Judges 9:22-10:18, Luke 24:13-53, Psalms 100:1-5, Proverbs 14:11-12
Today is the 29th day of April welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I’m Brian it is a pleasure and an honor to be here with you today as we come around the Global Campfire and take the next step forward in the Scriptures as they lead us through a year of our lives. And the journey in the Old Testament has been taking us through the book of Judges, which is where we will continue our journey today. We learned the story of Gideon and we’re kind of in the story of what came after Gideon, which is Abimelech, one of Gideon’s sons has assassinated all of his brothers except for one has taken control. And, so, we pick up the story. Judges chapter 9 verse 22 through 10 verse 18 today and we’re reading from the Common English Bible this week.
Okay. So, we are almost at the end of this month of April and today we concluded the gospel of Luke, which means tomorrow as we end a month we’ll be beginning the final of the Gospels, but the last thing that we read from the gospel of Luke is kind of like the aftermath of the resurrection. So, it's…it’s resurrection day. This is the day we commemorate on Easter but it’s the day of the resurrection and we’ve kind of already read the story of kinda running to the tomb, the tombs empty, the women, all of this, but it’s still the same day. So, let’s call it Easter. It’s still Easter. Some of the followers of Jesus have departed Jerusalem. They’ve heard what happened, like they’ve heard that the tomb is empty, but they’ve still left Jerusalem to walk to this city of Emmaus when Jesus shows up and walks alongside them and they don’t recognize Him. So, they’re going along and they’re talking to Him and, you know, He’s like, “what’s going on?” And they’re like, “are You the only one in Jerusalem that doesn’t know?” And He’s like, “what…what happened?” And they explain the whole story and then Jesus opens the Scriptures to them, they get to Emmaus, He’s gonna continue walking down the road and they’re like, “no. Come, be with us.” And He’s like, “no. I couldn’t. I’ve gotta keep going.” And they convinced Him to come and He sits down to dinner and breaks the bread and then…then they realize it’s Jesus. So, like obviously He doesn’t look like they were expecting Him to look. They didn’t recognize Him, but then they did and then he disappeared. And, so, then they come back to Jerusalem to tell everybody what they had seen. Now they’re convinced. And then Jesus shows up in the midst of them, including eating some fish, which would’ve been important to them because they thought he was a ghost, so a ghost wouldn’t eat fish. A ghost wouldn’t eat anything. Like we would believe that a ghost couldn’t eat anything. So Jesus eats in front of them, they calm down and He tells them about a comforter that is going to be sent to them and then we’re kind of whisked away back across the Mount of olives as far as Bethany, where He then returns to the Father. And I think there’s something pretty key in that…in that series of stories or scenes that the gospel of Luke ends with that is poignant to us. They stopped being able to completely recognize Him in His physicality. Like we could look at the story and go like, “Jesus appears and disappears, and He does all these supernatural things” or we could go into the story and realize He’s among them, but they don’t recognize Him in his physicality the way that they once did. They may see him that way, like He shows…shows His hands and feet in Jerusalem, but on the road Emmaus they don’t. There’s scenes like this in the other Gospels too. So, what’s up with that? Why the mystery? The key might be in what they said to each other after He disappeared in Emmaus. “Weren’t our hearts on fire when He spoke to us along the road and when he explained the Scriptures for us?” So, before they understood it was Jesus their hearts were on fire. Once they knew it was Jesus, they reflected upon that. And after Jesus ascension didn’t the Holy Spirit come with tongues of fire? Didn’t the Holy Spirit come and ignite their hearts on fire? And isn’t that fire still burning? Like didn’t the gospel then spread out of Jerusalem to the entire world from there without the physical Jesus walking around? It seems like the last lesson that Jesus is trying to teach His disciples, at least as told in the gospel of Luke is that His physicality isn’t the only indicator of His presence. It kind of closes the loop on the kingdom He’s been talking about all along, this is kingdom that is within you, that is among you, that is happening now if you simply have eyes to see it and ears to hear it. It’s happening now. In terms of Jesus the King of this kingdom, it is also beyond physicality. He is within and among us now and always, even to the end of the age. Okay. So, so often we’re like just wanting any kind of…any amount of time that we could have with Jesus with skin on. Like, you know, I hear that all the time. And I…I’ve longed for the same thing. Maybe if we had eyes to see, we would see Jesus everywhere and maybe the place to start is by looking at our brothers and sisters. After all, we are the body of Christ in this world. We are the hands and feet of Jesus. We are Jesus to the world. Like we’ve heard these things all along. What if they’re true? What if my returning to the Father Jesus no longer situated Himself in a place at a time, but is rather now omnipresent in this world through us? Man, that could change everything, which was kind of the point and that could change the way we live today, which is kind of the point. It’s just so often we know our own imperfections and we know the imperfections of those that we love. And, so, we assume the imperfections of everybody else and we look for those imperfections. We like to point them out. And, so, we can deduce that…that this can’t be Jesus with skin on. This is a flawed person. But isn’t that the story of the Bible? I mean isn’t the Bible full of the stories of flawed people that God uses when they open their eyes, when they awaken, when they have eyes to see? We’ve gotten to know the disciples to some degree in the Gospels, we’re they not flawed people? And did not the explosion of the gospel happen after Jesus removed Himself physically from the scene? Maybe if we would have eyes to see, we would realize He has not removed Himself from us. He has become even more present. He is not external to us as something that we can look. He is a part of who we are, He is within us. The interesting thing is, if we want to see Jesus all we have to do is go look in a mirror. And if that seems odd or that seems impossible because we know who we are then maybe we don’t know who we are. Maybe we have to stare at ourselves in the mirror and keep looking and looking and looking until everything that is false crumbles away, and we do see, we do have eyes to seem He is within us, we can see Him and maybe that can change our lives as it is supposed to do, transforming us, working the work of sanctification within us, helping us to understand that we are becoming Christ like in this world. Some things to think about today.
Holy Spirit we invite you into that. We do believe that you are here. We do believe that you are our comforter, that you are our advocate, that you will lead us into all truth. We do believe because we are told in the Scriptures that the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us, which means that nothing is impossible, and this is the way of your kingdom. The impossible becomes possible with God. You have not abandoned us. You are not distant from us. You are as near as our next breath and may we receive that breath into our bodies and know that it is a gift and may we exhale it in worship and may we repeat that and repeat that and repeat that and repeat that for the rest of our lives understanding that we are your children, you have adopted us, and we have work to do. Come Holy Spirit into this make us aware, awaken us we pray, in the name of Jesus we ask. Amen.
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