- Sermon Notes
How to Have Beautiful Feet
This is our last message in the book of Luke and it's one of the most important because here Jesus appears to the disciples after the resurrection and
gives them God's plan of the ages; and God’s plan is to let the whole world know the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The last several weeks we've been looking back at the big picture of God's plan of the ages. We went all the way back to Adam and saw that we were there; we were part of what happened. We were in Adam when he sinned, in his loins you might say, so that Adam's sin became our problem.
But Adam's sin wasn’t our only problem; we added plenty of our own sins as well. The result, of course, is that our sins caused us to be separated from God and if we are separated from God we have no hope for eternity. “"Behold, the Lord's hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God." Isaiah 59:1-2
Before the foundation of the world God's determined plan was that He would send His own Son to reveal God's love to the world, to demonstrate the authority of God over all things, to set captives free, and to speak words of life and truth so all men might know that God desires relationship with them through the eternal life that He offers.
God's plan was that Jesus, God's Son, would not only represent God to man, He would come in the fullness of humanity to represent man before God. When He suffered, was crucified and died, He took our sins upon Himself, paying the penalty that we should have paid. He drank the cup of the wrath of God that should have been ours to drink.
But Christ did not remain in the grave. He rose again on the third day and in so doing defeated death so it would no longer be master over us. Therefore, all who receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, asking Him to forgive their sins by the blood He shed on the cross at Calvary, would receive eternal life, be saved from condemnation, and be adopted as God's son or daughter and have an eternal relationship of love to Him.
All that leads us to these verses in Luke 24, because here Jesus tells them what God is doing next in His determined plan of the ages. The good news, the gospel, what God has done through His Son, is to be taken to the whole world.
Jesus is going to send them out to spread the good news to all and that same commission is extended to us as well so that all the world might know that God is doing something about the brokenness, loneliness, lostness, and emptiness of this dark world. Paul, the apostle, said this, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 1:16
I. God Wants us to Live by Faith
- While Cleopas and his friend were telling the disciples that they had seen the risen Jesus, He appeared in their midst.
- At first, they are frightened and think they are seeing a spirit. Jesus confronts them in their unbelief, but then strengthens their faith by giving
them reasons to believe.
- God is not asking us to have blind faith; He’s asking us to have faith based on the evidence He gives to strengthen our faith and is pleased when we believe. Hebrews 11:6…
A. God expects us to believe His Word
- God’s Word is itself reason to believe. He told them in advance so they would be strengthened by that Word when it was fulfilled.
- At first their problem was that they didn’t want to believe what He was saying to them.
- In fact, Peter so strongly didn’t want to believe that he even tried to correct the Lord…
Matthew 16:22-23, Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind the Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God's interests, but man's.”
- But when Jesus appears in their midst and they finally realize that He has truly risen from the dead, it was such good news they could hardly take
it in. Verse 41 – “And while they still could not believe it for joy…”
- He then began to open their minds to understand the scriptures so they could see that God told them all these things in advance. The Word of God then
becomes a witness to them to strengthen their faith. They believed the scriptures were God’s Word, now they understand what God’s Word said.
Isaiah 53:1-10 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
Illus – Even today many Jews cannot explain the meaning of this chapter.
2 Corinthians 3:14-16, But their minds were hardened; for until this very day at the reading of the old covenant the same veil remains unlifted, because it is removed in Christ. But to this day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their heart; but whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
- God reveals Himself through His Son and when you get to know His Son, you get to know His heart for you and that strengthens faith.
Hebrew 1:1-2, God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
Romans 10:17, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
B. God expects us to believe eyewitnesses
- Jesus appeared to the disciples and many others so that they became eyewitnesses of His resurrection.
- Notice verse 48 – “You are witnesses of these things.” They become evidence to strengthen our faith.
Illus – Imagine a jury trial where 500 witnesses came on the stand and each one says that he saw someone was alive. How many witnesses would it take to be convincing?
