God’s Perfect Word

Why the World Needs the Bible

Study Series on the Awesome Words of Almighty God

Luke 24:13-34


Pastor Craig Ledbetter

DATE: 7 September, 2008 AM

PLACE: BBC Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland



I.        Introduction (Psalm 119:47,48; 97-99; 103; 131; 148)


A.      New Series this month: On the Awesome Words of Almighty God


1.       God’s Perfect Word – Why the World Needs the Bible

2.       God’s Living Word – Why the World Does not Know the Real Jesus Christ

3.       God’s Visible Word – Why the World Needs The Christian

4.       How to Learn and Live by the Word of God


B.      Unlike other books, Bible believers read the Bible through again and again. They sometimes spend hours meditating upon a single passage, a single verse, a single phrase, or a single word. They thrill at discoveries within its pages more than men have thrilled at great discoveries of oil or precious metals! I wonder why?

C.      The noted astronomer, Sir John Herschel, who made many im­portant and vital scientific discoveries, declared: "All human dis­coveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths of the Holy Scriptures."

D.      The Word of God remains the number one best seller in the liter­ary field year after year. It amounts to over 6 billion copies printed just since 1815. It has been printed, in whole or in part, in over two thousand different languages and dialects. When it is translated into a new tongue the waiting recipients are almost delirious with joy. How can you explain such popularity for so ancient a volume?

E.       The great preacher of 150 years ago in London named Charles Spurgeon was asked one time whether he felt the need to defend the Bible. Spurgeon responded, "Defend the Bible? I would soon defend a lion!"

F.       Did you know?


1.       The Bible can be read aloud at normal speed in just 70 hours.

2.       According to statistics from Wycliffe International, the Society of Gideons, and the International Bible Society, the number of new Bibles that are sold, given away, or otherwise distributed in USA alone is about 168,000 per day.


II.      Message (Luke 24:13-34)


A.      The Background.


1.       Jesus prophesied about His upcoming death, and especially about His resurrection – did anyone believe Him? Only a few! (Luke 9:22; 18:31-33)

2.       Jesus had been crucified

3.       It is now three days later, and four women have come running from the tomb saying that Christ’s tomb was empty, and that angels had announced He was very much alive!

4.       No one believes them (Luke 24:9-11)

5.       Everyone starts talking about this strange event – they couldn’t stop talking about it! Such a dramatic turn-about if it were true! But could it be?!


B.      Rough Journey (Luke 24:13-24) - It was just a 7 ˝ mile trek for these two men who had once been such devout and excited disciples of Jesus the Messiah. But it was after the most traumatic weekends of their entire lives! They are walking slow, and sorrowful!


1.       Communing (24:13,14) – These two men were trying to talk things out


a.       There is nothing more wondrous than the consideration of God’s word by hungry, humble hearts – even when confused, and sorrowful (24:17)

b.       To struggle through the promises of the Bible, and attempt to believe them

c.        To actually see those promises fulfilled in your life, and be able to testify, God kept His word!

d.       These men were talking about Jesus! Not religion! What a wondrous difference!


2.       Companion (24:15) – Jesus joins in the discussion


a.       A man comes walking up along side these two men

b.       He does not look familiar even though He knows them both!

c.        Isn’t it wonderful to know that the Lord shares our journey even though we are not aware of it?


3.       Closed Eyes (24:16)


a.       Why is he not apparent? If he had been easily recognized, it would have quickly frightened them off – Jesus wanted to draw out their joy and faith before revealing Himself!

b.       Most eyes are very closed to the presence of Jesus Christ in our world


4.       Confused (24:17-23)


a.       About their religion


1)       Their own religious leaders, whom they looked up to and revered, had actually crucified the only Man who ever lived unselfishly, and perfectly!

2)       It was the LEADERS who had murdered an innocent Man – usually, religious leaders are supposed to defend the innocent!

3)       Their religion was in shambles – it was a “club” that did not even want the Son of God in its membership!


b.       About their trust in Jesus


1)       But it gets worse

2)       They had actually trusted that Jesus was THE promised prophet who would come to “save them”

3)       Thought he would physically deliver, heal, bless the nation of Israel! Jesus could do all that, but it was infinitely more important that He deliver the souls of men and women from hell, and heal their broken hearts and minds!

4)       They were very confused – so many religions are STILL confused

5)       They wanted a Genie, a SLAVE, a FAIRY GODMOTHER!

