Text: Luke 24:13-35

Sunday April 23rd, 2023 – Easter 3

Trinity – Creston/Mt. Ayr


       Grace, mercy, and peace is yours from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!


       Our text for this third Sunday of Easter is the Gospel lesson from Luke 24 that was just proclaimed.


Let Us Pray: Dearest Jesus send your Holy Spirit enabling us to recognize that although visibly unseen you are with your children where you have always promised in your unchanging Word our baptism and with your body and blood that was redeemed for each of us in your Supper.  Amen.


Dear Fellow Redeemed in Christ:



When Paul was dictating one of his letters to the church in Corinth, the Holy Spirit inspired him to create a short list of the people who saw Jesus alive after He died on the cross. 

He said, [1 Corinthians 15:3–8] “I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.”

These words remind us that there were hundreds, perhaps even thousands of people who saw Jesus alive after He died on the cross.

These accounts were not like modern day sightings of Sasquatch, or UFO’s, or Elvis … you know those shadowy, grainy, out of focus images that could be almost anything.  These are accounts of people who had conversations with Jesus … who touched Jesus … who ate with Jesus.  These are not the accounts of people who saw things out of the corner of their eye.  These are not the results of wishful thinking.

Many questions arise when we read the accounts of the resurrection in the Bible.  One question that a person might ask is this: “Why is this particular account included while another account was left out?” The Apostle Paul indicates that there were many accounts of the risen Lord.  There would not be room to record them all.  Why did the Holy Spirit inspire the Evangelists to include these particular accounts?

Today’s Gospel comes from the Gospel according to Luke.  Luke’s accounts of the resurrection begin early in the day with the witness of the women at the empty tomb.  Then there is the account that we heard earlier of the two disciples en route to Emmaus. 

There is an account of Jesus appearing to the disciples as they gather together in Jerusalem.  Finally, there is the account of Jesus appearing to the disciples as He ascended into heaven.

There is a common thread to many of these narratives.  The women encountered the angels at the empty tomb and the angel said, [Luke 24:6–8]

 “Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And [the women] remembered his words. 

In today’s Gospel, we heard Jesus speak to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus and say, [Luke 24:25–27] “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. 

Then, in the third resurrection account, Jesus appeared to a gathering of the disciples and [Luke 24:44–47] 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 and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” 

In each instance there is a focus on the word of God.  The angels direct the women to the Word of God from the mouth of Jesus.  Jesus directs the gtdisciples to the Word of God written in Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms.

Today’s Gospel even tells us that Jesus hid His own identity while He explained the Scriptures.  While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. 16 But their eyes were kept from recognizing him.  Jesus hid His own identity, but He explained the Scriptures. 

As far as Jesus was concerned, it was more important for these disciples to understand the resurrection based on the Word of God than it was for them to understand the resurrection simply by seeing Jesus in the flesh.

The Word of God is very important to Jesus.  Jesus scolded these two disciples for failure to believe the Word of God.  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?”

Jesus understood that the Bible is not hard to understand because it uses difficult language.  It is hard to understand because it says things that we do not want to believe. 

Supposedly Mark Twain said, “It ain't those parts of the Bible that I can't understand that bother me, it is the parts that I do understand.”

What would happen if Jesus walked with you and He talked with you?  Would He say the same thing to you? “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” I know that I am still foolish.  I know that I am slow to believe.  What about you?

Why is Jesus so stern?  Why is He so insistent that we believe the Word of God?  Why does He label those who are slow to believe as foolish?  Jesus knows that the Word of God is the Power of God. 

After all, when we look at creation, we know that it is God’s Word that created it all and continues to make it all work together.  In the same way, it is also God’s Word that delivers salvation to us.

Jesus is not insistent about God’s Word just to give us something to do.  He is insistent about God’s word because it is the power of God unto salvation.  The Word of God is how God gives His gifts. 


In fact, Jesus Christ Himself is the Word made flesh (John 1:14).  It is through the Word of God by the power of the Holy Spirit that Jesus Himself still comes to us today.

It is very natural for us to ignore God’s Word or hear it improperly.  When we hear that we broke the universe with our sin, it is natural for us to think we need to fix it by not sinning.  Our human nature desperately desires a way for us set things right … to make our own way back to paradise. 

It makes sense to us that good, loving people go to heaven and cruel, evil people go to hell.  It makes sense to us that we should be able to improve our own moral character so that we can make ourselves worthy of heaven. 

Therefore, when God’s Word tells us that we are all cruel and evil … that we cannot save ourselves, we ignore it and then complain that it is too hard to understand.(See Mark Twain’s quote) When God’s Word tells us that Jesus took the blame and punishment for our cruelty and evil, we judge that it is too good to be true and insist that there is something that we must do in order to earn our own salvation.

Jesus will not let us get away with that kind of thinking.  He taught the Emmaus disciples that the entire Old Testament is about Him.  He began with Moses and all the Prophets, and He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.  He showed them how the Old Testament proclaimed the suffering, death, and resurrection of the Christ.

Jesus teaches that there is a single theme throughout the Bible.  It is like a scarlet thread winding its way through all the passages of Scripture.  That scarlet thread is Jesus Himself. 

He teaches us that we have not learned the full meaning of any passage in Scripture until that passage teaches us something about Christ crucified and risen for the forgiveness of sins. 

Jesus said that the Emmaus disciples were foolish and slow of heart because they did not believe in the scarlet thread of Jesus in all of Scripture.  I too must confess that I do not see Jesus as quickly as I should when I read the Bible.  Therefore, I too am foolish and slow of heart.  How about you?

Jesus does not say this to be mean.  Instead, He says this so that we will know about the salvation that He earned for us with His suffering and death on the cross.  He says this so that we will believe in Him and live with Him forever.  He wants us to know the Word because it is through the Word that we know Him and it is through Him that we have salvation.

Eventually, Jesus revealed Himself to the Emmaus disciples.  They arrived at their home and they invited Jesus to spend the night.  As they reclined for the evening meal, Jesus took the role of host.  He broke the bread and gave it to them. 

It was then that they realized that this was none other than Jesus risen from the dead.  Then, just as soon as they recognized them, He disappeared from their sight.

It is interesting that they recognized Jesus in the breaking of the bread for we also break bread.  Jesus has given us a special meal using bread and wine.  He promised that when we celebrate this meal according to His instructions, He will take up residence in the bread and the wine. 

He will come to us in His very body and blood.  In a way that is similar to the Emmaus disciples we also recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread.

Jesus comes to us in His Word.  He comes to us as His Word falls on our ears and He comes to us as the Word combines with the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper. 

In each case Jesus reveals Himself to us.  He is with us just as He was with the Emmaus disciples.  We have His promise and by His promise He gives us forgiveness, life, and salvation.  Amen



Now may the peace of God which passes all human understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior.  Amen.