You shall receive power
By Ivan Ho 14 July 2017
Luke’s account of Jesus
The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
Acts 1:1-3 NKJV
The above are the opening statements of the book of Acts written by Luke, a disciple of Paul. Unlike the other gospel writers Matthew, Mark and John, it is widely accepted that Luke had never physically met Jesus, but his account of the Son of God is equally authoritative because most of the apostles and followers of Jesus were still alive to verify the historical facts about Jesus when Luke wrote the books of Luke and Acts in the Bible.
Jesus presented Himself alive to His disciples after He was resurrected. This is the single most important fact about the Son of God Jesus Christ, that He suffered, died and rose again! For 40 days after Jesus was resurrected, He appeared to His disciples and spoke to them about the kingdom of God before Jesus was taken up to heaven before their eyes.
Did Luke personally see Jesus? No he most likely hadn’t seen Jesus, but he had absolutely no doubt that Jesus was alive. Luke stated that Jesus was resurrected ‘by many infallible proofs’. As a physician and historian, Luke did not make these statements lightly if he wasn’t totally convinced. Luke personally interviewed some of the apostles, such as Peter and John who walked with Jesus, and was totally convinced beyond any doubt that their accounts of the Son of God were true.
Today, the same information that Luke had access to are available to us because what Jesus did and taught have been faithfully recorded in the four gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, as well as the book of Acts of the Apostles.
Empowered to be witnesses
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:4-8 NKJV
Some believers of Jesus think that baptism with the Holy Spirit is an option. That was not so according to the early disciples of Jesus. After His resurrection, Jesus assembled His disciples and COMMANDED them to wait in Jerusalem so that they would be baptised with the Holy Spirit, then they would receive power to be witnesses of Jesus. If being witnesses of Jesus is not an option for His followers, neither is the infilling of the Holy Spirit. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to become effective witnesses of Christ!
For the first 5 years after I have been born again in Christ, I have been witnessing and leading others to Jesus. Christ was in me, so was the Holy Spirit, and I was water baptised. Then I have an awesome breakthrough in my life at the university campus where I was studying in Sydney when the Holy Spirit came upon me in power, and immediately I found myself speaking in tongues which is the language of the Holy Spirit.
The Promise of the Father is for all the disciples of Jesus today, just as it was when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples who gathered in the upper room, about 120 of them, on the day of Pentecost. Before that, the disciples have been following and learning from Jesus for 3 1/2 years, seeing Him doing God’s works and performing various miracles, until His death and resurrection. After Jesus was taken up to heaven, it was the disciples mandate to continue the extension of God’s kingdom on earth. In order to do that effectively, they needed to be empowered by the Holy Spirit. The final instruction of Jesus to His disciples was to wait in Jerusalem to receive power from on high!
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey. And when they had entered, they went up into the upper room where they were staying: Peter, James, John, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot; and Judas the son of James. These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
Acts 1:8-14 NKJV
It’s no longer Jesus physically doing God’s works on earth, healing the sick, performing miracles and so on. We as disciples of Jesus are called to reveal Christ to the world. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to all those who follow Jesus today. We need the power of the Holy Spirit to be effective witnesses of Christ wherever we are placed, and wherever we are sent by God.
When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
Acts 2:1-4 NKJV