Each week we webcast Lord's Day Sabbath School at 10a, morning public worship at 11a, and p.m. singing and sermon at 3p (sermon at 3:45); and the Weds. Prayer Meeting at 6:30p

Saturday, December 18, 2021

2021.12.18 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 24:44–53

Read Luke 24:44–53

Questions from the Scripture text: What had Jesus spoken to them, and when (Luke 24:44)? Where were there words concerning Him? How many of them had to be fulfilled? What did He do to them (Luke 24:45a)? For what purpose (verse 45b)? What was written and necessary (Luke 24:46)? What must be preached (Luke 24:47)? In what? To whom? Beginning where? What role do the disciples have in this (Luke 24:48)? Who sends the Spirit (Luke 24:49)? What is the Spirit called in verse 49? What are they to do? Until when? Where does He lead them (Luke 24:50)? What does He do there? What happened while He was still blessing them (Luke 24:51)? What did they do (Luke 24:52a)? Where did they go (verse 52b)? With what attitude? Where were they (Luke 24:53)? When? Doing what? 

It may be surprising to us that the Lord Jesus apparently doesn’t teach the apostles anything new at this point. Rather, He reminds them of what He had said before (Luke 24:44a) and leaves them to those words, the words of the Old Testament Scriptures (verse 44b), and the coming ministry of the Spirit (Luke 24:49a).

What they needed wasn’t more information but rather more understanding of the information that they had. And this the Lord Jesus gave them in a marvelous gift: “He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.”

What a glorious gift! Here is the thing to ask for the Lord. As helpful as commentaries and devotionals can be, they are not ultimately what we need. For, it is the Bible itself that the Lord has given us by which to work in us. And it is especially the Word preached by which He gives faith and grows faith. 

What we need, then, is Him Himself. We need Him to open our understanding.

And this is what He would send the disciples to do: preach repentance and forgiveness in the Name of Christ (Luke 24:47a) as the witnesses (Luke 24:48) of all that the Scriptures teach about Christ’s death and resurrection (Luke 24:46). 

We see how completely this depends upon the work of God Himself by the command for them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem (Luke 24:49b). Tarry? Wait?! Didn’t He just finish saying that this preaching must go to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem (Luke 24:47b)?!

But it isn’t just preaching that people need. It is the power of God attending that preaching. The power of the Holy Spirit, “the Promise of My Father,” was absolutely necessary. There would be no point in preaching without it.

But He had just exercised that power upon them. They had come to understand about His death and resurrection from all the Old Testament. So, when He has blessed them and departed (Luke 24:50-51), they immediately begin acting upon what they have com to know. He is gone from their sight, but still they worship Him, for they know that He is God the Son, Who is rightly to be worshiped (Luke 24:52a). They return to Jerusalem with great joy (verse 52b), knowing both that they have been redeemed and that this was exactly where He had commanded them to wait. And they go continually to the temple, praising and blessing God (Luke 24:53); it is no longer the dangerous home turf of their enemies, but that structure that God had designed to point to Christ!

How do you recognize/express your need for God’s powerful working in your Bible-reading and sermon-hearing? How are you responding to the fact that Jesus is God and that His redemptive work has been accomplished?

Sample prayer:  Lord Jesus, we worship You Who are very God of very God. Forgive us for our dullness toward You, even in Your Word. Open our understanding, so that we would comprehend the Scriptures, so that our lives would be full of worshiping You and rejoicing in You, which we ask in Your Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP99A “Let the Nations Tremble” or TPH356 “Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain”


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