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Hosted by PAULFROMNYS|Malachi 3:16-18/Bible talk

Based on Malachi 3:16-18 I believe the Lord will harken to us as we consider his word together.

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The Testimony of the Christ #1   T. Austin Sparks

Started Oct-17 by PAULFROMNYS; 24 views.
PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-17

   

Chapter 1 - A Transfigured Journey

 

Reading: Luke 24.

This is a chapter which comprehends the whole range of testimony concerning the Christ and which enshrines at its heart the greatest issue of all the ages. There are many details gathered around that central value, and before we arrive at the essential message, I think it would be helpful and profitable if we just consider some of those relative features.

There is first of all this journey which these two men took to Emmaus, what we might call a transfigured journey, for never did a beginning have such a wonderful ending; never did a greater change take place within the compass of a comparatively short distance.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-17

   

An Unexpected Meeting with the Lord

In the first place, how unexpected and unimagined was the event that took place on that journey! No men were ever less suspecting, imagining, what was just about to happen. They went on their journey of a little over seven miles for their own reasons, which we shall look at presently, and they were not expecting anything but that they would eventually arrive at Emmaus and go into whatever place they were making for, and after that, well, who knows? For them the future was a blank perhaps, anything beyond that journey which they might have accomplished in a couple of hours. I do not suppose they were hurrying, apparently they were not, and then, after that, all was a big question for them; a great big question for their entire future. No, they were not expecting anything, they were not imagining what might be. They had just walked out. Perhaps they had said one to the other, "Well, let us go to Emmaus, let us just go..." - and that is all. "We do not know what lies ahead, everything is very dark, very uncertain... we really do not know where we are, but let us just go." And the greatest thing in history and in human experience came into that which seemed so casual; came right into their lives, but even then it was not realized. All its import, all its tremendous significance was still veiled, though so near. "Jesus himself drew near, and went with them". He was there with all the immense significance of His being there at that time after what had happened, with all the far-reaching meaning and value of His being alive. He was there, but unrealised; so much present of meaning and value and portent, but still not recognising, not knowing. They had their reasons for taking that seven mile walk, but the possibilities in it and of it had never occurred to them.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-17

   That is of wider application than to just the incident we are thinking about. It contains a message in itself right at the outset. There may be the greatest possibilities, potentialities -  the greatest things in human experience right close to us all, unsuspected - and we are casual. We have come here; let us at once adjust ourselves, for this same Jesus lives and has said, "I am with you all the days" (Matt. 28:20). There may be the greatest experience in human history right near to you, just now. It might perhaps prepare the way for the Lord if we take that attitude. But let us go on.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-17

   

Unknown Men

Two of them... who were they? Well, so far as our enquiry and search goes, we are still unable to identify them. There have been guesses, but I do not think there is any proof yet as to who they were. Two unknown people - one named, but that does not help us at all; the other unnamed. They were certainly not apostles, but they returned to Jerusalem later and reported to the eleven. You notice it says here in the narrative, that they told all these things to: "the eleven... and them that were with them". Paul, much later, in speaking of or recording the appearances of the Lord after His resurrection, said, "He appeared to above five hundred brethren at once" (1 Cor. 15:6). These were two of all the rest, that is all.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-17

   One of the greatest things that could possibly happen to men, came to one unnamed and one named, but unknown, persons. That may help us. Perhaps you are feeling that these great things of God may be for some important people, they might be for the apostles or people of that category, but I am just one of the rest, my name is not known and is not mentioned, and if it should be mentioned, it does not signify anything, it does not imply anything... I am just in the crowd, I am just in that larger company - "above five hundred". The Lord was not confining Himself to the "important" people. Here were two of the rest, whatever that might mean, people of all shades and grades. He had gone down that way - it would seem out of the way, because they were certainly out of the way, they had to get back into the way to come into the full value of things. He had gone out of the way for people like that, just the ordinary people, and what a thing for ordinary people! I know how simple, how very elementary, these things may sound, but they lead us into the heart and will help us perhaps when we come to the greater matters. Yes, they were not people who have a record in history for any outstanding personality or position. They belonged to the rest, but the Lord gave them as great an experience as He gave to the apostles. The Lord Jesus has not reserved His great values for important people.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-17

   

Disappointed and Despairing Men

Then about the journey itself and its reason. Why did they go down to Emmaus? We can only guess, I think, and yet we may conclude from their own conversation. First of all, they were disappointed men. Life for them had lost its meaning. As they said, they had hoped that it had been He Who should redeem Israel, and their hopes were dashed. They had centred all their expectations in Him and calculated for the rest of their lives by Him. He had become life and all its meaning and value, and now, so far as they knew, He was dead and buried. And what a death! Not the death of a recognized and acclaimed king, but the death of a felon, an outlaw. Oh, what an ignominious death! That it should have come to Him, and that it should have come to them and come into their lives! That this should have come into our life! It is one thing to read it in a book as having happened at some time, somewhere, but that should have come into our life! Things like this happen to some people, you feel exceedingly sorry for them, even distressed, but that it should have come into our lives... a thing like this! That a tragedy of the first magnitude should have come right into our life and shattered everything for us, all our hopes and expectations cut off... deepest disappointment and despair! That was the mood, the atmosphere. They walked and the word used means "discussed" these things, and were sad.

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PAULFROMNYS

From: PAULFROMNYS

Oct-17

   

Perplexed Men

Not only were they disappointed, they were perplexed. They just did not know, in the first place, the meaning of it all. And then people were talking about strange things, talking about experiences; there were reports and rumours. They said to Him "Certain women of our company amazed us, having been early at the tomb; and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive. And certain of them that were with us went to the tomb, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not." Reports about people having experiences. People were saying, 'We have had a wonderful experience', and here these were in dire distress and despair. "Other people... rumours and mysterious things, but we are out in the cold, we have nothing of that, we do not know anything about that; that may be true or may not be in their realm, but in ours it is all a mystery."

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