The Goal of Preaching

This was the message I gave at Village View Baptist Church, Taytay Rizal last Sunday- and today at CRC San Pedro.

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On the Road to Emmaus :Luke 24:25-32

25            And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

26            Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”

27            And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28            So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther,

29            but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them.

30            When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.

31            And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.

32            They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

Fallen Condition Focus:

  1. Drawn to image-driven / entertainment
  2. Pride in general biblical knowledge –but not centered on Jesus Christ
  3. Knowledge only and not relationship with Jesus.

Intro  : Story on a guitarist in a worship team-but not converted /Christian-and arrogant at that

McDonald’s –bowed head-show of respect? No!

Multimedia age- Android or Apple Iphones.

Demise of Newsweek and Reader’s Digest

And so the Humiliation of the Word-especially the written Word.

  • Connect  (My experience, condition & perspective):
    1. a.     Important –v 13-18

13            That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem,

14            and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened.

15            While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.

16            But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

17            And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad.

18            Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?”

This message started weeks before when we heard about  the death of UP Manila Student – why she died? Why she does not have any money to pursue studies? Why she does not have a support group of friends or church to stay her depression? And we always start with our situation.

Other preachers will dived immediately to the text without considering this

Some will dwell on it for some lenght

Other will just remain in it.

If we remain where we are –we might not recognized that God is already beside us-in our situation –and still we don’t recognize Him.

Emmaus is 60 stadia away from Jerusalem  or 11 kms away-Have you walked such distance? Maybe when talking  with someone- around 2 to 4 hours~ They arrived for dinner by 5 or 6 PM perhaps-just enough to prepare the food.

Jesus was approaching from the sides- tangential to them –and yet they don’t recognized Him.

They were so engrossed by what happened in the last few days that they cannot see Jesus. The words used is both discussing –and reasoning out-maybe they cannot see why Jesus have to die –since He is the promised Messiah-can a Messiah die? Or was He just a fake- a false prophet- but how about what He had done for the past three years –was it also not true.

If we remain in our situation-we only have our questions-but no satisfactory  answer-not even God’s answer to our situation.

The verb is passive “Their eyes were kept from recognizing Him”-

Why were they kept from recognizing?

It is from Godward- It is Divine prerogative-yes –but we will explain that later – we will answer why God witheld sight or knowledge for a time.

Trust that God does it for good reason- though It is His will- His will is always good and holy.

This is different from the Muslim Allah which is arbitrary and capricious. Even if you do good- you can be still sent to hell. It sounds like a Devil personified instead.

  • b.     But limited – v 19-24

 19            And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people,

20            and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him.

21            But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened.

22            Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning,

23            and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive.

24            Some 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.”

 They know the details of what happened to Jesus –but they cannot seems to get –Jesus performed miracles and said Good Words-and yet He was defeated by their hypocritical leaders. Their Leaders who they trust.

But we may discuss and argue about it –but our insight and wisdom will always remain deficient-worldly even. But we cannot peer into God’s plan- with just our eyes-our understanding, our wisdom.

They can discuss about Jesus as if he is just a news item in the TV /newspaper / internet- though one can sympathize with it – but it is just a passing thought. In a few days they will live as if it never happened.

See v 14 talking and reasoning

They try to see the whole from their perspective

They even doubt the story of the women.

They might even blamed Jesus for the way He handles the Sanhedrin.

As we might blamed God how He handle this world .

And so preaching cannot remain where we are …It must lead to the next point.

  • 2.     Text (Importance of knowing the text of Scripture )v 25-27

      Back to text

       25            And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all   that the prophets             have spoken!

        26            Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and       enter into his glory?”

        27            And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to        them in all the       Scriptures the things concerning himself.

 Foolish means not understanding, slow of heart means not brave enough to arrive at a conclusion that will lead to a decision making- much like a woman not answering a suitor because she might be hurt by him later.

Messages must be based on the text of the Scriptures –and not mere push pins or memo stickers- the points should be –not the other way around.

Without a text  -we can say good things-even better things- that may even inspire people –we may even have people follow us-and they might change their lives even for the better like those who follow the views of an Oprah Winfrey, a Stephen Covey, Napoleon Hill or Vincent Peale.

But we are still far from what the Lord is trying to say to us. Preachers have no message –if without the text from the Word –the Scriptures.

 Members are to re-read on your own,  like those of Berea, the text of Scriptures and meditate on what the teacher or preacher taught and see if they understand and know how to apply it During Jesus and Paul’s time there are no bound books yet- people discuss the Bible by Memory.

berea-greece-03

We should not be satisfied that members will just accept our message –hook line and sinker. Though we don’t like hostile or rebellious congregation- we also don’t like unthinking members also.

  1. 3.     Connections

(Importance of Knowing about Jesus -Biblical Theology) v 26-27

      In All Scriptures -Christ

 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and      enter into his glory?” 

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

Jews cannot accept a crucified Messiah –this is a stumbling block to them in trusting Jesus. But if only they can see that the whole Scripture – the glory of the Messiah also involves the bad part- the suffering, the death, the burial. These all things must happen.

Text must be interpreted-that is the word use here- which we derived the word hermenuetics –the study of bible interpretation.

Text cannot just be read and let it be there –for people can twist and use it for their own twisted agendas.

Interpretation means that text must be related to the overall flow of the book.  It also means that text must be related to the flow of revelation-form Old to New – then the New reinterpreting the Old back again. This is called the discipline of biblical theology. Moses and the prophets refer to the whole OT Scriptures since they are like the bookends from left to right –covering the revelation before Jesus time here on earth

It also means that ALL Scripture is profitable- not just some or just most –but all. Not all of them inspiring –as are use to imagine- but it might be the Word that we need at the moment.

