Updated: Jan 5
Hello Chruch, recently, I made some remarks that caused some questions regarding the plurality of attendance during Jesus' Ascension, and the questions are wonderful. So, I thought it would be good for me to share my response in case any of you are wondering and do not dare to ask. Know that this is the kind of feedback that gets this Pastor going... Because the Holy Spirit is in each of us, and the words are true "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Prov. 27: 17
So, I received this email asking further questions in regard to my sermon from January 1st, 2023, on which I seem to go away from scripture. The text in question is Acts 1:6-11, specifically verse 9, where the book of Acts shares much of the Ascension. Look at the excerpt from the sermon here (Video) ...
So, join me as we go over some of my notes...
Let's pay attention to Acts first, the chosen scripture for the day. In the book of Acts, verse 9 says the "Apostles" if you are reading the New Living Translation. However, if you read the NIV or the most literal of bibles, Young's Literal Translation (YLT), it only says "They." it doesn't mention the "Apostles," and that tells you that there is something going on here.
Now, In verse 11, when the Angels say "Men of Galilee," to my understanding, the Angels are not only talking to Males... why? because I just learn that it was "They" who were present not simply the "All Male Apostles" according to the Bible in Greek.
Furthermore, in "Men of Galilee"; the word in English is "Men," and in greek is anēr Click Here to see Greek, which (yes!) mostly and traditionally means "any male, or husband, etc." but it is not a 100%... it is also used a few times generically to talk about any group of both men and women... For example, it happens in Acts 4:4
Now, knowing this much, and acknowledging Jesus' way of life and friendships, meaning: men, women, and the call for "letting children come to Him" (See, Matthew 19:14) was equally important. I mean, if Jesus is going away, why wouldn't Jesus be with Apostles and Disciples... as many as they were around?
It is also important to remember that Jesus showed himself after His crucifixion to all disciples and apostles (first women, and then men) --- so, again knowing all this... why wouldn't Jesus be with "all of them" before his Ascension a.k.a. going away party? This is where I tell you about how people in other parts of the world, including Colombia, will get with you to say goodbye and to me with you until it is time to travel away.
This is you have to put my comments within the context... My sermon is about Theophilus, a person in a position and disposition to further the good news! We are reading the author's gift to Theophilus about all the things that Jesus began to do and teach. Acts 1:1. The book of acts is a book of answers (Acts 1: 6-7) is a book of facts (Acts 1:3) is a book of gifts (Acts 1:4) is a book for everyone, where everyone is included (Acts 1:9) and that's the point I was trying to argue, but perhaps I was not as successful.
Now, not only pay attention to acts. Pay attention to the other two scriptures. Let's pay attention to Mark 16:19-20... The Scriptures in English say, "When the Lord Jesus had finished talking with them" that word "Them" in greek is autos Click Here to see Greek which speaks generally for both males and females.
Now verse Mark 16: 20, in English, says "disciples"; however, in Greek, it doesn't say Disciples. Instead, the word that is used in Greek in the original text is the word ekeinos Click Here to See Greek which means "They," which obviously is gender inclusive.
Then there is Luke 24: 50-53, which, even in English, speaks in terms that are inclusive of both men and women. So yea, I know it is a lot, but that is where my lesson comes from. Church, I know this is a lot and confusing. However, know that the message is still the same.
The Bible, not only Acts, is the author's gift to someone else about all the things that Jesus began to do and teach. Acts 1:1. The Bible is a book of answers (Acts 1: 6-7) is a book of facts (Acts 1:3) is a book of gifts (Acts 1:4) is a book for everyone, where everyone is included (Acts 1:9) and that's the point I was trying to demonstrate. I pray that I will be even more successful next time at effectively communicating the Good News of the Gospel.