Luke 24:44-53 – The Resurrected Yeshua is Worshipped

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POSTED 04 NOVEMBER, 2017

“Now He said to them, ‘These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.’ And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He parted from them and was carried up into heaven. And they, after worshiping Him, returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple praising God.”

reproduced from Salvation on the Line, Volume I

The ascension of Yeshua into Heaven was surely an important day in the lives of His followers who witnessed it, as they anticipated significant things to come with the work that He entrusted them to perform. As Yeshua was blessing His followers, He was being taken up into Heaven (Luke 24:51), and some kind of honor or veneration was being directed toward Him. The source text of Luke 24:52 states, kai autoi proskunēsantes auton. Luke 24:52 includes a definite employment of the verb proskuneō or “worship.” However, it is to be witnessed that various versions which are employed in either Messianic Judaism and/or the Hebrew/Hebraic Roots movement, indicate that their translators or publishers, are unsure about the kind of honor or veneration issued:

  • “And after they paid homage to Him” (Power New Testament).
  • “And they, having bowed to Him” (ISR Scriptures-2009).
  • “They bowed to him” (The Messianic Writings).

It might be lexically acceptable to render proskuneō in Luke 24:52 as either “paid homage” (Power New Testament) or “bowed” (The Messianic Writings), but is it theologically acceptable? A Messianic version like the TLV has the much appreciated, “After worshiping Him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy.”[1]

No usage of proskuneō in association with Yeshua the Messiah is isolated on its own, and so Luke 24:52 has to be considered in association with other passages in the Apostolic Writings. One significant cue, to be taken from Luke 24:53, is that after worshipping Yeshua as He was being taken into Heaven, the narrative further states that His followers returned to Jerusalem, “And they were continually in the temple complex praising God” (Luke 24:53, HCSB). Here, the verb eulogeō means, “to say someth. commendatory, speak well of, praise, extol” (BDAG).[2] Veneration, or worship of Yeshua the Messiah, is not something to be regarded in isolation of worship, praise, or formal blessing of the One God of Israel. Frequently, proponents of a low Christology, that promotes Yeshua as a created being, will accuse those who hold to a high Christology, of facilitating “Jesus-olatry.” But Luke 24:52-53, held together, should serve to indicate that veneration or worship of Yeshua the Messiah is not something that does, and certainly not should, occur independent of formal worship or blessing of what a wider audience recognizes to be worship of the God of Israel. Worship of the Son should take place in conjunction with worship of the Father.


NOTES

[1] The CJB/CJSB has, “They bowed in worship to him, then returned to Yerushalayim, overflowing with joy.”

[2] BDAG, 408.