Acts 1:1-11 (ESV)
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
4 And while staying[a] with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” 9 And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, 11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
So, I was preparing to preach this passage several months ago and was having a hard time. I am not bad at waiting. I have had to wait in my life for things. I have had to overcome obstacles at times, but waiting is not usually very fun. Also, I don’t always see the point. Imagine being the disciples and the most amazing thing to ever happen has just happened. Jesus has risen from the dead! Peter had been restored, now over a period of 40 days Jesus is showing up among them and walking into rooms that are locked. He is leaking important information to them in regards to His plan and what they are to do.
They are going to be taking this message into the entire world. As He ascends into heaven, His final instructions are to take this message into the entire world! It is the great commission! But, leading up to this, “Go to Jerusalem and wait.” Huh?
So, I was having a little bit of a preaching block. The more I thought about this passage and waiting on Jesus the more bored I got. I was bored just thinking about it, I can’t imagine having to listen to this! I am going to have to liven this up with some stories or something. This is going to be awful.
Then through pouting and scrolling through Facebook several times, I got it! There was something about observing the human condition that made me understand. The message was too vital for them to not have a handle on it. It was too important for the apostles to not be ready when their moment came. It was too big of a risk! Jesus needed to prepare them. There was no plan B! His plan hinged on the apostles.
So, when Jesus tells the disciples go to Jerusalem and wait, he means it. They were not completely equipped yet. He probably let them know about like this, “I realize that you saw me do it. I remember when I sent you out and you came back declaring that even the demons have to listen to you. I remember telling you I saw Satan fall like lightning when he rebelled. I saw him fall. There were two great hits, God the Father hitting Satan in heaven, and Satan hitting the ground on earth. The fact that the demons listen to you is not that significant in light of the greatest miracle. Rejoice rather that your names are written in heaven.”
So back to waiting, why is it that Jesus wants us to wait? I mean if we got the plan in front of us and we got the right idea and we know what we need to do. Let’s go do it. We know the message. We got this! Here is the problem.
If you try to preach the message without the messenger the message will not be heard.
So, if God has called you to something today, but you are not freed up to do it, what needs to happen for you to get there? Are you just waiting for the right moment? Is He simply growing patience in you, or is there something deeper He wants you to address before you are actually ready?
Check out another one of my writings in acts to understand the difference between being called and sent, and come back for part 2 of this series.
Thank you for Reading.
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