Summary: In these final instructions Jesus declares the church’s mission of worldwide evangelism and discipleship. Jesus has completed His mission of dying as the Lamb of God for the sins of the World (Jn. 1:29). Now Jesus commissions His disciples with a mission.
LUKE 24: 44-53
COMMISSIONED AND EMPOWERED WITNESSES
Having assured the disciples of His physical resurrection (vv. 36-43), Jesus now gives them the great commission. In these final instructions Jesus declares the church’s mission of worldwide evangelism and discipleship. Jesus has completed His mission of dying as the Lamb of God for the sins of the World (Jn. 1:29). Now Jesus commissions His disciples with a mission. Their mission is to proclaim in Jesus’ name the gospel and call people everywhere to repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47; Acts 2:38; 3:19; 5:31; 11:18; 17:30).
Now disciples everywhere in all generations are commissioned to be Jesus’s witnesses proclaiming what they have seen and heard starting in Jerusalem and continuing until all peoples have received the opportunity to respond to the gospel. To enable them for this mission they will receive divine power from God the Holy Spirit, [but for that power, they must wait in Jerusalem until Pentecost (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-8). Luke will retell the ascension of Jesus in the beginning of Acts.]
I. The COMMISSION, 24:44-47.
II. The PROMISE, 24:48-49.
III. The ASCENSION, 24:50-53.
In verse 44 Jesus leads them to recall His words and life which are the fulfilment of Scripture. “Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled (NASB).”
Jesus reminds them that everything that had occurred had been prophesied by Him. His words and life have been a fulfillment of Scripture. Often as Jesus taught the disciples they did not truly understand. One example is in Luke 9:45 where we read, “But they did not understand this saying, and it was hidden from them so that they did not perceive it; and they were afraid to ask Him about this saying.” Later in Luke 18:34 when Jesus had explained to His disciples what was going to happen to Him we read, “But they understood none of these things; this saying was hidden from them, and they did not know the things which were spoken.”
Have you ever been confused? I mean really confused? You may be like the university student who was seen with a large “K” printed on his T-shirt. When someone asked him what the “K” stood for, he said, “Confused.” “But,” the questioner replied, “you don’t spell “confused” with a “K.” The student answered, “You don’t know how confused I am.” [Source unknown -www.bible.org/illus/c/c-121.htm]
Not wanting His disciples to be confused Jesus revealed to them the things written in the Old Testament about the Messiah. The Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms are the three divisions of the Old Testament as sometimes referred to in Jesus’ day. [More often “Moses and the Prophets” were said to comprise the OT, V. 27.)] He showed them from different parts of the Old Testament (e.g., Deut. 18:15; Pss. 2:7; 16:10; 22:14-18; Isa. 53; 61:1) that He is the Messiah and that He must suffer and rise from the dead (Luke 24:46; v. 26). “All things” meaning all the facts and prophecies concerning the Messiah’s first coming had been fulfilled by Him. Jesus is the complete fulfillment of Scriptural promises and hope. What God promises He brings to past. [Bock, Darrell. The IVP NT Com. Luke. InterVarsity Press, Dover Grove, IL. p.388.]