Cannot help but notice that the same Apostles who witnessed the Ascension and worshipped Him and stayed "continually at the Temple, praising God" are the same bozos who thought the girls were nuts when they showed up on Sunday morning saying they had seen Jesus. Guys, we need to listen to our ladies. Sometimes they see things before we do.
This chapter marks the conclusion of the synoptic ("seen together") gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. As I look back at Jesus in these three accounts, here is what I see (using the present tense because he lives not only in the books but in fact):
1) Jesus knows himself. I don't know exactly how He knows, or when He learned it, but He has a rock-solid grasp on being the unique Son of God sent by his Father to bring the Kingdom. Perhaps more than anyone else in recorded history, this man knows who He is and lives accordingly. As a son of the Kingdom, the challenging implications to me are obvious.
2) Jesus walks the talk like none other. Amid all of his wonderful teachings, he teaches and leads by example. The man who spoke the most powerful, motivating truths ever spoken, as judged by their widespread positive effects in the next 20 centuries, is remembered less for these words than for his deeds, especially the crucifiction and the resurrection. By these two great acts hundreds of millions have lived in power and died in peace. And that is pertaining only to recorded history, to this life that I can see......no eye has seen, no ear has yet heard how his deeds have impacted the totality of human experience.
3) Jesus lives for heaven and calls me to do the same. He is both visionary calling me out of this world into to a new world, and visitor bidding me come home with him to a far green country with a swift sunrise.
As Sherri Wolcott played so beautifully on the piano prelude this morning at Jericho Congregational - "Be Thou My Vision, O Lord of My Heart."