24:44 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 law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.”
24:45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,
24:46 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,
24:47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
24:48 You are witnesses of these things.
24:49 And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
24:50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them.
24:51 While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.
24:52 And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy;
24:53 and they were continually in the temple blessing God.
The disciples upon first meeting Jesus and spending time with Him during the course of His ministry, did not grasp the fullness of who He really was (and is). This passage is illustrating that once their understanding was dull but eventually they see clearly who Christ is.
They have been blessed abundantly from having been exposed to Christ and His full power and they are now equipped to go out and spread the news of the Gospel to all. This is a joyous occasion because now their eyes had been opened to the fullness of His deity, no longer unclouded by the darkness of confusion or doubt. They went away rejoicing and worshipping that they had seen the risen Christ and were saved the the one true Saviour of this world.
What a joy it is to read how much happiness the disciples had when recognizing their Saviour. We as Christians sometimes become complacent in recognizing who God is and taking the time to praise and worship Him for it. When a new believer comes to know Christ, the joy that fills their heart is unlike anything else. As Christians, we should daily be finding our joy in Christ and His love and grace that is being extended to us daily.
That joy should also be an outpouring into our desire to spread that love to others. Let us not keep our joy to ourselves. Let us proclaim with a glad heart what Jesus Christ has done for you and encourage one another to do so. At the end of this chapter we see them move into starting the first gathering of the Church. They were all united under one mind: to joyfully proclaim the good news of the Gospel of Christ.
When Jesus died and made His return, that is when the disciples were really convinced that Jesus was the real deal. Until then they kept assuming Jesus would setup an earthly kingdom rather than die. They were so convinced upon seeing Him after He was risen that they turned the world upside down by proclaiming this good news. They did so until eventually they were martyred. Someone once asked me, would the disciples do all of these things if Jesus had remained dead and in the tomb? I think not.
and they were continually in the temple blessing God. (Luke 24:53)
It is also interesting that the first thing they do is go to the temple. The temple was a dangerous place for them to be at. I am sure the people still remember them as Jesus’ disciples. They still remembered that Jesus was just recently crucified. And now these disciples were back at the temple spreading the word? That is a BOLD action. But it also explains why the very first Christian church was lead by the disciples and it was in Jerusalem, filled with Jews.
They must have been successful in showing a number of the Jews from the temple what Jesus was truly the messiah. I think it’s actually a testimony to the risen Lord that after these same people had Him crucified they were now the very first Christian church.