Last Sabbath we began a new
series of sermon studies that will
focus our attention on the work of
the apostles through the power of
the Holy Spirit that characterized
the transition of the earthly ministry
of Jesus to His new mission
model of discipleship. Luke summarized
the ministry of Jesus as
he references “all that Jesus began to do and to

In many ways these words suggest that the work
that Jesus came to do was not finished. In fact,
the work and teachings of Jesus not only continued
through the apostles in the book of Acts, they continue
as the mission of the Church today. The summary
in Luke ends with the ascension which concludes
the story of Jesus’ ministry to fallen humanity.

Luke’s Gospel records that Jesus told the disciples
that after He would leave them they were to stay
together in Jerusalem and wait for the Gift that His
Father had promised. This was actually a time of
transition to prepare them for the mission to which
He had called them, a mission that would include
marching orders to go into all the world as witnesses
of His atoning death and His triumphant victory
over death.

This was all rather confusing, and yet, these faithful
followers actually did what Jesus asked them to
do and they experienced the confirmation of
their mission as they were clothed in the Holy Spirit
power that had been promised. It is interesting to
note that during Jesus earthly ministry there is no
reference to the Holy Spirit being upon anyone
other than Jesus. And we recall that there are several
such mentions as it relates to Jesus and His
baptism, being led into, and then out of the wilderness
experience, and even in His sermon (Luke 4)
in which He outlined His mission on earth.

In Acts 1, Luke confirms the importance of the Holy
Spirit to these apostles. It is important that they
(and we) understand that the same Spirit who rested
upon Jesus in His ministry would empower His
followers to be His witnesses. And the same Jesus
who taught them for the past 3 1/2 years would
continue to instruct them through the presence of
the Holy Spirit, once they experienced that promised
‘infilling’. In the past they had experienced the
Spirit through the presence of Jesus, but after the
Spirit fell upon them at Pentecost, they would experience
Jesus through the presence of the Spirit.

May that same Spirit fall upon our hearts today and
empower us to carry on the mission of Jesus.

Pastor Phil