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Did Jesus ascend back to Heaven from Galilee or outside of Jerusalem?
by Robert Randle
7/19/2010 / Devotionals
Matthew 26: 32
"But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."
Mark 14: 28
"But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."
Matthew 28: 5, 7
But the angel answered and said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know you seek Jesus [Yeshua] who was crucified." 'And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold! I have told you."
Then Jesus [Yeshua] said to them, "Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren [disciples??] to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me."
Mark 16: 5-7
And entering the tomb, they (Cp. 16: 1) saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus [Yeshua] of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. "But go, tell His disciples-and Peter-that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."
Matthew 28: 16-17
Then the eleven disciples went away [from Jerusalem??] into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus [Yeshua] had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshipped; but some doubted.
NOTE: The narrative doesn't say who they were and the reason for their doubt and it would have been quite helpful to our understanding if this information was recorded for posterity.
And Jesus [Yeshua] came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father [Abba], and of the Son [Ben], and of the Holy Spirit [Ruach Kodesh], teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age [world]." Amen
Mark 16: 15, 19
And He said to them, "Go into the entire world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." So then, after the LORD had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.
John 20: 10, 12, 17-18
Then the disciples went away again to their own homes [in Galilee??]. And she [Mary Magdalene] saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain [somewhere around Mount Olivet in Bethany, near Jerusalem]. Jesus [Yeshua] said to her, "Do not cling to Me, for I have not yet ascended to My Father, but go to My brethren [disciples??] and say to them, 'I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.' "Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the LORD, and that He had spoken these things to her.
21: 1, 14
After these things Jesus [Yeshua] showed Himself again to the disciples at the Sea of Tiberias [in Galilee], and in this way He showed Himself. This is now the third time Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after He was raised from the dead.
Luke 24: 4, 6
And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. "He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee."
So they rose up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together (Cp. Acts 1: 12-15).
NOTE: The focus appears to shift from Galilee to Jerusalem.
*Luke 24: 47, 49*
"And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name [Jesus-Yeshua] to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. " Behold, I send the Promise of the Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high." And He led them out as far as Bethany (Cp. John 11: 18), His hands and blessed them. Now it came to pass, while He blessed them that He was parted from them and carried up to heaven.
John 20: 19, 21-23
Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled [in Jerusalem??] for fear of the Jews stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." So Jesus [Yeshua] said to them again, "Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you." And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Hoy Spirit (Ruach ha Kodesh). If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."
NOTE: This is a different account than the versions in the 'Synoptic Gospels' or in ACTS 1: 13-14; 2: 1-7.
COMMENTARY: After carefully examining the gospels as well as the book of ACTS, it seems that there are at least two traditions; one is a Northern version that gives Galilee prominence and the Southern narrative which places emphasis on the city of Jerusalem. In Matthew 28: 18-20 at least three things are presented: (1) Make disciples of all nations; (2) baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; (3) teaching to observe everything that Jesus commanded. Mark 16: 15, 19 also mentions: (1) Go into all the world; (2) preach the Gospel; (3) he who is believes and is baptized shall be saved and he who does not believe shall be condemned. Jesus is received up into heaven, apparently from Galilee in this account. John 21: 1, 14 refers to Jesus meeting with the disciples in Galilee for the third time but there is NO mention of making disciples of the nations, preaching the Gospel or spreading the teaching of Jesus [Yeshua], baptizing in the divine Name, repentance or remission of sins, or about Jesus ascending back up to heaven.
The importance of Jerusalem is emphasized in Luke 24: 47, 49 where (1) repentance and remission of sins in His [Jesus-Yeshua] name preached to all nations; (2) beginning at Jerusalem; (3) tarry at Jerusalem. Jesus was carried up to heaven. Of course, there is a LUKE/ACTS tie-in as portrayed in Acts 1: 4-5, 8-9: And being assembled together with them, commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, "which," He said, "you have heard from Me; "for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now." "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. "Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
Interestingly, we have the ten disciples [Thomas missing] receiving the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed on them [in Galilee] or in Jerusalem when they received the Holy Spirit as tongues of fire and all the 120 who were assembled, experienced this phenomena (Cp. Acts 1: 12-15; 2: 1-4a). The traditional "Trinitarian" baptismal formula (Cp. Matthew 28: 19) seems to have been ignored by the early Church in favor of Luke 24: 47 [baptism in "The Name of Jesus"] because all the recorded cases in the book of ACTS mentions baptism in the singular Name as opposed to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Why does the "Great Commission" not include any Galilean towns in the North, like Nazareth, Capernaum, Cana, Bethsaida, Bethlehem, Tyre, and Syria, etc? Not only that, but Jesus either ascended to heaven from the region of Galilee in the North or from Judea [Jerusalem or Bethany] in the South. These two disparate versions cannot rationally be reconciled into one coherent narrative, but like the creation account in the book of GENESIS as well as other source references throughout the TANAKH [Jewish Old Testament], this disparity cannot be ignored and easily explained away.
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