Posts from April 2016

“I Was an Outcast” Matthew 9:9-13

Most of you have heard of me for a couple of reasons.  The first is that I said “Yes” to Jesus, just like many of you have.  The second reason is because your pastor read some words that I wrote about 50 years after the resurrection of our Lord.  Some think that my gospel was the first one written, because it is listed first in your New Testament, but that is incorrect.  Actually, I had a copy of the shortest gospel written by John Mark and used it as a guide as the Holy Spirit inspired me to write.  Mark provided the events of Jesus’ ministry; I sought to record Jesus’ teaching.  Mine is listed first, because I wrote to a specifically Jewish audience.  Moving from the Old Testament, which is the Hebrew Bible, to the New Testament, my gospel serves as a bridge for the Jews in seeking to understand that Jesus was who he said he was, that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the Promised One of God.

“The Recognizable Jesus” Luke 24:13-35

Last Sunday in worship, we focused on the verses prior to what I read earlier; on Easter Sunday, we read how the women went early to anoint Jesus’ corpse and instead found an empty tomb.  The ladies found two angels in the tomb who asked them, “Why seek the living from among the dead?  He is not here, but is risen.  Don’t you remember how he told y’all in his home province of Galilee that he would be treated unjustly, crucified and would rise again?”  These ladies were so overjoyed that they went to a group of Jesus’ followers, which included the eleven apostles, and shared the good news of the resurrection, yet the group didn’t believe them.

So today’s New Testament Lesson continues the story.  Later on the first Easter Sunday, two people left the upper room in Jerusalem and began the seven-mile walk home to their village called Emmaus.  After their dreams had been dashed, they wanted to retreat back to their house; if they had stayed in Jerusalem, they might be arrested as followers of Jesus, so instead they chose to go back to life as it had been before they knew Jesus.