And so with today’s blog, we exit the gospels and enter the book of Acts.
I’m not sure if it ever occurred to me that what Luke referenced in Acts 1:4 was probably the same event that he talked about in Luke 24:49. Specifically, that the apostles were to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came.
At any rate, about 40 days later, Jesus led them into the vicinity of Bethany, namely the Mount of Olives. I wonder if as they were standing there, they thought of the prophesy of Zechariah, who said that after the conquering of Israel by the nations, that the Lord would arrive on the Mount of Olives, fight those nations, and become king over the whole earth (Zechariah 14).
Perhaps that is why they asked,
Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1:6)
But Jesus replied,
It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Acts 1:7-8)
Too often people worry about when Jesus is coming back. And we should be aware of the signs of his coming. But more then worrying about when Jesus is coming back, we need to be concerned about what he’s called us to do until he comes. What has he called us to do? To preach the gospel. To be his witnesses.
What does it mean to be a witness? Essentially, it’s to tell all that you’ve seen, heard, and know. All that you’ve seen Jesus do in your life, all that you’ve heard from the Sunday messages and know from the Word, you are to share these things with the people around you. And as we do, we will change this world.
But the power to change the world is not found in us. It is not our words in themselves that will change people’s hearts. Rather, it is the power of the Holy Spirit working in us that will change the world. By ourselves we can do nothing. And so Jesus didn’t tell his disciples, “Okay, you know everything you need to know to change the world. Now go!”
Rather, he said, “Wait for the Holy Spirit. He will baptize you with the power you need. Once he has done so, then go.”
So often, we do things in our own strength. Our own wisdom. And we can “accomplish” a lot in doing so. But if we truly want to change the world, we need to be baptized with his Spirit. To be filled with his power. Because human power and human wisdom has its limits. But with God, there are no limitations.
Holy Spirit, fill me now. So often I do things in my own wisdom. In my own strength. In my own power. But without you I can do nothing. I’m tired of living life on my own. Of trying to serve you in my own wisdom and strength. So Holy Spirit, fill me. Fill me with power so I can make a difference in this world as you have called me to. In Jesus name, amen.