Text must center on Christ and His Gospel or we will be just like INC or Dating Daan or Baptist Lecture. Texts are like disjointed –no organic connections except the one imposed by the preacher for his topical studies.

It might be helpful but it one step removed from the original intention of the human author of the Scripture-and therefore from what God had intended for us to hear too.

Sometimes text are interpreted as if it happened in a timeless fashion much like the pagan Scriptures. But revelation came in a certain time and space –it is historical document and yet because it came from God –it transcends it- and therefore it speaks to  us the way it speaks originally to them.

Have you ever installed a steel bookshelf? You need to construct per level-then you assembled them together. When together connected together -they are stronger than alone. So with whole biblical theology. Np christian nor a local church taught this way will be brought down by the opinions of men.

This is the work of the man of God therefore before everybody else he must be mastered  by –

16            All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

17            that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

And At this time I will show a video of a Man of God who helped me understand the Scripture and how to live by it-my mentor –Rev Pastor  Maas Vanderbilt who died last May 2010….

Maas1 001

Through him he introduced other men of God who helped me understand   the Scripture even more like John Stott, Henry Stob, Berkouwer, ronald          Nash, Van Til, John Murray, Francis Schaeffer , Kuyper and Bavinck.

Through those men – I learned how the Scripture are related to each other   not like a single color banig- mattress – but a multi color and with different         design- showing the face of the suffering and Glorious Jesus Christ.- which    lead us to the next point…

  • 4.  Christ (An Encounter with the Risen Christ) v 28-32

 28            So they drew near to the village to which they were going. He acted as if he were going farther,

29            but they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us, for it is toward evening and the day is now far spent.” So he went in to stay with them.

30            When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.

31            And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.

32            They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

It was getting dark outside-so Cleofas and he other disciple which can be       his wife or a close friend- has to literally force Jesus to remain in their       house. Jesus acted as if He is going farther –so as not to impose himself on    their hospitality- and He wants to see how they would respond to His words of explanation.

But the fires in their bosom is already burning and they want more-and         they will get more. For now –because of the Word being explained -they             are already getting bold / courageous in the heart- to believe what Moses            and the Prophets prophesied about the Christ.

      And they started dinner by reclining on the table –and then suddenly –          instead of the two playing the host-Jesus did – He took the bread , bless it,             broke it and gave it to them …

The_Road_To_Emmaus

You can know someone by their habits and mannerism

Example Korean Telenovela –lost loved- he recognize her by the way she      stands

They recognized Jesus by the breaking of the bread

Was it during the Last Supper Or is it during the miracle of the loaves and      the fishes?

1 year since-death of Nathaniel April 14, 2012 – I know him when he sat by             me at the dinner table –he will eat and then always tries to look at me

I still remember him –and so did Cleopas and the other disciple when they    see Jesus broke the bread- now they realize who He really is.

After the first night-I woke up early and hope that Nathaniel will be there in             the breakfast –and everything was a just a bad dream-and yet he is not          there –even if I wish. But here is Jesus –amongst them explaining and even eating with them –and then they understand- they see Him-recognize Him.

  • Fear of emotionalism, mysticism- rightly –for when emotions are what drives us –it will lead to bad  decisions

But if the Word drives us here-for truly there is really something supernatural here.

Hearts do burn when the Scriptures is read, interpreted, explained and centered on Jesus. When at the Lord’s Table – He took, bless, break and give it.

Why were they prevented to recognize him before? This is in order that the disciples like you and I will not know Jesus through physically or fleshly –like an image or through the superstition of the Roman Catholic transubstiation

But through the means of the Word read, explained and preached and applied –especially when He is no more physically present- The Word and the Lord’s Table ordinance.

We must learn to commune with Him not fleshly but through the Holy Spirit –through the Word, through the preach Word –and the Breaking of the Bread.

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Application: Witness v 33-35 (Tell Others)

 33            And they rose that same hour and returned to Jerusalem. And they found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,

34            saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”

35            Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.

             The two disciples corroborated the witness of the women and Peter. For by             that time the witness of women is considered low-just half of men. Only in         Christianity that women are treated equal-make no mistake about that.   Not with Muslim states or any other religion.

What is the difference between a request made thru an email, thru another           person, a call from the phone, and a personal trek to the person? The last          one is powerful- one cannot easily say No to it-you take trouble to do it.

Is it required from us-to Witness to Him?

With what happened to the two disciples them-can they help themselves to             be silent about it? Can we help ourselves?

Is it okay to be a boyfriend or girlfriend of someone-but be secretive about it?  Or is the fire within our hearts about Jesus already extinguished?

– Does He still matter to us ?

Review:

  1. In preaching we must first connect with the hearers in their situation , in their experiences –but though important –it is limited and thus we must go beyond it.
  2. The message preached must lead the hearers to re-examination and meditation of the text of Scripture.
  3. The preacher must supply the proper biblical interpretation and he must work on this before preaching the message. This is a hard work for he must explain the word adequately. A Word not understood is easy prey –the Devil may be able to steal it in our hearts.
  4. Mere head knowledge of bible facts is not our goal but an experiential and personal knowledge of the Lord Jesus. This may be deepened by our daily devotions, prayer, group bible studies, in our group singing or even in our  pain/suffering (like when we lost Nathaniel) -and then in our service to others.
  5. We are to be witnesses not by formula evangelism but by our whole life –this is called lifestyle evangelism-where we are now. Let us start our conversation with unbelievers by saying –Jesus is very good right? And then you can recount your everyday blessings –and see how the other responds.

Let us close by reading the Scriptures:

2 Timothy 3: 15-17

15            and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

16            All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

17            that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

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