No Services at
Luke 24: 44-53
Today’s passage is part of
the longer account in Luke 24 that includes the
empty tomb and the encounter of two disciples
with Christ on the road to Emmaus. These stories
are in harmony with Luke’s entire message that
Jesus has come to bring restoration to Israel.
In other words, Jesus’ mission is fulfilling
Specifically, the text encompasses Christ’s
appearance in Jerusalem and includes Christ’s
blessing and his ascension. Consistent with
author’s purpose, verses 44–53 provide
continuity between the past and present, then
move toward the future. In verse 44 Jesus refers
the disciples to the law of Moses, the prophets,
and the psalms. Jesus stresses this link with
the past. God was involved from the beginning.
God is faithful and engaged in history.
People in modern cultures have a tendency to
discount the past. But it is important to
recognize that tradition and history have much
to contribute. The Holy Spirit has encountered
many who have gone before us. We are not the
first to be blessed by God. We would do well to
listen to their stories and testimonies about
their encounters with the Divine.
In verse 45 Jesus opens their minds. In the
following verses the disciples witness where God
is moving at their particular moment in history.
He describes divine events they witnessed. It is
a reality for them. They know it as truth. Now,
Christ has their attention. He challenges them
to proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sin to
As disciples, we, too, need to be aware of where
God is moving today. When we allow God’s grace
to enter our lives, transformation occurs. When
we worship, pray, study, hear the word, and
share in the sacraments, God appears and
blesses. We are called to share that good news
with the world.
Then, in the text, Jesus brings the future into
the story. Jesus tells the disciples he is
sending what God has promised. He directs them
to stay in Jerusalem until they have power from
on high. The power they will receive is not
theirs. Rather, it is God’s power. It is a gift.
This power will come from the Divine. Because
they are to wait for it, they have a heightened
sense of expectancy and excitement. Something is
going to happen. How will the power be revealed?
In verses 50–53, Jesus leads his followers to
Bethany and blesses them before he ascends. The
Greek word the author uses for bless means “to
speak well of.” So, in this text Jesus speaks
well of them and praises them. He is asking God
to help them gain peace, well-being, and
wholeness. We, too, receive Christ’s blessing.
As disciples, we are called to share that
blessing with others. There are many among us
who need blessing. We are to “speak well of”
them and ask God’s Spirit to give them peace and
In the text, after being blessed, the disciples
worship Jesus. They return to Jerusalem with
great joy and continually “speak well of” God
(vv. 52–53). Our families, congregations, and
faith community should also be continually full
of joy and praise. Today we speak “well of God”
because of our experience that God’s unbounded
love and unconditional grace embraces all.
Jesus came to fulfill everything written about
him in the Law of Moses, the prophets, and in
The power we receive is from God. It is a divine
gift to be used for God’s purposes. It is not
power to use for our own benefit.
We are called to be witnesses—proclaimers of
repentance and forgiveness of sins—to all
nations. Christ’s mission is our mission.
Friday evening (21 May), the First Presidency
updated their communication regarding worship and
gathering recommending that our restraint from
in-person worship continue. World church
representatives will share information with Mission
Center Leaders regarding the return to worship in
the coming week. Mission Center leaders will
then share with local pastors.
Reunions and large activities are now cancelled
The Webb Road Pastorate continues to acknowledge the wisdom
of this guidance, and Webb Road Services and
Activities will therefore continue to be suspended,
in accordance with this current, and on-going global
event as it is affecting all of us.
Gatherings (Including Olathe and Bethel in MMC)