Study 2 WHAT IS THE LORD JESUS TO YOU?
HOLDING OUT THE WORD OF LIFE
by Francis Dixon
(Scripture Portion: Luke 24:13-35)
The incident recorded here concerns two people, Cleopas and another, who were joined by Jesus as they went on the seven-mile journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus. We need to read through this portion of scripture several times to catch the full significance of all that is stated. Jesus had been cruelly crucified and, although these disciples did not believe it, He had risen from the dead. As they walked they were talking of the awful events that had to do with the Saviour’s death on the cross, and then suddenly a very wonderful thing happened – look at verse 15! But they did not recognise Him – and this brings us to the first relationship that the risen Lord bears towards men and women:-
1. At first, He was only a STRANGER
There He was, the risen Lord Jesus, but they did not recognise Him; He was a stranger to them. This should cause us to stop and ask the question: What is He to me? Is He no more than a stranger? There are tens of thousands of good people to whom the Lord Jesus is nothing but a stranger. They know about Him, they can talk about Him, but they do not know Him. They are in the same position as these two people – look at verses 16-18, and notice the question in verse 18: “Are you only a visitor…?” Is that how it is with you? You know about Him but you do not know Him – look up 1 Samuel 3:7. What does He mean to you? If He is only a stranger He can become far more than that.
2. Then, He became their FRIEND
Before long, as we read the account, we discover that they were treating Him as an intimate friend and were confiding in Him (verses 19-24). As these two disciples told the story of their sorrow, how readily He listened! And He is just the same in His willingness to listen to us when we speak to Him of our problems, difficulties and sorrows. He is “a friend who sticks closer than a brother”. He is the friend of sinners (Matthew 11:19); He is the friend who knows the worst about us and loves us just the same. No-one was better qualified to sympathise with these two disciples than Jesus because He knew all about them – their sadness and their deepest problems – just as He knows all about you and your problems. What is He to you – stranger…friend…?
3. He then became their REDEEMER
Look at verses 21, 25 and 26. The Lord Jesus came to die for us in order to redeem us from the guilt and penalty of sin (Galatians 3:13); from the inward pull of self (1 Peter 1:18); and from the power of Satan (Romans 8:23). How great to be able to speak of Him as ‘my redeemer’ (look up and compare Job 19:25-27)! Is He your redeemer? These disciples knew Him in that way.
4. He was also their TEACHER
Look at verse 27. In the earlier part of their walk it almost seems as though they thought Jesus needed instruction (verse 18), but they soon discovered that He was their teacher, the one who could tell them all that they needed to know:-
- 1. He is the best teacher. It must have been wonderful to listen to Paul as he expounded the gospel, or to have sat under Moody’s or Spurgeon’s teaching, but how about having Jesus as their teacher? Notice from John 14:26 that we can have Him as our teacher too, for He ministers to us through His Holy Spirit.
- 2. He uses the best textbook (verse 27). Why did He speak of Moses? Because Moses wrote of Him (John 5:46); he wrote the Pentateuch (first five books of the Bible). But why did the Lord Jesus speak of “all…the prophets”? Because the prophets anticipated His coming and prophesied the fact, the details of His birth, ministry, death and resurrection. What a Bible reading He gave to these two disciples on the Emmaus road! Little wonder that their hearts burned within them by the time He had finished expounding the scriptures and revealing Himself in them (verse 32)!
- 3. His teaching centres upon the best theme (verse 27) – “He explained… what was said…concerning himself” – that was the theme – particularly His suffering on the cross and His glory (verse 26).
Is the Lord Jesus your teacher? From what or from whom do you take your standard for living? When you want to decide the sort of person you should be, the way you should live, the kind of books you should read and friends you should make, how you should use your leisure time and how you should spend your money… to whom do you learn about these things – the media or secular writers – or to the Lord Jesus? This is the test. Is He your teacher, and if so, do you submit to and obey His will? In other words, are you a true disciple of Christ?
5. He was their Lord and MASTER
Have a careful look at verses 28-31. Notice in verse 28 that Jesus never forces Himself upon us, though He loves to have us invite Him to live in every area of our lives and to remain there – look up Revelation 3:20. They asked Him to be their guest, but as verse 30 tells us, He soon became host, for “he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them”. It was His prerogative to preside over them and He did just this, and that is how it should be with us.
What is the Lord Jesus to you – stranger? – or friend, redeemer, teacher and master? Is your whole life under His control? Are you recognising and rejoicing in His Lordship?