Commissioned

                                                Luke 24:36-49

                                                  May 30, 2021

 

 

 

o       Another, which more particularly affects ourselves — this

      message of mercy is to be carried to “all nations.” It is “the

common salvation,” (Jude 1:3) NEEDED BY ALL and

FITTED FOR ALL to work out  and send forth FOR

WHICH THE LORD JESUS LIVED AND

DIED!

 

Ø      Sacred study. (vs. 27, 32.) How wonderful these Scriptures which

contain the record of Divine revelation! So short as to be capable of

being committed to the memory, and yet so full as to contain all that

is needful for our enlightenment and enrichment, for guidance to God

and heaven; so dull to the unquickened conscience, and so delightful

to the awakened and renewed; holding mysteries insoluble to human

learning, and yet intelligible and instructive from Genesis to Revelation

to the earnest inquirer after truth and life; valueless in the market, and

yet precious beyond all price to all who want to know how to live and

how to die. As Christ and the two learners walked and talked, new

light shone on the old passages, and the way was too short and the

time too soon gone for their interest and their eagerness to be expended.

 

·         THE WORTH OF ALL TRUE CHRISTIAN LABOR. Possibly

those who teach may sometimes ask themselves whether it is worth their

while to conduct so small a class, to preach to so poor a congregation.

Here is the answer to that questioning. If the risen Lord of glory thought it

worth His while to walk seven miles and spend two hours in enlightening

the minds and comforting the hearts of two humble and obscure disciples;

if He was content to spend a good part of His first sabbath in taking a class

of two, and pouring from the rich treasury of His truth into their minds, we

may not think it unworthy of us to spend time in enlightening or

comforting one human heart that craves the succor it is in our power to

give. The disciple is not above His Master.

 

Ø      Let us see that we are, as they were, earnestly desirous of knowing more

of Jesus Christ. Let us go to our Bible and go up to the house of the Lord

with that end distinctly and prominently in view.

 

Ø      Let us seek and gain the same Divine illumination. It is still to be had,

though that voice is not now heard in our ear. The “Spirit of truth” is

with us still, waiting to illumine and to enlarge our hearts; if we seek

His aid and open our minds to His entrance, He will “guide us into all

the truth” (John 16:13).

 

 

v.48

Ø      We also can testify, in word, to “these things.” We leave, and are

content to leave, some mysteries which belong to the Christian faith; we do

not try, as we need not try, either to explain or to understand them. But

these things,” which the world needs to know for its inward peace and its

true prosperity, we can speak. We are familiar with the holy and beautiful

life of Jesus Christ. We know the thought, we “have the mind of Christ” on

all the deepest and highest subjects with which our character and our

destiny are bound up. We are conversant with the sufferings and the

sorrows of the Saviour; for the story of His Passion is better known by us

than any other history whatsoever — it is not only in our memory, it is in

our heart. We can speak of His death and of His triumph over the grave. We

know well what is the message of truth and grace He desires to be declared

to the whole world. We can speak of Him and for Him.

 

V50

 

·         THE NATURE OF THE LAST SCENE. “They climb the hillside; they

cross its summit; they are approaching Bethany. He stops; they gather

round. He looks upon them; He lifts His hands; He begins to bless them.

What love unutterable in that parting look! What untold riches in that

blessing! His hands are uplifted, His lips engaged in blessing, when slowly

He begins to rise. Earth has lost her power to keep Him; the waiting

up-drawing heavens claim Him as their own. He rises, but still, as He floats

upward through the yielding air, His eyes are bent on those up-looking men;

His arms are stretched over them in the attitude of benediction, His voice is

heard dying away in blessings as He ascends. Awe-struck, in silence they

follow Him with straining eyes as His body lessens to sight, till the

commissioned cloud enfolds, cuts off all further vision, and closes the

earthly and sensible communion between Jesus and His disciples” (Dr.

Hanna).

 

·         THE RECEPTION THE SAVIOUR HAD IN HEAVEN. There have

been “triumphant entries” in this little world of ours, and in the history of

our human race, the pouring forth in loud acclaim of the pride and joy of

many thousands of hearts. But to what a vanishing point do they sink when

placed by the side of this entry of the conquering Saviour into heaven!

Though unable to form any conception that can approach the glorious

reality, yet we may well love to linger in imagination over that blessed

scene.

