8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
10 And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them.
11 They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
Jesus does not call us without first giving us the means to fulfill that call.
God never leaves us out to dry. Verse 8 reminds us of our dependence on God to do His will: “but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses” (v. 8). Notice that the gift of the Holy Spirit precedes the gospel command—this word order illustrates the necessity of the Holy Spirit.
It is only after we receive the Holy Spirit that we will receive power. Note also that Jesus doesn’t say“if”; He says “when” (v. 8).
The reception of the Holy Spirit is not up for debate, but only a matter of timing. In a court of law, a witness is someone who has seen or experienced something and then tells others about it. In Christianity, a witness is someone who has experienced Jesus Christ through the gospel and then tells others about Him.
But the witness must be communicated. The angels—“two men in white robes” (v. 10)—confirmed that the same Jesus who was taken from them would come back in the same way: visibly, bodily, and with the clouds of glory.
In the meantime, the disciples were to be busy with His commission. They were to be busy being witnesses. This was a mandate for all, including believers today, to stop gazing and get to work being on mission with God.
- What would change if we saw ourselves (first and foremost) as those sent by God on His mission?
- How does a sense of urgency for Jesus’ return affect the way we live day to day? The way we relate to other people?
Thank Jesus that He is one
day coming back. Pray that you will faithfully be on mission for Him until He returns.