Sermon Overview & Prayer: An Unexpected Companion

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AN UNEXPECTED COMPANION – PRAYER POINTS
C.J. Mahaney |  Luke 24:13-35 |  4.17.22
These written prayers are intended to fuel your meditation on this passage and your enjoyment of God in prayer

That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself....So he went in to stay with them. When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord has risen indeed...!

Luke 24:13-21, 25-27, 29-34

Lord God, thank you for this reminder that only you can open blind eyes to behold the risen Savior. The fact that we know you, able to behold your glory in your Word, is a priceless gift! We pray that whenever we go to your Word, the Holy Spirit will open the eyes of our understanding, that we might see you, trust you, and faithfully follow you, the risen Christ!

Father, it is easy to wish that we had the same face-to-face encounter of the travelers on the road to Emmaus. However, there is such comfort in the fact that while their experience was real, it was brief and fleeting. Our experience, on the other hand, is ever-present because of the indwelling Spirit, and the revelation provided by your living and active Word! You are always with us and will never leave us or forsake us! Thank you!

Sadly, Lord, like the travelers on the road to Emmaus, we can likewise draw conclusions about life (and about you) based on our own unmet desires, or notions about how things should be. Oh, how often we lean on our own understanding. Please help us to keep the cross in view, as a reminder that what seemed most tragic was in fact the most glorious of all gifts. May your Word, the gospel, your trustworthiness, and your sovereignty always be the lenses through which we view life! Thank you for keeping us in perfect peace as our minds are fixed on you.

Father, thank you for the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, whereby we proclaim his death until he returns. We ask as a church family that at every visit to the Lord’s table, the Holy Spirit would provide a deeper knowledge, and a deeper understanding of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ – the eternal Son of God, the sacrificial Lamb of God, risen from the dead.

Lord, we see in your intentional appearance to Simon Peter, a most powerful message of hope-filled grace and mercy. Peter’s denial, to which we can all in some way relate, was fully forgiven! No condemnation. No separation. Full restoration. When Satan tempts us to despair, and tells us of the guilt within, direct us to upward look and see Him there, who made an end of all our sin!

Holy Spirit, once again, we ask for your illumination as we read the Word of God. Grant us a deeper knowledge of the only true God and Jesus Christ whom he has sent. And may knowing that we are reading of the God who loves us and gave himself for us, stir us to live lives worthy of the gospel!

Heavenly Father, we thank you and praise you, because our confidence is not in seeing, but in reading, beholding, and believing. And Lord, we thank you that you have revealed to us the most wondrous of all miracles – He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

 

OVERVIEW OF THE SERMON:
In Luke 24, we see the risen Jesus walk with two of his disciples and interpret Scripture about Himself. He reveals Himself first through the Word, causing their hearts to burn within them. Then He opens their eyes to His true identity as the risen Lord, thereby leading them to joy and worship. In God’s mercy, we have experienced the same eye-opening power of the Spirit and can join in rejoicing with these disciples.

 

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. C.J. pointed out Jesus’ compassion towards these grieving disciples. What verses or phrases in the text highlight Jesus’ compassion and assure you of His care for hurting people?
  2. Jesus pointed His disciples to the Word first and foremost. What are some practical ways that you can give the Word a primary place in your life and routine?
  3. Think back on your own conversion story. How can you specifically praise God for mercifully opening your eyes to see Jesus?
  4. C.J. quoted John Stott on the resurrection: “The resurrection is God’s decisive demonstration that he had not died in vain.” How does the truth of the resurrection give you fresh confidence, joy, or hope?
  5. How does this story of God opening blind disciples’ eyes encourage you in evangelism at work, school, with family, in the neighborhood, etc.?