 

Ø      His struggle over,

Ø      His sorrows borne,

Ø      His temptations met and mastered,

Ø      His work finished,

Ø      His great battle fought and

Ø      His victory won,

 

The victorious Lord passes through all the ranks of the angelic host, amid

their reverent worship and adoring acclamations, to His throne of power

and glory.  (Ephesians 1:10 - CY - 2021)

 

Ø      He is our constant and ever-living Lord. With all that is earthly we

associate CHANGE and DEATH; with the heavenly we connect the thought of

CONTINUANCE and LIFE. Of our heavenly Lord we can think, and we

delight to think, that whoever changes HE IS EVERMORE THE SAME

yesterday, and today, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8); that while human

ministers “are not suffered to continue by reason of death,” He hath

an unchangeable priesthood,” and is able to save evermore (“to the

uttermost”) all those “that come unto God by Him.” (Hebrews 7:23-26)

And as we look forward to the future, and realize our own mortality, we

cherish the joyous thought that, if we do but “abide in Him” until the

evening shadows gather and “life’s long day” passes into the darkness of

death, we shall, in heaven’s eternal morning, open our eyes to see the

“King in His beauty” (Isaiah 33:17); to “behold His glory,” and shall

sit down with Him on His throne” (Revelation 3:21); sharing for ever

His own and His saints’ everlasting rest.

 

 

 

 

·         OBSERVE CHRIST AS HE IS HERE REVEALED. See:

 

Ø      The action of the Lord towards them. “He lifted up His hands” (v. 50).

Before He suffered He had lifted up His eyes to heaven, and the voice of

intercession had been raised for them (John 17.). As the high-priestly

prayer closed, the voice had passed from the tones of earnest but humble

pleading into those of the Sovereign expressing His will: “I will that they

also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am.” Now the Priest,

about to ascend to His throne, extends those hands in which is the print of

the nails. It is the first time in which we are introduced to this attitude in

the Gospels. The uplifted hands are:

 

o       the sign of the accepted sacrifice ever potent to cleanse,

o       the sign of the righteousness ever ample to clothe,

o       the sign of the protection ever sufficient to overshadow

His Church.

 

The uplifted hands constituted the last recollection of the

Christ whom the disciples had seen; they mark the abiding truth of the

Christ whom the eye sees not. And, as the hands are lifted, the lips are

opened to bless. What were the words of the blessing? Perhaps the

benediction which the sons of Aaron were commanded

to pronounce was included in it. “The Lord less thee, and keep thee:

The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. 

(Numbers 6:24-26)  But who can measure all that it

comprehended — all the wealth of grace and truth with which it was

charged? Let us say rather, with which it is charged for the Church until

the end of the age. “Lo, I am with you alway, blessing and keeping, my

face shining on you, my will gracious to you, the light of my

countenance lifted on you, my peace possessing you.”

 

Ø      The ascending Lord. “While blessing” (v. 51). While the accents of His

tenderness are flowing over the soul, lo! He moves from the soil on which

He and His have been standing. Upward, ever upward, He is borne; they

gaze in wonder as the form in which they have beheld Him is sublimated

and passes whither their adoring vision can no longer follow. The apostle

who was “born out of due time” completes, as far as thought of mortal

can, the account of the evangelist (Ephesians 1:20-23), when he

describes the ascent “far above all principality, and power, and might,

and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world,

but in that which is to come;” all things put under the feet of the

glorified Man, “Head over all things to the Church, which is His body,

the fullness of Him that filleth all in all.” He is “parted from them;”

but only to be more nearly and entirely with them; only to bear with

Him the humanity through which Highest God is in touch with the

whole life of man; only that, in the unchangeable Priesthood, He may

ever live to make intercession; only to make good the word as to the

promise of the Father. When ten more days have passed, the gates

which had opened that the King of glory might enter, shall open again,

and the Paraclete, Christ’s other self, shall descend from the heaven

into which He has gone, to fill the little company with His presence.

And in that day they shall know that He is in the Father, and they

in Him, and He in them.

