Jesus, Open Our Minds (Luke 24:13-45)

Sometimes we need our eyes opened

Last Thursday, my five year old, Mercedes, had her tonsils and adenoids out. She was so scared. She was so scared that she would wake up in the surgery. She was scared that she would wake up after the surgery and we would not be there. We walked in the hospital and down the hall to the same day surgery. A nurse saw her come in and how nervous she was. The nurse approached Mercedes, seeing she was nervous, gave her a stuffed animal and said that she could even take in into surgery with her. We head in the room and the tears start, for Mercedes too. Meagan sits on the bed with Mercedes and eventually she got more comfortable. Eventually, the anesthesiologist comes in and they give her some medicine. Within a few minutes she is QUITE content. I was quite nervous how I would react as they wheeled her away, but since that medicine made her content, so was I. Within 30 minutes our pager goes off and the doctor comes out to tell us things went well.

Over the last few days I have had my eyes opened to the “reality and raw emotions of a father watching his daughter go into surgery. Yet, I realize that many dads face surgeries that are much more serious.

Yet, I also share with you that Mercedes had her eyes opened to surgery as well.

Yet, I I want to tell you that Mercedes really needed her eyes opened after the surgery.

They wheeled her back into the room and it in a sad and humorous time we saw Mercedes dopey for the first time. For the first time ever we saw our usual energetic, and VERY logical and rational daughter make really no sense at all. At first she could hardly talk and I had to compose my usual very stoic emotions as I felt myself start to sweat and have emotions I usually do not experience. I thought to how I heard of dads passing out in the hospital. I thought that would not be me. That was the last thing I remember, no I am kidding. I sat down and within a few minutes it was not sad but humorous. Mercedes started talking more.

She said, “Is the surgery down?” Meagan “yes it is all over.”

Mercedes, “I don’t remember it at all.”

Mercedes, “what is this in my arm for?” Referring to the IV line.

The nurse, “That is to give you a drink of water.”

A minute later:

Mercedes, “what is this in my arm for?” Referring to the IV line.

Meagan, “That is to give you water.”

Mercedes said again, “Is the surgery down?” Meagan “yes it is all over.”

Mercedes, “I don’t remember it at all.”

A few seconds later:

Mercedes, “what is this in my arm for?” Referring to the IV line.

Meagan, “That is to give you water.”

A few seconds later again:

Mercedes said again, “Is the surgery down?” Meagan “yes it is all over.”

Mercedes, “I don’t remember it at all.”

A few seconds later:

Mercedes, “what is this in my arm for?” Referring to the IV line.

Meagan, “That is to give you water.”

Mercedes eyes were opened to surgery, but they needed opened to reality after the surgery. She was quite dopey.

Then she started:

Can we go home?

I was a little worried but by mid afternoon she was running and jumping through the house.

By 11 am, Mercedes EYES were wide opened to reality.

The disciples needed their eyes opened and sometimes we need our eyes opened.

Let me come back to that, but our eyes are opened by God, by Time with God.

God calls us to an intimate relationship with God.

I heard intimacy described as “into-me-see.” It was hard watching Mercedes that way because I have an intimate relationship with my daughter.

Do we have an intimate relationship with God?

INTIMACY: HOW IS YOUR PRAYER LIFE?

Do we have a burning desire to worship?

  1. Do we desire to worship?
  2. Are our hearts burning to be with Jesus?
  3. Do we want to be here?

Do we need a fire in our heart?

Eugene Peterson writes:

“She came to see me at the recommendation of a friend. She had been troubled for years, seeing psychiatrists and not getting any better. The consultation had been arranged on the telephone so that when she walked into my study it was as a first meeting. Her opening statement was, ‘Well, I guess you want to know all about my sex life- that’s what all the psychiatrists want to know.’

“I answered, ‘If that is what you want to talk about I’ll listen. What I would really be interested in finding out about, though, is your prayer life.’

“She didn’t think I was serious, but I was. I was interested in the details of her prayer life for the same reason that her psychiatrists had been interested in the details of her sex life–to find out how she handled intimate relationships.

What do sexuality and prayer have in common? These are both aspects of a beautiful thing called intimacy.

