Fairmeadow Community Church of The Nazarene
May 29, 2022
  • Luke 24:44–53 NRSV
    44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” 50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

    Understanding the Scriptures

    Luke 24:44 NRSV
    44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”
    None of those present to hear Jesus say these words were teachers of the scriptures. But Jesus still chose them and didn’t avoid pointing them to the Bible. So there was something important about understanding Jesus by understanding the story of how God worked across the ages of time. So these fishermen had to buckle down and learn the story well. It wasn’t just something important that happened to them. It was important because of everything that happened before. They understood what Jesus meant to them. Now they would understand how they fit into the larger story. So many had been faithful in the past. There was so much to learn about those stories that could help them live theirs.

    We also must understand the Scriptures

    We are not Bible scholars. But we can learn to understand the story and essential wisdom of the Bible. We can learn by hearing. We live in amazing times. If you have a smart phone and a friend who can help you set it up, you can listen daily to the Bible. The reading plan will come to you daily and you can listen. Of course you can hear the word of God in worship, especially in the preaching of the Word. So even if your eyesight is bad or reading isn’t your thing you can learn from God’s Word.
    This is memorial day weekend when we remember those of our loved ones who have gone on before us. For some those memories are very happy and treasured. For others they may be sad and difficult. It’s still important to know something of where we came from. The good news is, whatever the story of our birth heritage, the story of our spiritual heritage is one of overcoming and grace. We can be part of a better story. But it begins by learning that story. So get motivated to read and understand. Maybe you know some about the New Testament. Well get to know the prequel called the Old Testament or the Hebrew Bible. You’ll understand so much more once you see the early parts of the story.

    YouVersion Bible App

    As I said we live in a golden age of learning the Bible. If you have a smart phone hold it up. Here is how to get many translations of the bible that can read to you for free. Go to the app store and type in YouVersion, all one word, Bible app. Youversion Bible App. There are lots of imitators out there. Don’t download them. Stick with the original. When it comes up it will be at the top of the list. The icon is a little brown Bible. It says Holy Bible on the bible and it has a little book mark sticking out. It will be the one with the most reviews. Currently 7.9 million reviews on iphone. Nothing else comes close. It’s free and it’s the best for reading and hearing the bible on your phone. Talk to Jeff our media guy. I helped him get it set up several years ago. Driving long miles to see vendors for his job he listens to the Bible in his car. It works great.
    The point is this: don’t settle for not experiencing the Word of God in your daily life. Your journey is more important than you realize. You affect the lives of so many other people. The disciples needed it and so do you.

    The Disciples Had Help

    Luke 24:45 NRSV
    45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,
    Some of the apostles had training in the Scriptures. But they all got this training. Jesus giving them spiritual ability to understand. Reading the Bible isn’t just about moving your eyes across the page. There’s history involved and spiritual principles. Books can help you learn about the history. But only God can give you spiritual insight.
    1 Corinthians 2:14–15 NRSV
    14 Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.
    I think the reason it mentions scrutiny is that the Spirit searches our hearts as we read. He helps us learn about God and about ourselves. In the end it’s what God says that matters.
    So Jesus gave them spiritual help to understand that he was going away so they could have more spiritual help. Jesus had to die because of human sin. He came to undo the power of sin and to unleash the power of the Holy Spirit. To cancel hate and feature love. By coming to understand the old testament, the disciples could understand the dark power of sin and the deep need for the abundant life of the age of the Spirit. Jesus helped them understand the Word and the Holy Spirit would help them spread the message.
    That good news comes to us also...

    You’ll have help

    Scholars are a great help to us. I’ve learned from some of the best. But most of what I have learned about the Bible isn’t from classes I took many years ago. It’s from reading and discussing the Bible regularly. Scholars help us remember the time difference. We can’t read everything as if the English translation is talking about something from this week. So learn all you can about the background of the Bible. But most things are very clear without knowing the original languages.
    There is plenty to have our attention that is clear on a first reading.
    God created our world. Human beings chose to turn away selfishly, which introduced violence and death. Forgiveness is costly and involves confronting our sin in God’s presence. Originally animals died in our place. But this had a temporary affect and merely pointed the way to when Christ would come and die once and for all. He didn’t have to die because God the Father is angry and violent. He died because sin is powerful and spiritual. It still has a hold over many human beings. Even believers can fall under its power if they aren’t careful. The power had to be broken and overcome. God became a man and died the only death that could win this victory over sin.
    He’s the Messiah which means he’s the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He’s the One. He died on the cross, suffering at the hands of the Roman Empire and the false religious leaders of his time. They didn’t read the Bible well enough. They got it wrong. He rose from the dead. Now he was victorious over sin and death and hell. Now God could help the disciples more than ever. The plan was for him to leave them physically. So he ascended into heaven. He was taken up from them. But remember it’s his physical resurrected body. It’s a special body, but he ate fish. He still had the scars from the cross. Did he pass into another dimension or into the multiverse? Maybe? I don’t know how it happened. But I know he was taken up from them and disappeared from their sight. And I know as he promised, the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. Next Sunday we will celebrate that miracle. It happened just as he said, so yes, I believe he ascended. Now he reigns over all who submit to his Lordship. He is the king of every surrendered life.
    Through the power of the Holy Spirit you have help to understand the Scriptures and to experience God’s grace in your life.
    Luke 24:50–53 NRSV
    50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

    The Key

    The key to understanding your life is to come to understand the story of Jesus. It’s a love story. He spared no expense, including his own life, so you could be free to live and serve and love.
    As you reflect on those in your family who have gone on before remember that your story is being written into his larger story. All the good that happened flowed from his goodness. All the broken places in the narrative are being healed by his grace. No matter how wonderfully or tragically things ended for now, there is more to come.
    Jesus came. Jesus lived. Jesus died. Jesus rose again. Jesus prepared and commissioned the disciples. Jesus ascended. The Spirit descended. And now our story can be one of hope and grace and newness of life. So if you don’t belong to Jesus don’t let another weekend pass without saying yes to him.
    1 John 1:9 NRSV
    9 If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    Romans 10:9–10 NRSV
    9 because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
    Become part of the family of God today. With God as our Father, His Son as our savior, and the Spirit as our Guide there’s so much to look forward to.
    So let the Spirit remind you of all the amazing things Jesus taught us. We too can return again and again to the church building full of great joy and giving thanks. And we can go out each week to tell others, to learn more, and to share the good news with our family, neighbors and friends. It’s a better story. It’s our story. Thank God for that. Let’s pray...
      • Luke 24:44–53NIV2011

      • Luke 24:44NIV2011

      • Luke 24:45NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 2:14–15NIV2011

      • Luke 24:50–53NIV2011

      • 1 John 1:9NIV2011

      • Romans 10:9–10NIV2011

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