Malankara World

Bible Study

'From Mourners To Missionaries!' Commentary on Luke 23:28-35

by Brian Bell

1. Introduction:

1.1. Harvest Crusade - last night tonight; Toby Mac, Crystal & Dennis.

1.2. Last Section (Part 1): A Walk To Remember! - Jesus Journeying With Them!

Jesus Sympathizing With Them! - Jesus Expounding the Scriptures To Them! And, this week we’ll witness Jesus Revealing Himself To Them!

1.2.1. Catch newcomers up on story. Vs.24 – Their aching void…“But Him they did not see.”

1.2.2. Today we move from sadness of doubt to gladness of faith!

1.3. Outline: Welcoming Him; Discerning Him; Rejoicing In Him; Telling Others Of Him.


2.1. WELCOMING HIM! (28,29)

2.2. Indicated he would have gone further – Christ testing them to see if they really desired to abide with Him.

2.2.1. He awaited their invitation to come in.

2.3. What a blessing for them that they were given to hospitality!

2.3.1. What they would have missed had they not been!

2.4. Abide with us –

2.4.1. Did you know that the word religion implies a bond.

2.4.2. The 2nd ½ of the word comes from the Latin root ligare “to bind”.

2.4.3. Like our word ligament (the bond of fibrous tissue that holds the bones together)

2.4.4. The Christian religion then implies our link/bond w/Christ (that which bonds us together w/Him in a love-relationship). Now, that love-relationship can hardly be maintained w/a dead person who lived 2000 yrs ago, & now has passed entirely beyond human contact???

2.5. Abide Illustration:

Dr. Howard Hendricks tells of a small town in Texas where one year the school burned to the ground with the loss of more than 200 lives, because they didn’t have a sprinkler system. They began to rebuild after the initial shock had passed and called in the foremost company in fire prevention equipment to install a sprinkler system. When the new school was opened for public inspection, guides pointed out the new sprinklers in each room, to alleviate fears of another disaster. The school operated without incident for a number of years, then they needed to add on to the existing structure. As work progressed, they made a startling discovery. The new fire extinguishing equipment had never been connected to the water supply! They had the latest in technology and equipment, yet it was entirely useless!

2.5.1. Jn.15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

2.5.2. Or, using the analogy above, “I am the water supply, you are the piping system. He who is connected to the water supply, and I connected to him, their sprinkler heads work properly; for without Me you can do nothing.”

2.6. DISCERNING HIM! (30,31)

2.7. They offered Him hospitality, & He accepted it; & then He gave them hospitality!

2.7.1. A common meal turned into a communion meal. An ordinary meal turns into a sacramental meal.

2.8. Took, blessed, broke, & gave – a familiar act.

2.9. Jesus came & talked to them, when their hopes were dead & buried.

2.9.1. But now the meaning of life became clear & the darkness became light.

2.10. Some ordinary disciples, on an ordinary road, to an ordinary town, in an ordinary home, eating an ordinary meal, but who invited an extraordinary guest…in!

2.10.1. And He vanished from their sight!

2.11. Here were 2 people in a very distressed state, unable to think straight.

2.11.1. 1st of all Jesus asked questions: He got them to talk, established a relationship, and so made them receptive to what He had to say.

2.11.2. 2nd He explained the Scripture - showing them that what had been puzzling them.

2.11.3. Finally, He revealed his presence. “Stay with us” they had said to him on reaching Emmaus. In the deepest sense He did, even after they ceased to see Him.

2.12. REJOICING IN HIM! (32)

2.13. Heart burn within us….the good kind!

2.13.1. Didn’t you feel something different when we spoke with Him?

2.13.2. This is experiential – I guess Experience can be legit! usually hear of it in the negative.

2.14. While other teachers only touch the ear, He penetrates & touches the heart.

2.15. TELLING OTHERS OF HIM! (33-35)

2.16. When we suddenly realize the Lord Jesus died for us, and rose again, our lives also are forever changed!

2.17. See their radiant eagerness!

2.17.1. Their limping doubt has become leaping faith!

2.17.2. The wilderness has blossomed as the rose!

2.17.3. Beauty has replaced ashes; oil of joy has rubbed out their mourning, & the garment of praise has done away w/heaviness.

2.17.4. There was now the gladness of certainty!

2.17.5. They had seen & known & communed with their Lord.

2.18. Q: Which direction had they been walking to go home? N/W (towards the sunset)

2.18.1. The Christian is the one who walks not toward the sunset but toward the sunrise! ago it was said of the children of Israel that they journeyed in the wilderness toward the sunrise. (Numb.21:11)

2.18.2. “The Christian goes onward, not to a night which falls, but to a dawn which breaks!”1

2.19. (33) They had to share their experience, and no one in Emmaus would understand.

2.19.1. One of the best signs of recovery from depression is a desire to be back among other believer’s.

2.19.2. So the long discourage walk to Emmaus now became a joyous run to Jerusalem, with renewed strength and encouragement.

