He led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. It happened, while he blessed them, that he withdrew from them, and was carried up into heaven. They worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
We have arrived at the end of Luke. Here we read that Jesus was physically taken up into the sky as He blessed them. We don’t see this kind of thing happen in the physical world, but this is what the witnesses say happened and I don’t have any reason to doubt their testimony. The disciples defended the truth of these things even while being tortured to death later. That convinces me that they actually saw this happen. As I have said before, I don’t believe Jesus floated up into outer space. The clouds have always been a symbol of the presence of God since Moses time and it makes sense that they would see Jesus be taken into the presence of God using a physical symbol that represented a spiritual reality. We are limited to a physical dimension and Jesus was clearly not limited to this anymore. Luke records even more about this event in the book of Acts and suggests another reason why it was done this way… (a little foreshadowing about our next book)
Notice that they “worshiped Him.” This is a sign that Jesus was God because only God is to be worshiped.
That is how we end Luke. Because of Jesus, we can all live “with great joy… praising and blessing God.” Jesus overcame death and paid for our sin and this was only the beginning of the new life that was about to reach across the whole world.
Dr. Luke continued this story as He follows the life of the disciples and I hope to continue it for you next time as we start the book of Acts. I hope that this book has blessed you as it has me. Amen!