6)       They needed a SAVIOUR, and they need a LORD!


c.        About Christ’s promise


1)       And in the back of their minds, they remembered something about three days and three nights (Matthew 12:40)

2)       Jesus said something about rising again after three days

3)       And now that it has been three days, and certain women have started everything up again! We had buried Jesus, and now we are having to go through all this again!


d.       These two men were confused  - but not for long!


5.       Considering (24:24). They were openly debating. Oh that you and I entered into the heartaches of people lives with some GOOD NEWS!


a.       The testimony of the four women – there are over 100 proofs that Jesus rose from the dead: historical, logical, testimonial proofs that are infallible!

b.       The appearance of angels – Somebody had to roll the tombstone away – the Roman soldiers were not going to do it, nor were they going to allow it!

c.        The empty tomb – ponder THAT for a month of Sundays! Every other tomb has its occupant, but death could not hold Jesus!

d.       Something had surely happened


C.      Rebuke (Luke 24:25-27) – Here we get to the main message!


1.       After listening to all the cribbing, and confusion, and conflict in the minds and hearts of these two “disciples”, Jesus does not feel sorry for them, and does not apologize for them having to go through such a “traumatic experience” – No! He REBUKES THEM BECAUSE THEY DID NOT BELIEVE THEIR BIBLE!

2.       Modern psychology comforts those who go through hard times – Jesus says the Scriptures are our strength FOR those hard times!

3.       Do you know what some folks are going to get in heaven when they first arrive? A rebuke! The Lord will show us just how little we believed His promises! Just how little we even read of His word!

4.       The Modern “Heresy” of Believing the Bible (Luke 24:25-27; Acts 24:14)


a.       A Christian is not someone that just sides with Jesus, but is one who whole-heartedly follows Jesus!

b.       That means believing ALL that the prophets have spoken


1)       Not just the good parts, or the easy to believe parts

2)       But the Red Sea parts, and the manna for 40 years parts, and the Six-Day Creation parts, and the laws against homosexuality parts, and the crucifixion parts


c.        Bible believers are referred to as “fundamentalists” for a good reason – we believe the Bible like a mathematician believes his math – absolutely – not vaguely or symbolically!

d.       People will easily call the Bible the “word of God” but they will not believe every word! What hypocrisy!


5.       The Value of the Bible to Jesus


a.       He thought the Bible was God’s perfect word


1)       Heaven and earth would pass away before even the smallest portion of a letter of it would (Matt. 5:17-18).

2)       Jesus trusted the Old Testament enough to use it as His only source for solving theological arguments. So many times, His argument rested only on the significance of a single word in the text.


(i)       In Mark 12:35-37, Jesus based an important theological point on the second usage of the word "Lord," arguing that the Messiah was more than just the son of David. He is Lord!

(ii)     In Matthew 22:31-32, Jesus built His case against the Sadducees on the word "am" in order to teach the doctrine of the resurrection of the body, which they rejected. Such confidence in the very words of Scripture is a crucial indication of Jesus' high view of their truth.


3)       On many other occasions, Jesus cited Scripture as a "proof text" while debating His adversaries.


(i)       During the wilderness temptation, Jesus quoted Old Testament texts in opposition to Satan (Matt. 4:4, 7, 10).

(ii)     Other times, Jesus responded to His detractors by asking them, "Have you not read. . . ?" "It is not written. ...". What a waste of time if the Bible was not true!

(iii)    In Matthew 22:29, Jesus remarked that an ignorance of Scripture caused the Sadducees to a make a massive theological error about the resurrection.


4)       Jesus considered the Bible to be the definitive authority in solving theological issues.

5)       He said it is the only truth worth believing (John 17:17)

6)       Jesus referred to the entire Old Testament both as the Law and the prophets, as well as adding the Psalms (Luke 24:44).

7)       He said the Bible would last forever (Matthew 24:35)

8)       He said the Bible was THE final judge of all mankind (John 12:47,48)

9)       It was His only weapon against Satanic attack and temptation (Matthew 4)

10)   The Bible is not simply a time-honoured human document. Rather, Jesus called it the very command and words of God. Humans like Moses and David penned the text, but God still spoke through them.


b.       It was quoted by Jesus over 180 times (10% of the Gospels)

c.        The apostles in the rest of the New Testament quote the Old testament without question over 800 times!

d.       Even Peter called the writings of the apostle Paul Scripture (2Peter 3:14-16)


6.       Jesus now takes these two men on a tour of the Bible through its pages with the laser of faith in every word that it said! They slowed their pace as they walked – this two hour walk was turning into 4 hours or more!!!

