Seeing Jesus and Worshipping Him

The Great Commission  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Jesus appeared to His disciples following His resurrection and prior to His ascension. He makes Himself known to them in the breaking of the bread. Today, we see Jesus in the celebration of His supper.

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After completing a short study of the greatest commandment, to love God and our neighbour, we turn now to consider seeing, knowing, and worshipping Jesus. This will prepare us for what we will study over the next two weeks, the great commission, in which Jesus calls us to make disciples of all nations.
But before we get to that important work, we need to see and understand, know and believe, trust and obey, honour and worship Jesus. This is important for all who identify as Christian. It is important to know and understand as you are present here today—either in this building, watching online, or viewing this later. We can’t share what we don’t know. Jesus appeared to His disciples so that they could see Him, know and understand what He had done, and what they needed to tell the world.
Seeing Jesus
The disciples obeyed Jesus’ command to go to the Galilee region, to the mountain which Jesus told them to go. They trusted Him, and knew that there they would see Him. Some of the disciples had seen Him already. Some had witnessed His resurrection first hand. Others who were there had not yet see Him with their own eyes.
One thing is certain, Jesus came to them and made absolutely sure that they understood who He was and what He had done. When we consider our passage in Luke, we begin in the middle of the story, in the middle of the action. The they, refers to the two disciples whom Jesus met on their way from Jerusalem to Emmaus.
Our focus this morning is more on their report, than on their experience. But it is worth noting a couple things from their experience. Jesus came to them in the state they were in. They were discussing everything that had happened in Jerusalem that weekend. How Jesus was arrested, wrongfully convicted, crucified, was dead and buried. But on the third day, that very Sunday they were walking from Jerusalem to their home, they’d heard that Jesus had risen from the dead!
Jesus came to them and walked with them. He asked them what they were talking about. He then said to them, “Oh foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken! Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory? And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. But He still hid Himself from them until He sat at the table with them, He took bread, blessed and broke it and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.
In the moment the bread was broken, they saw Him as He really is. Brothers and sisters, the meal that we are about to celebrate is more than a mere ritual. The Lord’s Supper isn’t just an obligation, it isn’t a mystical moment. The Lord’s Supper is an act of God, a moment when we too see Jesus in the breaking of the bread.
In the senior catechism class, we have been studying the sacraments, and Lord’s Supper. The elements, the bread and the wine/grape juice, symbolise Jesus. They point us to Jesus, in as much as this ring symbolises and points to my marriage vows to Renee. This ring is made of gold, which is valuable, it is a circle, which represents the never ending commitment we’ve made. The symbol has meaning, not only in of itself, but because of what it represents.
The bread and the wine, point us to the body and blood of Jesus. He gave Himself up, His whole body, soul and spirit, to atone for our sins. He shed His blood, for the once and for all atonement for sin. These symbols are not Jesus Himself, they point us to Jesus in a powerful way.
Addressing Doubts
Jesus came to His disciples, those on the road to Emmaus, and He addressed their doubts—just as He would do with Thomas and the others, even those on the mountain. Now, I find this fascinating. He didn’t make Himself known to them immediately. Rather, He gave them all the proofs in Scripture concerning Himself. All the proofs that He has made available to us today. We have the same Scriptures. We have the same proofs. We don’t need to have Jesus appear to us here, in the flesh, in order to address our doubts.
Nevertheless, we do have to go about addressing our doubts. Not only did these two disciples have a hard time understanding all that had happened, some of the disciples who were on the mountain with Jesus doubted. In fact, we have story after story of the disciples being slow to understand. And Jesus was patient with them, lovingly addressing their doubts.
Jesus expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. That’s what we do here every Sunday. By the Holy Spirit working me, working in you, Jesus expounds to us in all the Scriptures concerning Himself. Jesus is active in me, and in you. He speaks truth to our hearts. He opens His Word, so that we can know and understand it.
I love the disciples’ response, in Luke 24:32 “And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”” When we come together in worship, at 10am and at 4pm, do not our hearts burn within us, while Jesus talks to us from His Word? Do we not also have moments when we see Jesus as He is?
Knowing Jesus
Brothers and Sisters, we come to this building, those of us who are able come in person, those who are unable due to their personal circumstances attend online, we come to know Jesus. We are continually knowing Jesus more and more.
The entire worship service is oriented around knowing and understanding who God is, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We come in faith, trusting that God will open our eyes so that we will see and know Jesus.
When the disciples arrived back to Jerusalem, they found the eleven disciples and those who were with them gathered together, saying, “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!”
Then these two disciples, confirmed what Peter had witnessed. They shared with them, their conversation with Jesus on the road, how their hearts burned within them, as Jesus explained all the Scriptures concerning Himself. They capped it all off, by saying how He was known to them in the breaking of bread. I can just imagine their report: “We were walking along, and then Jesus came along, and asked us what we were talking about. He rebuked us for our unbelief, but then patiently showed how everything in Scripture points to Him. It was like candle after candle was going off in our minds. It all made sense. And because we were so thrilled to gain this knowledge and understanding, a knowledge that is freely given and available to all, from the youngest to the oldest, we invited Him to stay with us. Then, and this was so incredible, then, He took the bread, gave thanks—how many times had we seen Him do that—He broke it and gave it to us. In that moment, we knew it was Jesus, and we just had to come and tell you!”
No sooner had they given this report, then Jesus appeared and stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you.” Those who were gathered there coudn’t believe their eyes. Jesus, patiently addresses them, “Why are you so troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.
In just a few moments, Jesus will invite us to see Him in the breaking of the bread. You do not have to participate in the meal, eating and drinking in order to believe. Jesus patiently takes all your doubts away. Believe the eyewitness testimonies. Believe the Scriptures. Believe the Holy Spirit who is here with us. Know that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.
Worshipping Jesus
But don’t stop there. Don’t just watch and see and know. Worship Him. Look at verse 41, “But while they still did not believe for joy, and marveled....” You don’t have to have it all figured out. You can take it on trust. You don’t have to fully understand. You have the rest of the days the Lord gives you to study His Word, to understand who Jesus is.
And yet, you do need to respond. Jesus has made Himself known to us. He makes Himself known to us in the breaking of bread. He is God. He has saved you from your sins. You are forgiven. By grace you have been saved, through faith. Trust that this is so. See the demonstration of His proof. Remember what Jesus said He came to do. Remember and believe.
Respond by worshipping Jesus. There are all kinds of things you could be doing right this minute. But you are here for a reason. You are here to worship God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You are here because Jesus called you here, so that He could appear to you and be made known to you in the breaking of bread.
Don’t hold anything back. Give yourself, heart, mind, soul and strength to Him. Receive Him, if not physically in partaking in communion, do so spiritually by receiving Him in your spirit. Bring all your doubts, all your fears, all your anxieties, all your concerns to Him; He cares for you. Trust in Him, and worship Him. He is worthy of your worship. He gave Himself for you, while you were still dead in your trespasses and sins. He already knows everything about you. You cannot hide anythign, you cannot prove anything. Don’t let your guilt and shame keep you from trusting and believing and worshipping. See Him, He is your Saviour, He gave His body and shed His blood for you. Believe, receive and worship. Amen.
Thank you Heavenly Father, for giving us Your Son, whom you promised to Adam and Eve at the very moment you caught them in their sin. You fulfilled your promise in Him. We see Jesus, we lift our voices to the one who is seated on the throne. We see Him in the New Jerusalem, and we praise Him for He saved us! In Jesus name, Amen.
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