them as sent from God Who loves you!
7. Wouldn't you like to begin a brand new life in Jesus?
8. In a moment, we are going to give you an invitation to turn away from whatever you have been doing, and to turn to Jesus!
9. You may say," But I don't believe!
10. Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is hear through the word of Christ." (That's what we have been giving you this morning.
11. In Matthew 14:28, Peter did not believe anyone could walk on water until he saw Jesus doing it. Then he believed Jesus could walk on water. He still didn't believe he could do it himself, but he hoped he could! He asked Jesus to order him to come to Him on the water. Jesus ordered him, and that's when he believed he could.
12. The moment you decide in your heart that you want to be saved and to live eternally with Jesus, you can ask Jesus for faith to believe in Him, and He will give you the faith you need!
13. You can do that while we pray.

Emmanuel Community Church 4/23/2006


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