I am once again embarking on a journey through a book of the BIble and you are invited to journey with me. Please don’t expect perfection here because you won’t find it. You will, however, find my thoughts and many unanswered questions, as I seek to understand and live out what Dr Luke has written about Jesus and his disciples.
“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 1:8 NIV
Here in Acts 1, the disciples do not know what is going to unfold in the next few chapters. The disciples are ready for Jesus to take over the ROmans and want Jesus to take up his rule and usher in. The Kingdom of God as he had promised. THye once again ask him when he is going to do what they are expecting and he rebukes them and gives them a clear picture of how this kingdom of God is going to be established on the earth…through them. All they have these last words from Jesus ringing in thier ears and a profound image of Jesus leaving the earth, followed by an appearance of two angels. They haven’t got the rest of the story at this point. They don’t know what Jesus means or what will unfold. They wonder down the mountain and I can imagine they were either stunned into silence or the conversation would have been filled with questions…their ideal of what the kingdom of God really is has just been turned on its head….
The book of Acts is tied to this one statement spoken by Jesus. It is a book about Jesus and what he did on the earth once he left physically. It is a book that bears witness to Christ and his power on the earth demonstrated through those who encounter his Spirit. He makes a prophetic declaration over these disciples, not only about what will happen when they receive his Spirit but also about why they will receive power. They keep asking their king when he will establish the kingdom and he is literally explaining ..it will happen through you….
There are so many key words I can mull over today from this verse…
Jerusalem, judea, the world.
The promise : heaven is gifting me with something …I don’t have to beg for it or earn it. The Holy Spirit to our gift of heaven until Jesus returns. Receiving is uncomplicated and unconditional. You shall receive ‘power’ …
The promise here is not just the Holy Spirit but the power of the Holy Spirit. I don’t think power is an added extra. It is not either or maybe. It is automatic that power comes with being filled with the Holy Spirit. The Greek word for power is dunamis..this word appears 120 times in the New Testament..the same word is used in relation to the power of God enabling Mary to get pregnant with Jesus. It is a supernatural, miraculous power. Paul often refers to this type of power when he speaks about the transformation work of Christ in our hearts. Throughout Acts it is a word that always refer to signs and wonder and apostles their ability to cast out demons or heal the sick to this power which doesn’t come from them but is from the Holy Spirit.
I can expect the holy Spirit to give me the power o do sign and wonder and miserable s but it is not just to do sign and wonders and miracles. It is so that I can attribute and bear witness to Christ and the spirt of god. I want this powe but it must be linked to purpose..to point to Christ.
Jesus ability to do sign and wonders and miracles was to show and manifest the kingdom of God . He then promises his own spirit so that we too can do sign and wonders and miracles to show and manifest the kingdom of God.
If we are not seeing signs and wonders and wonders and miracles we have to rely on our ability to share or faith and our natural ability to articulate who Jesus is. Although I want to be a witness to who Jesus is to me ..how much more powerful is it to demonstrate god’s love and power and show people heave by seeing Herman experience a miracle and experience that dunamis for themselves and then point them to Jesus. Jesus walked the earth demonstrating the power of God though signs and inserts. If Jesus demonstrated what he kingdom of God was like the the best way for us to demonstrate here kingdom of God is not by telling but showing. Not just being nice but but power.
Wait, tarry, don’t do anything until …I want what I do to demonstrate the power of God and show people,that the kingdom of g dis about miracles and a demonstration of the kgindom of god not just information about the kingdom of God. Jesus did teach but he also demonstrated with power in a way that people were drawn to him. He then told them…you too need the holy Spirit ..he wanted to leave them wit the same power he had when he walked the earth. What a privilege to not only be promised but to experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit and to experience what that power can do through ordinary humanity. It is not about me ..it is alway to one of God and point them to Jesus and bear witness to what he can do for them.
When Jesus says you shall receive power. The power is not the gift wrapping. It is essential to the gift.
Why do we be so caught up in the argument about ‘speaking in tongues’ instead of arguing for engaging with people where they encounter the power of the Holy Spirit in visible and real ways that change their life and bring the miraculous to their reality. This not weird stuff. It is essential. I find Christianity is boring and purposeless without this… I don’t want Jesus to make my life nice and happy and pleasant. I want to encounter the power of God, receive the power of God and demonstrate the power of God so that others can encounter the power of God , receive the power of God and help others encounter the power of God.
When the Holy Spirit likes on yu ..not if but when!!! There is not a bonus but proof and purpose.
Promise : power
Purpose: bear witness to Christ..
If I am the only Jesus that someone meets today …will they encounter his power and will my life point to him and show them what the kingdom of God is like. It is not about being nice…there are plenty of people who are nice who have not experienced what heaven is going to be like…..