Monday, April 23, 2007



Jesus appears to His disciples in a revealing moment. While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.

He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

Even though they had been told what was to happen, the disciples were still in shock over it all. NOTE they fed Jesus some broiled fish. There are three things we learn about Jesus' resurrected body here: FIRST-His resurrected body has specific physical aspects. He has flesh and bones. He can eat food and has the ability to walk for miles.

SECOND-His resurrected body has some continuity with His previous body before death. The wounds in His hands, His feet and His side are still present.

THIRD-Jesus' resurrected body is not bound by the physical sphere. He appears and disappears.

Maybe our resurrected bodies will have the same dimensions.

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

NOTE that before Jesus' ascension He tells His disciples to stay in the city and wait for empowerment. Luke continues and expands upon this thought in his second book-the Acts of Jesus. Let's look at it and learn from it:

In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."

So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

NOTE the disciples are still looking for some sort of political kingdom to be restored. However, Jesus let them know that there is no one who knows when the Kingdom in all its fullness will be restored.

ALSO NOTE again Luke refers to waiting in the city for the Spirit to come upon them with power. The reason for the power is that they will be witnesses of Jesus beginning in Jerusalem and to be spread throughout the world.

After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."

The lesson of the appearance before the disciples is that Jesus really did die and has really risen from the dead. And, then as Jesus ascends into the heavens, the angels make another lesson clear. The lesson is that THIS SAME JESUS WHO IS GOING UP INTO HEAVEN WILL SOMEDAY RETURN IN THE SAME WAY.

So, the book of Luke comes to an end. Jesus, the King, has introduced the Kingdom to His disciples, explaining to them that the Kingdom is already here and will someday be realized in all its fullness on earth. To me, Luke is one of the best teachers of this Kingdom as taught by Jesus. Now, after studying his writings for nearly six months, it's vital for each of us to embrace this Jesus and His Kingdom for ourselves. There is no doubt that Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. Here's the bottom-line question: Is Jesus your King and your Lord?