1. God’s purpose throughout the Bible is consistent. (He is the God of the O.T. and of the N.T.) If our sermon from the Old Testament text could be preached at a Jewish Synagogue without any mention of Christ, we are dead wrong.
2. Jesus took TIME to teach men the things of God, so should we. Many times in the “evangelical” world today, the idea is to do what works instead of what’s right (Derek Webb). We have to understand that change comes through the faithful, patient teaching of God’s Word by gifted, called men of God. There is no shortcut to godliness.
3. There is a positive correlation between foolishness, unbelief and ignorance of God’s Word. Jesus shows us that foolish men do not believe God’s Word, therefore they do not understand the things of God. People who are unregenerate (unconverted) cannot understand God’s Word. (1 Cor. 2:14–“But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (NAS, emphasis mine)
4. Jesus is the promised Messiah. (Verse 26) This seems self-explanatory, but I will briefly elaborate. Jesus, in verse 26, after the resurrection is again punctuating God’s plan in redemption. He is who He said He was, and He is who the prophets had foretold. This would have carried much weight with Jewish people…and it should with us (gentiles) as well.
5. Jesus models the placement of suffering before the enjoyment of glory (heaven). Suffering will happen in this world. People will betray us, we will be wronged, we will get cancer, we will lose children and parents, we will fail. Suffering can be endured by focusing on the One who is in control of all suffering, and realizing that this life is only temporary. We too have a “joy set before us,” namely the beautiful, excellent Christ Jesus.
6. We should teach the Bible in an orderly fashion. (This might be a stretch, but stay with me…) Jesus begins with Moses (I think this means the book of Genesis) and then, the prophets. He explains “big truths” from the Bible. It sounds a little like Jesus is doing Systematic Theology with these two men. He does not read (or quote) these books of the Bible, but he harvests great truths (in a way that can be understood by these men) from the Scripture and mercifully teaches them. Pastors, we should make the big truths of the Bible accessible to our people in this way as well.
7. The main purpose for teaching our children (and adults) how to read is to know God through His Word. Are you thankful that you were taught to read? Do you know how much of a blessing it is to be able to read the Bible? How many people throughout the years and today have died never learning to read the Bible in English or in their native language? Remember “everyone who has, more shall be given and he will have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.” Matthew 25:29. How are we stewarding our abilities for the Kingdom of God? The master is on His way home to settle accounts!
8. We must never underestimate the depth of God’s Word. This exercise has shown me that we can gaze on the Bible for hours, days, weeks, months, and years and NEVER fully plumb the depths of this inspired Word. These men on the road were settling for a nominal value of the Bible. If you are still in the “shallow end” of the God’s pool, realize that you are not in a pool, but in a never ending, raging ocean that can never be fully navigated! Let’s spend our lives in the deep waters, so that when we fall, we do not injure ourselves on the sharp rocks of doubt and ignorance.
9. The Bible is Inerrant. We see in verse 25 that God inspired the prophets to speak His Word. If the prophets are acting as God’s mouth-peice, can the Bible be trusted? Do you have this conviction?
10. The Bible is Sufficient. The Bible is God’s Holy, inspired inerrant Word, then why don’t we read it, pray it, sing it, preach it and see it in worship services? The answer is that we believe our pragmatic acrostics and success formulas are better! Is the power of the Bible limited? May it never be! We should wholeheartedly give our lives to knowing and delighting in All the Scriptures in church and in the home! These men were not trusting in the sufficiency of Scripture to lead them to the truth. Are you?
11. Suffering does NOT signify the absence of God. (In fact it seems to be just the opposite) Jesus says that it was necessary for Him to suffer. Apparently God made it necesssary. Who else could place necessity upon Jesus? We should take heed of this fact when we suffer. God is testing, not leaving. God is pruning, not cutting. God is loving, not forgetting. God is good, not evil. God is aware of all, not ignorant of our situation. If we cannot rest in God in suffering, where do we turn? These men did not understand this…do you?
