In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up into heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen …
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit … you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses …” (verses 1-2, 4-5, 8)
Right from the start of this account, Luke links the Person of Jesus with the Person of the Holy Spirit. We’ve had eyes on Jesus all the way through the Gospels – now we’ll continue to see his work in the activity of the Holy Spirit.
The instructions Jesus gives his disciples before his ascension are explicitly said to be “through the Holy Spirit”. The Spirit is the One the disciples will be dealing with henceforth – Luke wants us to clearly see the link with Jesus himself. They knew this linkage had always been the case. Peter would later tell the first Gentile converts that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power and … he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him” (Acts 10:38). Now the Spirit would be their own ongoing link with the Master.
But not just a link. They will be immersed in the very presence and power of this Spirit of Jesus. “Clothed with power from on high,”as Luke puts it elsewhere (Luke 24:49).
Immersed in this way, these upcoming chapters show the fulfilment of Jesus’ Upper Room promise that he would not leave the disciples as orphans, but would truly come to them; that the Spirit would be another Counselor, just like Jesus himself, to be with them, indeed within them (John 14:16-18).
So, the ministry of Jesus continues, full force, now with disciples as hands and feet, empowered by the indwelling Spirit of Jesus himself.
And the story continues – here and now, with us.
Dear Lord Jesus, thank you that what you began, you continue. The mission is ongoing. You have sent your Spirit to accomplish it. And you have commissioned us, your followers, to engage, sent in your name, carrying on your purposes.
May we see more of your Kingdom work done in the lives of those around us.
Receive: Back in John 3:34 we were told: “the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit.” In light of this truth, ask the Lord for more of the outpouring of the Spirit of Jesus in your own life this day – for his Kingdom purpose.