Are we connected to God?

Can we sense His presence?

Can we sense His lead?

That is what I wish to talk about today. We already read the story of Jesus meeting two on their way to Emmaus, but let me emphasize just a few verses:

Verses 44-45:

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 

  1. Let me summarize what is happening here.
    1. Jesus has been crucified and now it is Sunday and He has risen.
    2. Now a few people, who are not part of the 11 disciples, are returning to life as it was. I can say that some of the disciples did this to. They went back to fishing (John 21). Except the women. The women were more devoted.
    3. So, a few of them are on the road to Emmaus and so they are traveling away from Jerusalem. They are talking, but it seems like they are disappointed. They think it is over.
    4. Jesus comes to them, but they do not recognize Him. They talk with Him. They tell Him what is going on and they even say, “We were hoping it was He who was going to redeem Israel.” (verse 21)
    5. In verses 25-27 Jesus explain the Old Testament to them. He tells them from Moses all the way through the prophets what the Scriptures say of Himself.
    6. Now, they still do not know this is Jesus. Not until verse 31.
    7. In verse 33 they had back to Jerusalem.
    8. They meet up with the other disciples.
    9. If you read verses 36-43 the other disciples do not totally get it either. They think He is a ghost, or an angel. He eats in front of them to prove He is real.
    10. So, we come to verse 44: He said to them,“This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. 
  • Do we need our minds opened?
    1. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
    2. Do we desire to worship?
    3. Are our hearts burning to be with Jesus?
    4. Do we want to be here?
    5. Play: Little House on the Prairie clip from Mary teaching at the school where they do hocus pocus…
    6. I don’t think we are like them, but sometimes we are very limited to what we are taught or exposed to or not taught.
    7. Jesus had traveled with the disciples and He had taught them, but they missed this.
    8. Is it possible that we miss things too?
    9. The disciples had a different view of how God was to rescue Israel. (John 11:16) They were expecting someone who would setup a Kingdom now. They were expecting someone who would literally conquer Rome. They expected a William Wallace Braveheart character. They expected Russell Crow. They expected John Wayne.
    10. The disciples needed their eyes literally opened by Jesus.
    11. Is it possible that we are limited in our view point by the church we grew up in or the society we are in?
    12. Is it possible that our thinking is confined and limited?
    13. I was taught in high school youth group that the King James Version is the best translation. I believed that until I got to college.
    14. I needed my eyes opened.
    15. I was taught in high school youth group that the alcohol of the New Testament was non-fermented. I believed that for a long time. I needed my eyes opened.
    16. But you know what, it wasn’t just me. The former vice-president of my denomination, the Christian and Missionary Alliance, taught those views. They really believed alcohol in the Bible was non-fermented and the King James Version was the best translation.
    17. Bailey was widely respected in the denomination. He was a missionary and teacher and denomination leader and district superintendent but he was wrong. He may not have been wrong about the KJV 150 years ago, but the alcohol argument was wrong. His writings on healing are still used. He wasn’t wrong about everything.
    18. Garth Brooks has a song called “Some of God’s Greatest Gifts are Unanswered Prayers.” He sings about wanting to marry a women and God doesn’t answer that prayer. But later on he is happily married to his wife.
    19. You know sometimes God has to tell us no. The disciples were distraught to say the least. I wonder if they thought that God did not answer their prayers.
    20. They were thinking: “God why didn’t You let Jesus be the redeemer.” “God why?” “God when are You going to redeem us.” But God’s plan was in place.
    21. Jesus opened their eyes.
    22. Do we want our will or His?
    23. Think about praying Biblical and Christ-centered prayers. There is a difference in praying for a private plane to help us get to Disney and praying that God provides missionaries with a plane in Africa when they need a plane to get medical supplies to a destination.
    24. As we grow as adults and as Christians our prayers should change: Now I lay me down to sleep… changes to: Lord God, I am about to go to bed for the night. So much has happened today and we need Your help tomorrow. Throughout today I have too often been satisfied with material possessions and not You. I have looked to other resources for help rather than praying to You. I confess this as sin. I need You. I need to be satisfied in You. Lord, give me and my family safe rest. Take care of us. Watch over us physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. Give us opportunities to witness for the Gospel tomorrow. Lord, please be with my family. Help my children to stay safe tomorrow. Keep them from sickness. Help them to grow up to be responsible and be hard workers. But most of all, help my children to come to know You as Lord and Savior. Help us to live for You. In Jesus’ Name Amen.
    25. Contrast that with:
    26. Dear Lord,
      So far I’ve done all right.
      I haven’t gossipped,
      haven’t lost my temper,
      haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent.
      I’m really glad about that.