12. If it was necessary for Christ to suffer, how much more are we likely to suffer on this earth? We are deceiving ourselves if we think we will make it through this life without suffering. The only question is…”Do you have a Rock to cling to or not?”
13. Jesus is a Sympathetic Savior. Hebrews 2:17,18 “Therefore, He had to be made like the brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid who are tempted.” (NAS, emphasis mine) Jesus sympathizes with these men. He knows our needs and can related to living in this world. He will come to your aid!
14. Jesus is an excellent Savior because He interacts with men. This is where Christianity gets strange. We not only can know the Sovereign God of the universe, but we can interact with this Christ. Have you noticed that their is a conversation going on? Jesus is allowing these men to speak, and He is interacting with their thoughts and words. Can you come up with another “god” that is as majestic as Yahweh and yet humble enough to have a conversation with sinful humans? Our God is AMAZING.
15. Jesus is a merciful savior because He illuminates the hearts of men. The hearts of these men were darkened and their countenance was low. Jesus illuminates their hearts hearts and minds, and shows them wonderful things from His Law! Are you praying for illumination when you read the Scriptures?
16. Jesus knows how much time we devote to the Bible. Don’t lie to yourself and say “I go to seminary, or I preach and teach regularlly, so I don’t need to meditate and linger over God’s Word the way most people do.” That is a lie, and your ministry will suffer. Jesus knows how much time we spend seeking Him out in the Scriptures. We all need to repent of not searching for Christ in all the Scriptures.
17. If Jesus rebukes the ignorance of these men, how much more will He rebuke those who do not cherish His Word, as we possess the entire canon of Scripture? We need not deceive ourselves into thinking that Jesus understands our lack of commitment to the Scriptures. He does not say to these men “I know you guys are busy and hard workers.” He rebukes them as fools. What is awaiting us on the Last Day, as we have been given so much opportunity to know and preach the Word of God?
18. People who profess to God and yet are ignorant of the Scriptures must be called to repentance. We should not stand by as people who are professing believers cast shadows on our churches and on Christ. We must call people to repent of their carnal lifestyles and trust in Christ. Too many churches have unregenerate people serving as leaders and even deacons. Jesus did not hesitate to rebuke these men and seek restoration. We should follow His example.
19. It is foolish not to believe the Gospel. One text on this, but it is self-explanatory: Romans 12:1–“Therefore I urge brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your acceptable (or reasonable) service of worship.”
20. Jesus does not sympathize with doubt. I don’t think we should be too comfortable with our doubt of Christ. We should ask for Christ’s help, but not think that He understands and is ok with our lack of faith. We should have faith, and not be double minded: “But let him ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” James 1:6-8 (NAS)
21. Disciples of Jesus should know Jesus. No explanation needed…(Matthew 7:21)
22. “And He said to them”… God seeks to be known by His creatures. Jesus had no obligation to explain these things to these two men. He shows that God is the pursuer, and we cannot pursue God until we are illuminated. God did not have to walk through the Garden asking “Adam, where are you?” He was reaching out in mercy. That mercy is available if you will trust in Christ.
23. Jesus preaches a sermon from the Old Testament concerning Himself. This is not a mysterious message from God. It has already been revealed through the Scriptures. It is interesting that Jesus resorts to teaching these men. Too often preaching today gets reduced to flashy, sharp, polished public speaking. If teaching “all things concerning Jesus” does not happen in a sermon, it was not a sermon.
24. All revelation must be tested and tried against Scripture. Everything that these men saw should have been placed beside the Bible. If Jesus first goes to the shouldn’t we? The were more amazed by Jesus because of God’s grace that allowed them to see Him in the Bible!
25. We should not spend our time waiting for signs and wonders, but seeking to know God (by the ministry of the Holy Spirit) through His Word. The signs and wonders have occured. Jesus died on the cross. God’s wrath for the elect has been satisfied. Now, we should not looking for signs, but we should become signs ourselves pointing people to the all sufficient, all satisfying Christ revealed to us in the Bible.