Luke 24:44-53

Luke 24:44-53
Ascension of the Lord ABC


44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the lawA of Moses, the prophets, and the psalmsB must be fulfilled.”C 

Notes on verse 44

A “law” = nomos. From nemo (to parcel out). Literally, this is that which is assigned. It can be usage, custom, or law. This word can be used for human or divine law. It can be used specifically for the law of Moses or as a name for the Torah (the first five books of the Bible). Sometimes it is used for scripture as a whole, used of the Gospel, or of any theology. It is also used for the “tradition of the elders,” which would be the oral Torah – the tradition of the laws plus their interpretations as they were passed down over time. We must carefully consider which meaning of “law” is meant when we interpret passages the word is found in.
B “psalms” = psalmos. Perhaps related to “touch” in v39. 7x in NT. From psallo (to rub, touch a surface). This is a psalm, song of praise, sacred ode, or a reference to the book of Psalms.
C “fulfilled” = pleroo. From pleres (to be full, complete, abounding in, occupied with). This is to fill, make full or complete. Properly, this is filling something up to the maximum extent that it can be filled – an appropriate amount for its individual capacity. So, this is used figuratively for furnish, influence, satisfy, finish, preach, perfect, and fulfill.

45 Then he opened their mindsD to understandE the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentanceF and forgivenessG of sinsH is to be proclaimedI in his name to all nations,J beginning from Jerusalem. 

Notes on verses 45-47

D “minds” = nous. From noos (mind) OR from the base of ginosko (to know, recognize, realize, perceive, learn; gaining knowledge through personal experience). This is mean, capacity to reason, intellect, or meaning. It can refer to the mind of God or of humanity.
E “understand” = suniemi. From sun (with, together with) + hiemi (to sent, put). This is to put together facts or ideas into a logical whole. It is understanding or being wise through a process of logic and discernment. It implies acting piously.
F “repentance” = metanoia. Related to “minds” in v45. From meta (with, among, after, beyond) + noieo (see note D above). This is literally to change one’s mind – to choose to think differently and so to act differently because of a moral compunction. It is an intentional change to the inner self. This word shares a root with the English “paranoia.”
G “forgiveness” = aphesis. Related to “understand” in v45. 17x in NT. From aphiemi (to sent away, release, abandon, lay aside, forgive); {from apo (from, away from) + hiemi (see note E)}. This is sending away – a release or letting go. So, it can be releasing someone from debt, slavery, or some other obligation – thus, freedom or liberty. Figuratively it can mean to pardon as releasing from the debt of sin.
H “sins” = hamartia. From hamartano (to miss the mark, do wrong, make a mistake, sin); {from a (not) + meros (a part or share)}. Literally, this means not having one’s share or portion – like not receiving inheritance or what was allotted to you. This word means missing the mark so it is used for guilt, fault, and acts of sin.
I “proclaimed” = kerusso. This is to proclaim, preach, publish. Properly, it is to act as a herald – announcing something publicly with confidence and/or to persuade.
J “nations” = ethnos. Probably from etho (a custom or culture). This is people who are united by having similar customs or culture. Generally, it is used to refer to Gentiles. This is a tribe, race, nation, or Gentiles in general. This is where the term “ethnicity” comes from.

48 You are witnessesK of these things. 49 And see, I am sendingL upon you what my Father promised;M so stay here in the cityN until you have been clothed with powerO from on high.”P

Notes on verses 48-49

K “witnesses” = martus. This is a witness whether having heard or seen something. It refers to a witness literally, judicially, or figuratively. By analogy, this is a martyr. This is also where the word “martyr” comes from.
L “sending” = apostello. From apo (from, away from) + stello (to send, set, arrange, prepare, gather up); {probably from histemi (to make to stand, stand, place, set up, establish, appoint, stand firm, be steadfast)}. This is to send forth, send away, dismiss, send as a messenger. It implies one that is sent for a particular mission or purpose rather than a quick errand. This is where “apostle” comes from.
M “what…promised” = epaggelia. From epi (on, upon, against, what is fitting) + aggello (to announce, report); {from aggelos (angel, messenger); probably from ago (to lead, bring, carry, guide, drive)}. This is a summons, promise, or message. It is a formal promise that is officially sanctioned. In the New Testament, this usually refers to a promise made in the Old Testament.
N “city” = polis. This is a city or its inhabitants. It is a town of variable size, but one that has walls. This is where “metropolis” and “police” come from.
O “power” = dunamis. From dunamai (to be able, have power or ability). This is might, strength, physical power, efficacy, energy, and miraculous power. It is force literally or figuratively – the power of a miracle or the miracle itself.
P “on high” = hupsos. 6x in NT. From hupsi (on high, aloft); from huper (over, above, beyond). This is height, high position, heaven, dignity, eminence. Also, elevation, altitude or to be exalted.

50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany,Q and, lifting upR his hands, he blessedS them. 51 While he was blessing them, he withdrewT from them and was carried upU into heaven.V 

Notes on verses 50-51

Q “Bethany” = bethania. 12x in NT. From Aramaic beth anya (house of affliction, misery, wretchedness). This is Bethany.
R “lifting up” = epairo. 19x in NT. From epi (on, upon, among, what is fitting) + airo (raise, take up, lift, remove). This is to lift up or raise in a literal or figurative sense. Figuratively, it could mean to exalt oneself.
S “blessed” = eulogeo. Related to “words” in v44. From eu (good, well, well done, rightly) + logos (word, statement, speech, analogy; a word that carries an idea or expresses a thought, a saying; a person with a message or reasoning laid out in words; by implication, a topic, line of reasoning, or a motive; can be used for a divine utterance or as Word – Christ); {from lego (to speak, tell, mention)}. Properly, this is speaking well of – speaking so that the other is benefited. It can mean praise, bless, thank, or call for a blessing. This is where “eulogy” comes from.
T “withdrew” = diistemi. Related to “rise” in v46. 3x in NT. From dia (through, across to the other side, thoroughly) + histemi (see note L above). This is to achieve space between, make an interval, set apart, remove, depart.
U “carried up” = anaphero. 10x in NT. From ana (up, back, among, again, anew) + phero (to bear, bring, lead, make known publicly; to carry in a literal or figurative sense). This is to carry or lead up as to a goal or particular destination. It can also be used for offering a sacrifice.
V “heaven” = ouranos. May be related to oros (mountain, hill) with the notion of height. This is the air, the sky, the atmosphere, and heaven. It is the sky that is visible and the spiritual heaven where God dwells. Heaven implies happiness, power, and eternity.

52 And they worshipedW him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy;X 53 and they were continually in the templeY blessing God.Z

Notes on verses 52-53

W “worshiped” = proskuneo. From pros (advantageous for, at, to, toward, with) + kuneo (to kiss); {may be related to kuno (dog)}. This is to do reverence, kneel, to prostrate oneself in homage, to worship.
X “joy” = chara. From chairo (to rejoice, be glad or cheerful; a greeting); from char– (to extend favor, lean towards, be inclined to be favorable towards). This is joy, delight, gladness. Can be understood as the feeling you get when you are aware of grace.
Y “temple” = hieron. From hieros (sacred, something sacred, temple, holy, set apart; something consecrated to a god). This is the word for temple.
Z “God” = theos. From Proto-Indo-European origins, meaning do, put, place. This is God or a god in general.

Image credit: Altar at the Chapel of Santo Antônio de Sant’Ana Galvão (the penitential chapel) at the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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