7.       Through the pages of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Psalms, Daniel, Hosea, Malachi Jesus took these two men (Luke 24:27)


a.       He showed them Himself in the promised seed of Eve who would defeat the devil

b.       He showed Himself in the lambs that covered the nakedness of Adam and Eve

c.        He showed Himself in the worship of Abel instead of in the good works of Cain

d.       He showed Himself as the Rock in the wilderness that supplied water for all 2 million of the Israelites in the desert

e.        He showed Himself in the Manna

f.        He showed Himself as the cloud by day, and the fire by night

g.        He reminded them of Himself in the fiery furnace with Shadrach, Meshach and Abendego

h.       He showed Himself as the Ancient of Days, and the stone from heaven in Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams in the book of Daniel!


8.       Oh how the trip seemed too short to contain all the light these two men were getting from this “Stranger!”


D.      Revelation (Luke 24:28-31)


1.       After the 7 ˝ mile walk, the two men attempt to enter the home they were staying in that night, and had to force Jesus to come along with them – prove they really wanted this Man around (still not knowing it was JESUS)

2.       They invited Him to stay and eat with them, which He did

3.       And it was when He broke the bread, and blessed it, that they finally heard THAT VOIVE, and saw THOSE NAIL SCARRED HANDS, and they FINALLY BELIEVED!

4.       And then He vanished!


E.       A New Race  (Luke 24:32-34)


1.       They had walked 7 ˝ miles – took them all afternoon

2.       But when they finally realized that Jesus was REALLY alive, and that they had just spent the afternoon with Him, they left their dinner, and RAN back to Jerusalem to tell the eleven doubting apostles that Jesus not only is alive and well, but that HIS WORD IS TRUE!

3.       They called it a “heart burn” that they never got over!


III.   Conclusion


A.      How the Bible was Written (2Peter 1:21)


1.       By the Holy Spirit of God

2.       Over a 1500 year span (from 1400 B.C to A.D. 100) – that’s across 40 generations of time

3.       By about 40 authors from many walks of life (i.e. - kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, scholars)

4.       In different places (i.e. - wilderness, dungeons, palaces)

5.       At different times (i.e. - war, peace, famine, storms)

6.       In different moods (i.e. - heights of joy, depths of despair)

7.       On three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe)

8.       In three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek)

9.       On stone, paper, and hearts!

10.    Can you imagine what it would be like trying to get 40 different men (from varying walks of life, with sundry intellects, positions, personalities, professions, environments, etc.—separated by as much as 1,500 years in time) to write on some other theme, such as pol¬itics, medicine, or even religion, then bind their conclusions to¬gether into one book? What a mass [mess] of conflicting opinions you would have. To achieve harmonious unity in such a book under such circumstances is absolutely inconceivable. Not so with the Word of God! Here is perfect, absolute unity and harmony. That is why we call it THE WORD OF GOD and not of men!


B.      God Means Just What He Says


There are some who believe the Bible, And some who believe in part,

And some who trust with reservation, And some with all their heart.

But I know that its every promise Is firm and true always;

It is tried as the precious silver, And it means just what it says.

It is strange we trust each other, And only doubt our Lord;

We will take the word of mortals, And yet distrust His word;

But, oh, what light and glory

Would shine o'er all our days

If we always would remember

That He means just what He says.

—A. B. Simpson


C.      The Wonder of the Redemption It Offers! David declares: "The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul" (Ps 19:7).


1.       It convicts us all of sin!


a.       It goes right to the heart and explodes all myths and lies therein! Professor William Lyon Phelps of Yale declared: "[The Bible] ought to have written on the cover, 'Highly Explosive. Handle with Care.' It is the book which by the dynamite of its message has lifted empires off their hinges and turned the course of human events. It has put down the mighty from their seats and exalted them of low degree." That is what Paul was saying in Romans 1:16: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power [dynamite] of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."

b.       This dynamite is never evidenced more clearly than in its power to produce conviction in the heart of sinners. Sidney Collett tells of a missionary to China who once read Romans 1 to a large audience. After the service a Chinaman came to complain of the unfairness manifested by this foreign devil Las the missionaries of that day and land were called] in coming to discover all their secret sins, write them in a book, then read them aloud in public!


2.       It Converts the Sinner (James 1:21)

3.       It Conforms/Transforms

4.       It Comforts the Broken

5.       It Calls – for absolutely ALL to follow Jesus


D.      Get into our Bibles like never before! Get in AWE of them once again! Know your Bible! Believe your Bible!

E.       It is impossible mentally and socially to enslave a Bible-reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom. —Horace Greeley