 

 

Pentecost,  that is, the fiftieth day (from a Greek word meaning fiftieth),

or Harvest Feast, or Feast of Weeks, may be regarded as a supplement

to the Passover. It lasted for but one day. From the sixteenth of Nisan

seven weeks were reckoned inclusively, and the next or fiftieth day was

the day of Pentecost, which fell on the sixth of Sivan (about the end

of May). Exodus 23:16 ; 34:22 ; Leviticus 23:15 Leviticus 23:22 ; 

Numbers 28 ). The Pentecost was the Jewish harvest-home, and the

people were especially exhorted to rejoice before Jehovah with their

families their servants, the Levite within their gates, the stranger,

the fatherless and the widow in the place chosen by God for His name,

as they brought a free-will offering of their hand to Jehovah their God.

(Deuteronomy 16:10-11 ) The great feature of the celebration was the

presentation of the two loaves made from the first-fruits of the wheat

harvest. With the loaves two lambs were offered as a peace offering

and all were waved before Jehovah and given to the priests; the

loaves being leavened, could not be offered on the altar. The other

sacrifices were, a burnt offering of a young bullock, two, rams and

seven lambs with a meat and drink offering, and a kid for a sin

offering. Leviticus 23:1823:19 ) Till the pentecostal loaves were

offered, the produce of the harvest might not be eaten, nor could any

other firstfruits be offered. The whole ceremony was the completion

of that dedication of the harvest to God as its giver, and to whom both

the land and the people were holy, which was begun by the offering

of the wave-sheaf at the Passover. The interval is still regarded as a

religious season. The Pentecost is the only one of the three great feasts

which is not mentioned as the memorial of events in the history of the

Jews; but such a significance has been found in the fact that the law

was given from Sinai on the fiftieth day after the deliverance from

Egypt. Comp. Exodus 12 and 19. In the exodus the people were

offered to God as living first fruits; at Sinai their consecration to

Him as a nation was completed. The typical significance of the

Pentecost is made clear from the events of the day recorded in the

Acts of the Apostles. Acts 2. Just as the appearance of God on

Sinai was the birthday of the Jewish nation, so was the Pentecost the

birthday of the Christian Church.

 

 

 

 

 

                        The Divine Spirit and the Human Understanding (v. 45)

 

It may be that we do not sufficiently recognize the very intimate connection

between our human intelligence and the action of the Spirit of God. We

may be seriously in danger of coming short in gratitude for all that God has

wrought for us in this respect, and in prayer for His continued and especial

help in the future.

 

·         THE DIVINE ENDOWMENT WITH WHICH HE STARTS US ON

OUR COURSE. We receive from His creative hand a kind and a measure

of intellectual power which may be said to vary with each individual of the

human race. To one He giveth five talents, to another two, to another one.

And it is not only difference in measure, but also in kind. The human spirit

has many faculties, and one man has a large share of one and another a

goodly share of another, “as it pleaseth Him.” Most happily for us, there is

every possible variety of human understanding resulting from the different

capacities and dispositions with which our Creator endows us.

 

·         THE BENEFICENT LAW OF EXPANSION HE HAS ORDAINED

FOR US. The law under which we live, and under which our understanding

grows, is this — “to him that hath is given.” We observe, we hear and

read, we reflect, we reason, we construct and produce; and as we do this,

we grow — our intelligence is opened and enlarged. Thus by the operation

of one of His wise and kind laws God is “opening our understanding” every

day, but more particularly in the earlier days of curiosity and of study.

Youth has but to do its rightful and proper work, and God will do His

gracious, enlarging work; and thus He will “build up” a mind, well stored

with knowledge and wisdom, capable of great and noble service.

 

“Train up a child in the way he should go:  and when he is old, he will

not depart from it.”  (Proverbs 22:6)

 

 

 

The Law of Spiritual Increase (v. 26)

 

Here we have one of those paradoxes of Jesus Christ into the heart of

which many have failed to find their way. Why, it is asked, should one who

has have more? will he not have too much? Why should he who has but

little lose the little he has? will he not be still worse off than ever? Where is

the wisdom, where the righteousness of this course? This criticism arises

from a pure misunderstanding of Christ’s meaning. We shall see what He

meant if we consider:

 

