Monday, April 26, 2010

Just a Part of the Gospel

Luke 24:17-27
And He said to them, "What kind of conversation is this that you have with one another as you walk and are sad?"
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 in these days?"
And He said to them, "What things?"
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, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. 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. Yes, and certain women of our company, who arrived at the tomb early, astonished us. When they did not find His body, they came saying that they had also seen a vision of angels who said He was alive. 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."
Then he said to them, "O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?" And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

So Jesus asks the question: What's been going on? He knows very well what's been happening, at least part of it. He knows that He was crucified and dead and buried and rose again, and that they didn't find His body in the tomb because it was still being used.

So they tell Jesus everything (while not knowing it's Jesus). They say that Jesus was a Prophet who did what He said and was crucified. But they didn't just give the facts, they tell Jesus what they wanted to happen: they wanted for Him to be the One to save Israel (Messiah). Then they go back to facts: He died three days ago, and now the women say they saw a bunch of angels who said He was alive, and nobody can find the body. (Hmm...)

Jesus reminded them that this Jesus WAS the Messiah: the things that happened to Him proved it. It took them awhile, but they finally realized that they were talking to Jesus.

But if Cleopas hadn't been willing to tell this stranger about Jesus and Christ and His story, what happened next might not have happened: He appeared to the disciplines, and they saw Him ascend into Heaven.

Cleopas gave the story that they knew: what had happened to Jesus. They admitted to what they knew about Him, and then they admitted what they didn't believe, or understand. By showing these weaknesses, they were able to tell Jesus what they didn't get, so He could help them understand the rest.

If it hadn't been Jesus, then a stranger would've just heard part of the gospel story, and his heart would have been ready for God to move in it later. Even though they only understood part of Jesus, they knew enough to help someone else. We don't have to understand every detail of the Bible, as long as we know the basic truth: Jesus died for our sins, so that ANYONE can come to Heaven if they believe upon Him.

Response Question: When we give our testimony, or share our faith, or whatever, do we say what we understand and what we don't? Are there negatives and positives to saying each?

In His Service,

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