Friday, March 29, 2013

An international Sunday school lesson commentary

For Sunday March 31, 2013

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(Receive the risen LORD, and then, share HIM with someone else)
(Luke 24:13-35)

When GOD gave people wills that are free, HE undoubtedly gave us the greatest, and, perhaps, the most perilous gift, the world has ever known. With freewill, a person can choose to either invite CHRIST into his or her life, or, they can choose to allow Christ to pass them by. In Luke chapter 24, verses 13-34, the author of GOD writes of the seven-mile walk, of two of JESUS’ followers, from Jerusalem to Emmaus, just hours after JESUS’ Resurrection victory over death, and satan.
Here, Luke gives his unique and, now famous account, of the story of Cleopus and an unnamed follower of JESUS, who were walking along the road to Emmaus, a town just west of Jerusalem. As they walked along, they were discussing all the events surrounding CHRIST’s arrest, trials, Crucifixion, death, and now, reported Resurrection, that had occurred over that historic weekend in Jerusalem.
Suddenly, JESUS appeared and began walking along with them. Here Luke tells us that GOD kept the men from recognizing who JESUS was. Knowing that the two were discussing HIM, JESUS asks the men, “What are you so concerned about?” They looked at JESUS with sadness in their face, and one of them, Cleopus replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem, who has not heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days”.
When JESUS replied, “What things?”, the men went on to tell HIM about all the events that had taken place in the previous three days. JESUS then says to them, “You are such foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the Prophets wrote in Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted by the Prophets that the MESSIAH would have to suffer all these things before entering HIS time of glory?” JESUS then began to quote Scriptures explaining those writings of Moses and all the Prophets, that where pertaining directly to HIMSELF.
As they neared the end of their journey, the men begged JESUS to stay and have a meal with them, and perhaps, stay the night, because it was almost dark and too late to travel back to Jerusalem. JESUS accepted their invitation, and as they sat down to eat, HE took a small loaf of bread, asked GOD’s blessing on it, broke it, and then gave it to the two men. Suddenly, their eyes were opened (spiritually), and GOD allowed them to recognize who JESUS was, and, at that same moment, JESUS disappeared. Within the hour, the men were on their way back to Jerusalem, despite the fact that it was now dark.
The word “Emmaus”, means “despised people”, and Jerusalem means, “possessor of peace”. These two men, even though they were followers of JESUS, didn’t really know JESUS until that day, during their walk along the Emmaus road. Once their spiritual eyes were open to JESUS, HE allowed them to see their way through the darkness back to Jerusalem. In fact, that very night they went from just being “despised people” (believers in CHRIST), to being “possessors of peace” (true followers of CHRIST), if you get my drift. By the time JESUS was killed, HE had become a “despised person” in Jerusalem. He was despised by the Jewish leaders, and most of the Jewish populace. After HIS “passion” (suffering that weekend in Jerusalem), HE once again, became a “possessor of peace”, as HE ascended back into HIS glory in Heaven.
JESUS always knew that HIS only way back to glory was through the “cross”, and so it is with those of us, who follow HIM. With “open eyes”, JESUS accepted the circumstances of the cross, so that whosoever believes in HIM, would not perish, but rather, would be able to possess the peace of “Eternal Life” in the presence of the almighty “GOD the FATHER” in Heaven.
In Luke 24:25, as expressed in the original Greek, the word Luke uses for “fools” is “anoetos” (an-o-ay-tos). It is used only six times in New Testament Scripture. Five of those times it is used in reference to those who are believers. Unlike the use of the word “fool” in the Old Testament, which is used to describe a person whose problems are moral, this word describes an individual who sees things from a distorted perspective. It describes “one who has not fully adopted the “Divine Viewpoint” of CHRIST.
It is imperative that, we as Christians, not only be believers in JESUS, but also, get to know JESUS, on a personal level. In doing so, we can develop a “Divine Viewpoint”, through that personal, experiential relationship. It is not enough, just to have correct information, but we must also be able to discern and use that information correctly. And when we are able to discern it correctly, it is our Christian duty to then, share it with others. In other words we must first begin to share the mind of CHRIST (the Divine Viewpoint), and then, share that idealism with others. And always remember, the Christian message is never fully ours, until we have shared it with someone else.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website
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