·         THE VIEW CHRIST TOOK OF POSSESSION. When may a man be

said to have anything? When he has legal documents to prove that it

belongs to him? Or when it is securely locked up in a box or buried in the

earth? Not at all. It is when he is using it, when he is turning it to account,

when he is making it answer the purpose for which it exists. If a man lets

an object rust in disuse, remain unemployed, he has it not, virtually and

practically. It is not his at all; it does him no good, renders him no service,

is to him as if it were not; he has it not, in truth. This accords perfectly with

Christ’s usage in Matthew 25. There the men who put out their talents had

them; the man who hid his latent had it not. He who does not make use of

that which is at his command only seemeth to have” (or thinketh he has) it

(ch. 8:18). It is use that really constitutes possession. This is not a

mere fancy or conceit; it is the language of truth, it is the verdict of

experience. The miser does not really possess his gold; it answers to him

none of the ends which make it the valuable thing it is. He might as well

own as many counters. He seems to have (thinks he has) money, but in

truth he has it not. It is thus with men of great intellectual capacity which

they do not employ; their faculties, unused, are of no value to themselves

or to others; they might as well be non-existent. According to the wise and

true usage of the great Teacher, we have the things we use; those we use

not we have not. Now we can understand:

 

·         THE DIVINE LAW OF INCREASE AND DECLINE. For this is not

a mere action done on one particular occasion; there is nothing exceptional

or arbitrary about it. It is a Divine method invariably adopted; a Divine

principle running through the whole economy; a Divine law with

illustrations on every hand. It affects us at every turn of our life, in every

part of our nature. It applies to us considered:

 

Ø      Physically. The muscle that is used is developed; that which is neglected

shrinks (atrophes), and in time becomes wholly powerless. To him that has

is given; from him that hath not is taken away.

 

Ø      Mentally. The boy who cultivates his intellectual capacities becomes

mentally strong; every acquisition of knowledge is an increase of power;

the more he knows the better he can learn: to him that has is given. But the

boy who does not study, but wastes his youth in idleness, not only does not

acquire knowledge; he loses the faculty of acquisition: from him that has

not is taken away that (capacity) which he has.

 

Ø      Spiritually.

 

o        Spiritual perception. The little child can readily understand the

elements of the Christian faith, and, apprehending them, go on to

master “the deep things of God.” (I Corinthians 2:10) But the aged

man who has learned nothing of Divine truth through a long life of

godlessness, is quite unteachable; he is dull of apprehension: from

him has been taken away, etc.; his faculties have become shriveled.

 

o        Christian work. Every one has a certain capacity for usefulness; and he

is bound to put it out at once; if he waits until his capacity has grown

into a power, he will find that not only will he not gain the skill he is

waiting for, but he will lose the capacity he now has. But if, on the

other hand, he uses what he has, the exercise of his humblest talent

will bring increase, and he will soon acquire the strength and facility

he is eager to possess. What, therefore, we wish to be able to do —

teach, preach, pray, etc. — we must set about doing; every intelligent,

devout effort to do good means not only a little good done, but a little

power gained. What we do poorly today we shall do fairly well

tomorrow; be ourselves today, we shall surpass ourselves tomorrow.

Aptitude comes with effort and exercise: to him that has is given.

 

o        Spiritual sensibility. The little child is open to impression, and, if he

yields to the truth he knows, THAT TRUTH WILL ALWAYS BE

EFFECTIVE (thus the importance of early parental religious

teaching, Sunday School [in the Old Days in America, reinforcement

in school what was taught at home and at church], never would the

summer of discontent of  2020 have happened in America,

nor could it have happened.  It would not have entered into minds

to act so!  Only violations of Christ’s teaching could produce something

like that to happen. It would be interesting to see the percentages of

rioters that did not have religious training, and who did or did not

take advantage of opporunities when the had them in public schools,

and ended up working, {being used}, not for our Heavenly Father,

but for the likes of George Soros and other Satan induced project-

managers. CY - 2021) but if he rejects it his heart becomes hardened,

and he becomes increasingly unresponsive: from him that has not, etc.

Thus God’s holy Law girdles us on every side; we cannot step outside

it. It is determining our character and our destiny. We must act upon it,

must turn it to good account. We must see to it that we really have

what we seem to have, that we are using the talent, the opportunity,

that is at our command. Then to us will be given — here, on the earth,

in the shape of increased faculty and multiplied usefulness; there, in

the heavens, in the way of a far broader sphere of celestial service.

 

 

 

 

 

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