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March 5, 2015

New Creation Church Singapore 1 March 2015 Sermon Summary: Road to Emmaus

Below is a recap/summary of Joseph Prince's sermon on the first sunday of March 2015. The theme for the whole year is The Year of Restoration, so let's keep reminding each other about God's supernatural strength that makes everything possible (when things are according to His will). 

I love how pastor Prince dissects the verses and goes through them one by one, verses by verses. Just like a short session bible study class except it comes with a handsome charming guy on the stage and funny sarcastic jokes about things. 

Most of all, please enjoy this perspective on Road to Emmaus, inbetween Jesus' resurrection and ascension to heaven :)

March 1st 2015

Revelations on the road of Emmaus
by Ps Joseph Prince, New Creation Church Singapore

Our biggest challenge on following God: either we're ignorant, or we're slow to believe. 

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. (Proverbs 25:2 NIV)

My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body. (Proverbs 4:20-22 NIV)

On the first day of Jesus resurrection, He chose to appear to two persons in the road to Emmaus. Why didn't He choose to visit the 11 disciples first? Why the two? Let's dig deeper. 

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him. (Luke 24:13-16 NIV)

What we know:
- There were two people walking.
- One of the name is Cleopas, no mention of the the other person's name
- No mention of the gender. We deduce the two are husband and wife. Thus the wife's name is omitted (in line with the Jewish custom)

In garden of eden, God walked together with two humans. Adam and Eve. It was an intimate communion, when God and humans always converse with each other in a dear way. In the road to Emmaus, God walked again with two, Cleopas and wife. 

V13 The village of Emmaus are surrounded with plenty of warm baths. The baths are relaxing. They bring peace and relieve tensions in the body

V14 The two were communing about events surrounding Jesus crucifixion and the turmoil among Christians

V15 Whenever we are meditating about God's words, even if we do not understand what we are discussing about, Jesus Himself will draw near. Not the angels, not any messengers, but Jesus Himself will come to us. 

V16. The eyes of the two were restrained. God knows that appearing His nailpierced hands won't produce faith to the faithless. When we don't understand things that happen in our lives, we ought to ask God: why are our eyes restrained?

He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?” They stood still, their faces downcast. One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in 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 priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but 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 they had seen a vision of angels, who said 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.” (Luke 24:17-24 NIV)

V25 The first is: the word foolish one (no understanding) is different from the word fool Jesus often told the Pharisees (Greek: moros, harsher in degree). Second, slow to believe (dull/lazy in mind). God's words won't only minister to our physical health, but also work miracles in our intellects. The words transform our minds to become sharper and quicker-restoration of the mind and body

V26 Some people refer Jesus as the prophet, or the teacher. But Jesus refers Himself as the Christ (the Messiah, the Annointed One). 

V27 Jesus patiently went through all the trouble to explain the relevance of the crucifixion to fulfill the prophecy about His coming and going written in the Scriptures, beginning with the Moses and all the Prophets. 

V28 Jesus indicated that He would have gone further with the walk and the sharing. But perhaps, they had arrived in the village. 

V29 unlike our modern day custom, the Jewish calendar starts the day from the evening, after 6pm. 

V30 He took the bread, blessed it and gave it to the two. No mention of the cup and wine. But they were communing. 

V31 after they ate the bread, they knew Him (epiginosco: complete). Their eyes were opened, then Jesus vanished from their sight. Mission accomplished! 

In garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve ate the fruit from the tree of life,  the two eyes were opened, they knew their nakedness. Condemnation and judgment for all mankind then follow. 

Bread of communion = Jesus = The tree of life

V32 their heart are burning. First point: Heart (Greek: singular). Why not plural hearts? 

When you have communion with people, you will be singular. For Christian couples, you will have one heart, not hearts. Bonding doesn't happen by talking to each other about each other, no, you'll quarrel more. Bonding happens when spouses talk about the Lord. Communion brings Jesus Himself to draw near. 

Second point: in garden of Eden, God walked with two, and after the two ate the fruit from tree of life and knew their nakedness, fear came. After the resurrection, God walked again with two, and after the two ate the bread and knew Jesus, restoration comes. The heart is burning with love. 

I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:48-51 NIV)

Everytime we take the bread, we receive life and restoration. 

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and 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. While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (Luke 24:33-36 NIV)

V36 again, Jesus comes near when we are talking ie communing about Him. 

The bread is the tree of life. That's why we ought to expound things concerning God: to draw Him near, to bring unity as one heart, to bring peace. Receive life from Jesus and give life to each other. Ask God to restore. 

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