This is commentary/sermon on Luke 24:13-34 regarding the resurrection of Jesus when Easter and April Fool’s were on the same day. It focuses on the Lord’s resurrected appearance to the two men walking along the road.
Welcome to Genesis Church! My name is Jeff and I’m one of the pastors here and let me say happy Easter to you and happy April Fool’s Day to you as well. My wife loves April Fool’s Day, but she promised me that Easter trumps April Fool’s Day, so she decided to move her pranks to next Sunday. Joy. One year she sewed my socks and underwear together. Another time she hid one shoe from each pair of my shoes so I had no matching shoes. Another time she baked cookies and instead of using sugar she used salt. I was hoping we could by pass April Fool’s Day altogether.
In light of the resurrection and April Fool’s Day I want us to think about what it means to be a wise fool and the significance of Jesus’s resurrection. So, what is a wise fool? A wise fool is someone who learns to live life God’s way, while appearing to be foolish in the eyes of those who ignore God. They are wise from God’s perspective, but fools from the world’s perspective.
Today we are going to take a look at two people who had an encounter with the resurrected Jesus. Jesus has already been crucified and nailed to the cross, they have already taken his body down and placed it in a tomb, the seal on the tomb has been placed, the Roman guard have already stood around the tomb allowing no one to have access, three days have come and gone, the stone was miraculously rolled away, Jesus’ grave garments are neatly folded inside the tomb, and Jesus has resurrected from the dead. Jesus appears to many people immediately after his resurrection. One of the appearances is with two people walking along a road headed home. Let’s pick up the story in Luke 24:13.
That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him.
17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”
They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 18 Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”
19 “What things?” Jesus asked.
“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. 20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. 21 We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.
22 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. 23 They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! 24 Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”
25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” 33 And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.”
A wise fool is someone who believes God even if the world thinks they are crazy. Let me give you five things about a wise fool.
Wise fools hear what they need to hear
First, wise fools hear what they need to hear. Even though they were struggling to understand and believe what had happened, they were willing to listen to an explanation of it. Notice in verse 27 we are told, “Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (NLT). The “writings of Moses and all the prophets” is referring to the Old Testament, the first half of the Bible because the New Testament hadn’t been written yet. The Bible tells us that Jesus walked them through the Bible explaining and pointing out that the Savior or Messiah would have to be sacrificed for the world’s sin.
He walked these two men through the Old Testament pointing out to them where God’s Word was foreshadowing the coming Savior, His death on the cross, and His resurrection. Let me give you a couple of examples of how this might have looked.
- In the Old Testament we find The Passover, where the people would sacrifice a lamb and place its blood on the frame of the door. When the angel of death came through the town it would Passover the people whose doors were covered in the lambs blood. This is a picture of the lamb of God (Jesus) when He would hang on the cross and shed His blood for us and those who would be under the blood by faith would be passed over when death came and would be granted eternal life in heaven. That Passover was “concerning”
- As Jesus walked and talked to these two men, Jesus would have brought up the story of Jonah. Jesus may have said what told others in Matthew 12:40, “For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights” (NLT).
- As Jesus continued to talk to these two people, Jesus may have pointed out how individuals illustrated and pointed to Him. He would have mentioned Adam, Abel, Seth, Noah, Job, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, Samson, David, Elijah, Nehemiah and Jeremiah and how each one foreshadowed and pointed to the coming Messiah.
- Jesus may have pointed out how the Old Testament feasts, temples, and tabernacles all pointed to the Messiah.
If you look for Jesus in the Old Testament, you will find Him everywhere. That’s what Jesus was doing for these two people. These two people may have been foolish in some ways, but they were wise in another way. They recognized when it was time to hear what they needed to hear. They were willing to listen to truth. The point is wisdom comes from hearing and applying God’s Word to our life.
Wise fools experience what they need to experience
Number two, wise fools experience what they need to experience. Luke 24:28-31 shares something with us that is very interesting. The Bible says, “By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them (NLT).
We are all on a “journey” and even when we don’t know it, Jesus is walking with us. He is teaching us and helping us to learn what we need to know. You may not recognize it at the time, but He is there. Are you listening to Him?