2.19.3. They take off in the dark, but their love becomes a lamp unto their feet!

2.20. (34) This is actually the 11 speaking.

2.21. * However the resurrection took place this I am certain: Christ survived His death; Proved His survival to His followers; and, Is still available to those who seek Him!2

2.21.1. Interesting, the earliest sermons in the church (in Acts) were about His Resurrection, not expositions of His teachings. less would have turned runaways into missionaries overnight.

2.21.2. If Jesus’ death had been the end of Him, it would have been the death of His religion. friends probably would have venerated His tomb; His enemies would have exploded the “myth” of resurrection, if they could disprove it.

2.21.3. Remember the resurrection was preached w/in 6 weeks of the crucifixion, in the very area where His death had taken place!!! of people could have refuted it, had it not taken place!

2.22. (35) They couldn’t keep this good news to themselves! – 2 Kings 7:9.

2.22.1. In the same way these 2 disciples of the Lord, who had been blinded by their own grief, decided that the fact that Jesus was alive, and had appeared to them was too good to keep to themselves, so they left immediately for Jerusalem, even though it was dark. didn’t worry about the danger, or the distance.

2.22.2. They had good news to share and they couldn’t wait to tell their story.

2.22.3. Great reminder: Speak what you know; testify what you have seen!

2.23. When you’ve met w/Jesus, you should immediately go away to do His will!

2.23.1. Not to emphasize creeds, doctrines, liturgies, & ceremonies, but to spread His loving spirit in the world.

2.23.2. That doesn’t mean giving up what you are doing. It means doing the same job in a different spirit for a different Master.

2.23.3. No job is of itself secular. It is secular or sacred according to the way we do it & the One to whom we offer it. was as much the Son of God when he did carpentry as when He preached sermons. before he had preached at all the Voice said, “this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.”

2.23.4. At the end of our journey the important thing will not be what we’ve done; it will be what all our doing has made us!!!3

2.24. Communion:


2.26. He was recognized by them in the breaking of bread -

2.26.1. Was it because of the Last Supper (some say but they were not there!)

2.26.2. Was it because of the Feeding of the 5000?

2.26.3. Was it because they saw His nailed scarred hands?

2.26.4. Either way He took them back to His life, Death, & Resurrection.

2.27. What makes a common meal into a communion meal?

2.27.1. Isn’t it every time you remember Him? (i.e. “do this in remembrance of Me”) Isn’t it every time you welcome Him to the table? (sense His presence)

2.28. Poem:

Though He talked of the Kingdom & all it would bring,
The disciples knew not that they walked with the king;
At the evening repast, on the home table spread,
He was known unto them in the breaking of bread.
So we wonder, we question, we doubt, & we fear,
Seeking Christ in the distance who liveth so near,
And then back to the hearthstone at eventide led
He is known unto us in the breaking of bread.
With the purest emotion our hearts may have burned
When the presence of Christ was but dimly discerned;
Yet the spiritual hunger no other has fed -
He is known to our souls in the breaking of bread. (Alfred J. Hough)4

2.29. My shocking find on sin:

2.30. Did you know Jesus only spoke on sin on 6 occasions (found in noun form), & 3 occasions (verb from). Paul 91 times!

2.30.1. When Jesus did speak of sin it was to condemn hypocrites, or reveal sin to those who wouldn’t see it in their life.

2.30.2. Remember the story of Michelangelo when he saw in the builder’s yard, a lump of marble, “stained, unattractive, & cast aside.” He said, “Take it to my studio. There is an angel imprisoned in that marble & I can set it free!”

2.30.3. That seemed to be Christ’s heart toward the penitent sinner.

2.30.4. Go to the records:

2.30.5. [1] Men despised a woman because she was a prostitute. Jesus doesn’t pretend she was an angel. He says, “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven for she loved much.” was an angel imprisoned in that woman, & He set it free.

2.30.6. [2] A woman was taken in adultery. He doesn’t pretend she isn’t a sinner, because He says, “sin no more.” But He also says, “I don’t condemn you.”

2.30.7. [3] Even with a dying guilty criminal He made a love-relationship. Jesus passed through the gates of death, with His arm around the shoulder of a thief.

2.31. This morning: is Jesus speaking to your heart (feel mind-stirring & heart-burning) “Is there an angel imprisoned in you that He desires to set free!”

2.31.1. Turn from your sin. Abide in Him.

2.31.2. He awaits your invitation to come in! Will you invite Him in this morning or let Him pass on?


1 William Barclay; Luke 24.

2 Leslie Weatherhead; Treasury of Great Preaching; pg.132.

3 Leslie Weatherhead; Treasury of Great Preaching; pg.134.

4 Griffith Thomas; Luke; pg.385

Source: Sermon Notes on the Gospel of Luke by Brian Bell

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