Luke 24:44-53


The Road to Emmaus
Luke 24:44-53
Intro: It is about time for Luke to bring His Gospel to a close. The papyrus scroll has grown exceptionally long! He has already decided to write a sequel to His Gospel that we know as the book of Acts. In that second writing, Luke will give further details of the time between Jesus’ Resurrection and His Ascension. To save space on the already long scroll, Luke trims the account of Jesus’ final words to His disciples before He is translated into heaven. 

Near the beginning of Luke’s Gospel, a priest was unable to give the expected/required blessing to the Lord’s people at the temple.

Zechariah lost his ability to speak when he doubted the angel’s announcement that he and his wife would have a son (John the Baptist). Consequently, he was unable to announce the priestly blessing in the temple.

Luke 1:22 But when he came out, he could not speak to them; and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple, for he beckoned to them and remained speechless.

Will that blessing be forever forfeited, or will it finally be delivered?

Luke 24:44 Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” 
Luke 24:45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

Law…Prophets…Psalms – there is no part of Scripture that does not bear witness to Jesus.



Luke 24:31 Then their eyes were opened and they knew Him; and He vanished from their sight.

The Scriptures

Luke 24:32 And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”


Acts 16:14 Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatira, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul. 


Luke 24:45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.

Luke 24:46 Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 
Luke 24:47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 

“Thus it is written” = “This has been God’s plan all along” The plan of God already set forth in Scripture: a message and a gift. 

The message is that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead (v.46). 

The gift is forgiveness of sins that comes through a heart that repents (v.47).

All of this was prophesied in the Old Testament. The new is not new. It is the old properly interpreted.


Suffering of the Christ

Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

Resurrection of the Christ

Psalm 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.


Isaiah 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.

Remission of sins

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.

To all the nations

Gen 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Isaiah 49:6 Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ”

Psalm 22:27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.

Both the message and the gift are the first two major problems the church struggled with:
(a)    Coming to terms with a suffering and dying Messiah
(b)    Receiving non-Jews into God’s family without distinction

After 20 centuries, preaching a crucified Christ and receiving all people equally into the church are still weaknesses.


Luke 24:48 And you are witnesses of these things.
Luke 24:49 “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.”

God will energize them for the task ahead, but they are not yet ready to receive that power. They must wait for the promised Spirit.

Acts 1:4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 
Acts 1:5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 

Imagine the sense of expectation, imagine the excitement of hearing the Lord Jesus say that He will empower them for ministry!

Already in the OT, God has promised to send His Spirit in the hearts of believers.

Ezekiel 36:27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

Luke 12:32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 

Luke 24:50 And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 
Luke 24:51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 
Luke 24:52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 
Luke 24:53 and were continually in the temple praising and blessing God. Amen.

Luke’s Gospel ends much like it began…with a priestly blessing and the sanctifying joy of the house of God.

The blessing is a declaration by a priest as he places the worshipers in the care and favor of God. Even before the promised Holy Spirit comes, the disciples are assured that they have God’s gentle attention. Jesus is a priest of God.

Jesus is also a prophet of God. In His Ascension, He is like the prophet Elijah who was taken up into heaven by a whirlwind in a chariot of fire. 

Jesus, too, is “carried up into heaven.” 

It is the departure to a far country to receive a kingdom and to return that was mentioned in a parable (Luke 19:12).

Jesus announced this destiny for Himself.

Luke 22:69 Hereafter the Son of Man will sit on the right hand of the power of God.

At the end of Luke’s Gospel, Jesus is priest of God, prophet of God, and He is also Son of God. “…They worshiped Him” (v.52).

In Luke/Acts, worship is denied to images (Acts 7:43), the devil (Luke 4:7-8), and mere humans (Acts 10:25-26). 

Worship is only appropriate for God (Luke 4:8).

So, what does it mean that these disciples worship Jesus? They recognize that He is God.

“…were continually in the temple praising and blessing God”

Luke 2:36 Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 
Luke 2:37 and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. 
Luke 2:38 And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

This age of grace between Jesus’ Ascension and His Return is not a barren desert in which believers alternate between memory (“He is risen”) and hope (“Come Lord Jesus”) to sustain themselves.

Both are vital for faith, to be sure, but in the meantime, there is Pentecost when the Spirit comes in power.

A church without Pentecost’s power cannot shout “He is Risen” loudly enough to sustain the hope of Easter week after week. 

It is the power of the Spirit that sustains the church through the post-Easter slump. It is the power of the Spirit the keeps attendance and offerings and ministry participation going.

Next Steps…