His Blessing, Our Joy
50 “And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. 51 Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped Him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple praising and[ blessing God. Amen.” Luke 24:50-53 NKJV
Jesus is about to depart from the disciples and ascend into heaven. They will not see Him again in this world or this life and yet they leave this moment of departure with joy and worshipping Jesus. This seems a bit incongruous with what we would expect. After all, they had spent the last three-plus years in His teaching and His love. They watched Him suffer, die and rise again to life and appear to them in His love. They know they will never see Jesus again for the remainder of their lives so that you would expect to see heartbreak and denial. If you knew you would never see a loved one again in this life that would be the expected response but that is not the response we see from these disciples.
But whatever words Jesus spoke in that final blessing caused them not to be downcast but instead filled with joy and they worshiped Him. Perhaps they understood that while they would not see Jesus again with their natural eyes, they would instead have Him living with them as the Holy Spirit came to dwell within them. Whatever those words of blessing were, these disciples left the place of ascension and returned to Jerusalem with the fullness of joy and contentment.
Doesn’t that sound like a great, triumphal and peace-filled moment in their lives? Well, that can be our moment right now as well. This can be you and me today as we listen and hear His Words that He is speaking to us. For He is continually speaking words of blessing over us and in us and His Words of blessing always produce joy. We just have to tune our ears to Him so that we can hear those Words of blessing.
When you hear those words of blessing over you, watch how hearing them will turn around your thoughts and emotions. They will produce that same kind of unending joy in you that it did in the disciples. That same joy is waiting for you just to hear it. He is speaking words of blessing over you right now, listen and worship Him as you advance in your day.
J Todd Hostetler