      But in a few minutes, God,
      I’m going to get out of bed.
      And from then on,
      I’m going to need a lot more help.[1]

    27. Do we desire God’s will or our own?
  1. How does Jesus open our minds?
    1. Notice that in both of these cases Jesus opened their eyes with Scripture. He started with Moses and the prophets. Jesus went to and through the Old Testaments.
    2. DON’T divorce your spiritual activities from the Bible.
    3. Jesus opens our eyes by time.
      1. Sometimes we must wait and wait and wait to see what God is doing.
      2. It was close to 1400 years from Moses to Jesus. They had to wait for the Messiah.
  • It was maybe 4000 years from Adam and Eve to Jesus, which was the first Messiah prophesy, they were waiting on the Messiah.
  1. How many of you waited on a job?
  2. How many of you waited on a spouse?
  3. How many of you waited on an answer to a prayer?
  1. But I want to focus on Spiritual Disciplines.
  2. I am more and more convicted that spiritual disciplines with the church are absolutely critical.
  3. We need church wide prayer.
  4. We need prayer partners. I believe we are strongest when we pray together.
  5. We need to fast. Fasting is depriving oneself one something in order to focus on Jesus and say, “I need Jesus more…” Every time you have a hunger pain you pray, “I need Jesus more.”
  6. We need prayer and meditation:
    1. Jonathan Edwards found solitude in an open field. While traveling on the Connecticut River he recorded, “At Saybrook we went ashore to lodge on Saturday, and there kept the Sabbath; where I had a sweet and refreshing season, walking alone in the fields.”15 More commonly he retreated to the woods for silence and solitude with God: “I rode out into the woods for my health, … having alighted from my horse in a retired place, as my manner commonly has been, to walk for divine contemplation and prayer.”[2]
  7. We need confession. You know that confession is a spiritual discipline?
  8. I believe that we have our eyes opened by Jesus only by spending time knowing Jesus.
  9. This is why Eugene Peterson asked the woman about her prayer life. Prayer is intimate. Do we have an intimate connection, an intimate relationship with Jesus?
  10. Without Spiritual disciplines/activities we are disconnected.
  11. Have you ever been on the phone and you drop the call? The phone loses its connection. Have you ever been watching the news and your cable goes out? Have you ever lost power? Are prayer time, fasting, meditation, confession, church time and other spiritual disciplines are our direct link to God.
  12. We are busy and we are distracted. These help us focus on God.
  13. As we go through the congregational summit today, let’s ask God to open our eyes as individuals and as a church.

Close:

Do you need your eyes opened? Patton did:

Patton’s prayer at the battle of the bulge

http://the-american-catholic.com/2014/12/16/pattons-prayer/

Patton prays:

Sir, this is Patton speaking. The last fourteen days have been straight from hell. Rain, snow, more rain, more snow – and I’m beginning to wonder what’s going on in Your headquarters.  Whose side are You on, anyway?

For three years my chaplains have been explaining that this is a religious war.  Patton goes on and on asking the Lord’s helping hand.

Then he responded days later:

His follow up prayer a few days later:

Sir, this is Patton again, and I beg to report complete progress. Sir, it seems to me that you have been much better informed about the situation than I was, because it was that awful weather which I cursed so much which made it possible for the German army to commit suicide. That, Sir, was a brilliant military move, and I bow humbly to a supreme military genius.

Let’s seek the Lord.

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation 22:5)

 

[1] Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/prayers/protestant/morning/morning-prayer.aspx#iKVxBD37U7gteiBJ.99

[2] Murray, page 53.

16 Murray, page 100.

Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 1991), 197

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