Just in from a 10:30AM service at the Renaissance Vineyard Church in fashionable (near downtown) Ferndale, Michigan at the corner of 9 mile & Pinecrest.
Here’s the text for today’s teaching about Jesus Revealed. In this passage, a couple are walking and talking about what just went down and how bummed they were about it. Their Messiah had just been crucified three days prior and they were not happy campers.
The Road to Emmaus
13 Now behold, two of them were traveling that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.15 So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them.16 But their eyes were restrained, so that they did not know Him. (Hmm…sounds familiar)
17 And He said to them, “What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?”[b]
18 Then the one whose name was Cleopas answered and said to Him, “Are You the only stranger in Jerusalem, and have You not known the things which happened there in these days?”
19 And He said to them, “What things?”
(While many non-believers accurately conclude the church is comprised primarily of lemon-sucking Pharisees, know that God has a very keen sense of humor. Here the resurrected Jesus is walking with a couple of folks who are really bummed. He plays along with them and gives His version of “Wassup?”)
So they said to Him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, 20 and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 21 But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, today is the third day since these things happened. 22 Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. 23 When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive.24 And certain of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said; but Him they did not see.”
(Watch how Jesus takes them to school)
25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?” 27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
The Disciples’ Eyes Opened
28 Then they drew near to the village where they were going, and He indicated that He would have gone farther. 29 But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” (We need to invite) And He went in to stay with them.
30 Now it came to pass, as He sat at the table with them, that He took bread, blessed and broke it,and gave it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
Jesus revealed through the Living Word will always put the “B” in Burn…if we simply say, “Yes Lord”
It was one of those mornings of unexpected revelation. Considering my piss-poor attitude on the way to church, it was all the more refreshing. I can be such a dick at times…not to mention whiny, petulant, immature and murmuring. “Jim and Cathi won’t be there today, I may as well sleep in“. Praise God. What an anointed attitude. It did not end there. Even after a killer teaching delivered by Joshua Neds-Fox, I still wasn’t getting with the program. Something he covered very well was how Jesus always does the unexpected, stating; “He Zigs when we expect a Zag”. Here’s the 1st picture that came to my puny mind’s eye. Hallelujah.
An attitude and vision adjustment obviously still needed work…as the next thought was one of a big fat spliff. Yeah, I was in great shape this morning. I forget what song it was, but when the team took to the platform and started to lift up a sacrifice of praise, the first reflex from my sour soul was…”This song sucks–I shoulda’ stayed home“. Boy was I ever wrong on that one too. By the end of the song, my heart became so sweetly convicted for being an idiot, that there was no other option but to flow with Carl & the team-who were flowing between the wings of the cherubim as I sulked in the last row. And so it went for awhile. Then Jesus did a Zig and spoke in my heart. “Yo’ Timmy, go talk to the young man sitting over there“….RIGHT NEXT TO ME in the last pew. “No Lord, that’s not happening” Wow…what obedient humility. Then I sensed Him laughing not at me…but at what stubborn jerk I was being when He had something very cool to reveal. Then a brother to my left who I also had a mini-attitude about…without even knowing him…began to get his praise on. It was infectious. For two weeks straight, Father has dealt with me about this guy. He’s a commando and worship animal. We’re brothers placed in the back row to team up and worship in Spirit & In Truth. So that’s just what we did. With the Word of Luke beginning to burn away the dross and crap, grace was present to get out of a stupid (dis) comfort zone and talk briefly with the young man to my right. Sorry to shock everyone. I’m sure this state of affairs is particular only to moi’. Not. The details are not important. It’s between he & I and none of your business.
Church is not for the together and strong…it’s God’s Hospital for scattered, tattered, bruised & battered.
Thanks for being yielded enough to bring a word in season this morning Joshua.
With a little grace, I might actually get off my fat Irish ass and allow Jesus to be revealed in the mundane.
Better yet, allowing Jesus to run through my soul for a little inventory may yield better results.