One of the reasons why they wanted Jesus to go “home with them” was because they wanted to know more about what God had to say. There is something that draws Jesus into your life and home when you have a hunger for His Word. When you have a hunger for His word you get to experience things with God that you couldn’t otherwise. If they weren’t interested in truth, they would have never invited Jesus to stay with them.
Luke tells us that when they arrived home Jesus “sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them.” This causes me to think of two things:
- The first thought deals with the last time Jesus did something like this. It was before He was crucified when He was with the disciples in the upper room.
- The second thought deals with how or when Jesus reveals Himself to us. Here is Jesus sitting at a home with two people talking about God’s Word. It’s like these three people are a small group or a Life Group. I’m convinced by God’s Word and experience that Jesus often reveals Himself when people gather together to talk about Him, His Word, and the implications Jesus has upon their life. You and I need those times where we are able to ask questions about God and His Word. You need those times where you have real conversations about real issues and what God has to say about them.
Here’s the point: Wisdom comes from spending time with Jesus in prayer, His Word, and His people. There are some things God wants you to experience that will help you grow and understand that can only happen in the context of His presence, His Word, and His people. You can find God’s wisdom in that context.
Wise fools see what they need to see
Number three, wise fools see what they need to see. Luke 24:31 says, “Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!” (NLT).
The word “recognized” (epiginosko) means to have “an exclusive and exact discovering” of the resurrected Lord. It carries the idea of an intellectual, deep revelation based on fact. For whatever reasons, God has closed their eyes to who they were actually talking to. But it was at this moment “their eyes were opened” and they understood, they believed, and it all made since.
That’s how God’s wisdom works. You hear God’s truth about Jesus’ resurrection, about salvation, about heaven, hell, about the devil, about sin, marriage, parenting, finances, and a host of other things… And somewhere on your journey through life your “eyes are opened” and it all makes since. You understand that you have sinned against God, that Jesus died for your sin, that you must place your faith in Jesus for salvation, and everything the Bible says about Jesus is true. Your eyes are opened that God is the one who can give you an abundant life.
Here’s the point: Wisdom allows you to see things from a divine perspective. You see yourself more accurately. You see your relationships differently. You see your future from an eternal perspective. That’s wisdom.
Wise fools feel what they need to feel
Number four, wise fools feel what they need to feel. Luke 24:32 says, “They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” (NLT).
The phrase “our hearts burn within us” is an expression indicating the deep interest and pleasure which they had felt in his comments before they knew who he was. It’s a phrase that summarizes their excitement, amazement, and conviction about what they were hearing. The Holy Spirit was working within their hearts convincing them that what they were hearing was true. Their hearts burned within them.
We all need to have those people in our lives who “explain the Scripture to us” as we walk along “the road” of life. Who has God placed in your life to do that for you? Who has God placed in your life to help you understand God’s Word and how it relates to your future, to life after death, to your marriage, your finances, to parenting your children, or to getting older? Who is it that God uses to help your “heart burn within” when it comes to God’s truth?
Here’s the point: Wisdom allows you to feel passionate about God’s truth. To feel what you need to feel when it comes to God’s ways and God’s will.
Wise fools share what they need to share
Number five, wise fools share what they need to share. When you hear what you need to hear, when you experience what you need to experience, when you see what you need to see, and when you feel what you need to feel… you will share what you need to share. Luke 24:33 says, “And within the hour they were on their way back to Jerusalem. There they found the eleven disciples and the others who had gathered with them, 34 who said, “The Lord has really risen! He appeared to Peter.” 35 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread. 36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.” (NLT).
The two people from Emmaus “told their story” about Jesus. What is your story?
When you tell others about Jesus what do you tell them? What do you tell your grandkids, your children, your spouse, or your friends? Do you have a story? Jesus wants to give you a story to tell.
The Bible says that Jesus died for our sins and resurrected from the grave so that we can have eternal life with God in heaven. As you have sat here today have you sensed a burning within your heart about Jesus? Would you like to become a follower of Jesus? If so you can pray to God this morning and receive God’s free gift of eternal life.
Let’s pray together. With every head bowed and eyes closed. Listen to me for just a moment [lead in a salvation prayer].
As we end our time together let me leave you with one last thought from 1 Corinthians 4:10 which says, “Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools…” (NLT). As you live for God, believe His Word and apply it to your life you are going to seem strange in the eyes of some people, but you will be very wise in the eyes of God.