The Lord Jesus has risen from the dead. What’s next?
Jesus walks among men for forty days. He tells the apostles to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. He ascends into heaven. Matthias is chosen to replace Judas.
Jesus walks among men for forty days (1:1-3)
The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
Wait (1:4-8) (Read Joel 2:28-29, Isaiah 44:3)
4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Jesus walked among men for forty days. Reminding them of what He had said, why He came, and what was to come.
He told His apostles to wait for the promised baptism of the Holy Spirit prophesied in Joel 2:28-29.
“And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.”
The purpose of the baptism of the Holy Spirit was witnessing. It is God’s plan that believers in Christ tell others of what Christ has done for them and about what He will do for others. When we witness for Christ, we do not go alone. The Holy Spirit leads, guides, and convicts’ men of their sin. Also, it is not our purpose to lead others to Christ. We can’t. It is the Holy Spirits work to save the lost. All we do is tell them of their lost condition, why they need to be redeemed, and of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection.
But then Jesus tells them to wait for the fulfillment of the promise. Are we willing to wait on the Lord? We don’t like to wait. We want what we want and we want it now! Waiting, coupled with prayer and supplication, allows God to prepare us for what He has next. God is in no hurry.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001