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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


17. Jesus Ascension (Luke 24:50- 53)

LUKE 24:50 - 53
50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.

Farewell is often bitter and tearful. Yet Jesus’ farewell to his disciples was joyful, for they realized that he was living and will never die. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. The goal of the universe is not death, but Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Jesus led his disciples to the Kidron valley, and passed by the garden of betrayal, where they had slept while he was praying. He climbed with them the Mount of Olives toward Bethany. Jesus did not stop and look back at the city which refused him, but lifted up his hands, as the high priest did when he blessed the people, and blessed his disciples. He blessed as one having authority, commanded the blessing which he had purchased. We read only once about Jesus’ blessing in the whole New Testament. Until now, blessing in the New Testament was a privilege of the high priest, who sought God’s blessing on repentant people who lived before the Holy One under the sprinkling of the blood of sacrifices. Yet, in his blessing, Jesus revealed that he was the true High Priest in all his authority and glory, who leads his people (his church) to repentance, sprinkles it with his precious blood, and puts his Father’s power on it. As blessing was in the past a token of outpouring divine power on believers, so Jesus put his own power on his disciples, and gave them his life, his love, his firmly-established peace, and his certain joy. Even today, Jesus is the High Priest who blesses, for he sits at the right hand of his Father, substitutes and intercedes for us, and sanctifies us.

As he completed his blessing, he finished his work on earth. Then God lifted him up, and returned him to his glory which he had before he came down to the world for our redemption. Jesus did not disappear when he ascended from the Mount of Olives to heaven, as he did after his appearances to his disciples in their meetings, while he was still on earth during the forty days between his resurrection and his ascension, but was openly carried up into heaven before his disciples’ eyes, as a token of his return to God, his Father. Today, he sits with him, blessing his church continuously, for he lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God forever.

The disciples perceived something of the joy of heaven, which became greater as the Son approached his Father and was received by him. The creatures worshiped, and the angels greatly praised the one God in his Holy Trinity. The disciples on earth participated in this joy of heaven, for the whole of Christianity is established on this pure joy. Did you know that the Lord’s joy is our encouraging strength, and his continuous pleasure is our comfort?

The disciples returned joyfully to Jerusalem, praising and blessing God. They returned along the same way which they had followed on foot when entering Jerusalem with Christ on his triumphant entry into the capital.

On their last return, those witnesses of Christ’s resurrection and ascension glorified him who was raised from the dead, who redeemed the whole world on the cross. A new age began in Jerusalem, spreading peace throughout all nations.

The apostles did not go back to their houses, but went immediately to the temple. They prayed silently together, glorified God, praised his love, and declared his salvation. The true Christian is one who prays, gives thanks and praises, for salvation has been finished. Do you meet with your friends to give thanks and praise for the new life gifted to you? Do you rejoice together at the glorious hope prepared for us in Christ? Seek the fellowship of grateful believers that your soul may wing through praise and worship.

You may ask: “Why do we have to thank him?” We wish to refer you to the last name which appears in Luke’s gospel, that is “God”. Thank him for his being and his presence, and commit yourself to him once and forever, for Jesus revealed to us who God is. This name is like an opaque paper, which hides the truth of the glory of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The natural man does not know who God is. He feels his presence as a great creative and all-securing power. But did you know through reading Luke’s Gospel who God is? Did you get to know his nature? Christ revealed to us his Father’s love, gave us his grace, and established us in the communion of the Holy Spirit. He who knows God confesses the unity of the Holy Trinity, and worships him throughout his life forever.

Do you know what the word “Amen” signifies? It says to you that all that you read, prayed, recognized, believed, and testified from this gospel is true and certain, for God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit guarantees to fulfill all his promises completely. Do you say: “Amen”, believing in the message of Luke’s gospel, and live forever preserved and safe? He who lives praises the Lord Jesus, and he who glorifies him waits for his return with expectation, that his kingdom may overcome those who oppose him. His kingdom begins today in believers who bear his cross and reach out to people, bringing salvation and peace freely, during this short time that remains for men, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

PRAYER: O Father, we thank you that your Son revealed your full name to us, and your Holy Spirit filled our hearts. We glorify you, and rejoice with all faithful saints, for you redeemed us and moved us to the kingdom of love of your Son. We ask you to save many around us that they may join with us in praising you and in spreading your fatherly kingdom. Amen.

QUESTION 150: Why did the disciples greatly rejoice at Christ’s departure of the world?


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