Luke 24:52–53 (ESV) … “And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy and were continually in the temple blessing God.”
Luke 24:50–52 should be compared with Mark 16:19–20 and Acts 1:9–12. For some reason, our Lord’s ascension is not given the prominence in the church that it deserves. Think of what it meant to Him to return to heaven and sit on the throne of glory! (John 17:5, 11) His ascension is proof that He has conquered every enemy and that He reigns supremely “far above all” (Eph. 1:18–23).
In heaven today, our Lord ministers as our High Priest (Heb. 7:25) and our Advocate (1 John 2:1). As High Priest, He gives us the grace we need to face testing and temptation (Heb. 4:14–16); and if we fail, as Advocate He forgives and restores us when we confess our sins (1 John 1:6–10). As the glorified Head of the church, Jesus Christ is equipping His people to live for Him and serve Him in this present world (Eph. 4:7–16; Heb. 13:20–21). Through the Word of God and prayer, He is ministering to us by His Spirit and making us more like Himself.
Of course, He is also preparing in heaven a home for His people (John 14:1–6), and one day He will return and take us to be with Him forever.
The last thing our Lord did was to bless His people, and the first thing they did was to worship Him! The two always go together, for as we truly worship Him, He will share His blessings. He not only opened their lips to witness, but He also opened their lips to worship and praise Him!
Dr. Luke opened his Gospel with a scene in the temple (Luke 1:8ff), and he closed his Gospel the same way (Luke 24:53). But what a contrast between the unbelieving, silent priest and the trusting, joyful saints! Luke has explained how Jesus went to Jerusalem and accomplished the work of redemption. His book begins and ends in Jerusalem. But his next book, The Acts of the Apostles, would explain how that Gospel traveled from Jerusalem to Rome!
Is the Gospel going out to the ends of the earth from your Jerusalem?