April 26th, 2009 – Luke 24:36‐49

The Story’s Not Over – Continuing to Tell the Story

Luke 24:36‐49


The close of Luke’s Gospel brings reassurance of the things that had been taught (see 1:4) by confirming the reality of Jesus’ resurrection and by commissioning the disciples for their universal mission.

The major theological note in the section is that crucifixion and resurrection are part of the fulfillment of God’s plan. What happened to Jesus was neither perplexing nor unexpected. The table fellowship that the disciples now have with the resurrected Jesus reveals His presence in their midst. The Scripture taught that He would suffer and be raised and that a message of forgiveness of sins would go out to all nations as a result. It is time for that mission to begin!1

Our Study of the Text


    Jesus proved to His followers that He had really been resurrected. Not only did He stand in their presence so they could see Him and His wounds (vv. 39‐40), but He also ate food (a piece of broiled fish) before them to show that He was not a spirit (vv.42‐43).

    Jesus points His disciples to the facts which He previously had communicated to them and which were written in the Old Testament about the death, burial and resurrection of the Messiah (see Deut. 18:15; Psalm 2:7; 16:10; 22:14‐18; Isa. 53; 61:1). Because of His death and resurrection, the message of repentance and forgiveness of sins could be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem, for they were witnesses of His death and His rising from the dead.

    Luke wrote that when Jesus had explained this earlier to the disciples (see 18:31‐33), they “understood none of these things” (18:34a). The reason why they didn’t understand was that “this saying was hidden from them, and they did not grasp what Jesus meant” (18:34b). The term hidden (Gr. kruptō) when used figuratively means to prevent something from being known – to keep secret, conceal, hide. But in this encounter the situation is reversed: “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures” (Luke 24:45). The term opened (Gr. dianoigō) figuratively means to enable someone to perceive or understand what had previously been hidden. In the first instance, it was God’s purpose that they not understand; in the second, it was His purpose that they now understand. God is in control and all things work according to His purposes!

    Jesus commanded His disciples to remain in the city of Jerusalem until they had received power from on high, a clear reference to the Holy Spirit (see Acts 1:8), who was promised by the Father. Not until then would they be fully quipped to carry out their mission.

    • The death of Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin. To receive the forgiveness of sin and eternal life a person must put their confident trust in Him.
    • The resurrection of Jesus Christ is God’s authentication of the acceptability of His Son’s death as payment for man’s sin.
    • Believers are to take this good news – in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the ends of the earth!

1Baker Exegetical Commentary of the New Testament, Luke 9:51‐24:53, Darrell L. Bock, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1996, p.1925.

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