1 Corinthians 15:4-6, “…and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now,”
- Thomas did not believe the other disciples’ report that they had seen Him; he becomes a great lesson in living faith.
- “Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe,” because they believe when the evidence is given to them…
John 20:24-29 Thomas becomes famous for doubting
II. God is Entreating through Us
- Jesus then tells them that He is sending them out. And in book of Acts 1:8 Jesus also said, "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth."
- Notice that He doesn't just send them out, He sends them out with power. And in Matthew 28, Jesus said, "All authority has been given to Me…
And I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
A. God has a message for the world to hear
- God has a message for the world and He has entrusted that message to us.
- Imagine what the world would be like, what people's lives would be like, if no one took the good news to the world. What would your life be like?
Illus – The story of John Newton, author of Amazing Grace.
- Jesus said, "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…" That love is seen very powerfully when we understand the nature of
God's heart that's behind the message He sends to the world.
- Look at what Paul wrote to the church at Corinth and see God's heart in making an appeal, an entreaty, that people would be reconciled to God through
2 Corinthians 5:17-21, God is entreating through us.
Illus – I was in Russia going door to door and was talking to a military man who said, "Before I would respond, God would have to send someone specifically to me to tell me what He wants me to do." I responded, "God sent me all the way from America to sit here in your living room with this message." He did respond.
- He's given that Word to us by His authority.
Illus - I was asked to come to someone's house who said that he wanted to be saved, but thought God had put his name on the wrong list (God didn’t want him.). So I responded, "I have a message to you from God… I beg you on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God." I then read those verses in 2 Corinthians 5 to him.B. Friends tell friends good news
- It's interesting that if you look at who Jesus reached out to with the love of God; it's very telling about God's heart.
- He invited a tax collector, hated by all the people, to become a disciple, He allowed a harlot to wash His feet with her tears and hair, He spoke to
a woman who had been married five times and was living with a man not her husband, He brought life to a wild, naked man living in the cemetery,
and He touched a leper.
- How much more would God want to reach average people right around us with the good news of eternal life?
Illus – Your changed life becomes another witness to strengthen people’s faith. In fact, I suggest the world expects you to tell them
Illus – To quote an atheist after someone gave him a New Testament, "How much do you have to hate somebody to believe that everlasting life is possible and not tell them?"
Romans 10:14-15, How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
- There are several reasons people don't give others the good news.
- They don’t have all the answers; they're afraid they'll be asked something they can't answer. But, a) we could grow in our faith and be ready
to give an answer.
- They don’t have all the answers; they're afraid they'll be asked something they can't answer. But, a) we could grow in our faith and be ready to give an answer.
1 Peter 3:15, Always being ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you…
2 Timothy 2:15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the Word of truth.
- B) We could be honest and tell them we don't know.
Illus – Did you know that it is often the new believers that have the most zeal for spreading the good news, and they don't know much at all?
Illus – The best way I know to tell people about the good news of Jesus Christ is to love them and serve them and build a relationship of mutual respect, but don't be ashamed to let it be known who you are.
Jesus was criticized because He associated with sinners, and can't we in the same way build a relationship of mutual respect so that we are close enough to be able to tell them the truth in love?
Illus - If I tried to reach out to someone to help them and I'm standing on a slippery, muddy slope, I can help them not at all. But when I'm standing on a rock, I am saved and I can help them as well.
Illus – Matthew told me about his track coach in high school, Howard Price, who ran out to pick up a runner who had become demoralized and simply quit, but the coach wouldn’t let him quit…
Luke 24:36-53 NASB
36 While they were telling these things, He Himself stood in their midst and said to them, "Peace be to you." 37 But they were startled
and frightened and thought that they were seeing a spirit. 38 And He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39
See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." 40 And when He
had said this, He showed them His hands and His feet. 41 While they still could not believe it because of their joy and amazement, He said to them,
"Have you anything here to eat?" 42 They gave Him a piece of a broiled fish; 43 and He took it and ate it before them.