Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
I worked at our annual “Backpack Bash” a few weeks ago. The kids came in with their parents and smiles—all were so grateful.
I’m excited, because I’m going back to school too. For me, there’s nothing better than being with my girlfriends and studying God’s word. I’m a little anxious about the homework because sometimes I rush, skim, and don’t analyze when I have lots to read. It’s embarrassing to admit, but sometimes, I skip Scripture and just look for the answers to the author’s questions.
I know better, because I spent most of my life teaching students how to think as they read.
Luke starts this true adventure story with an incredible event in today’spassage. When I read Scripture, I sometimes use a technique called “picturing.” So today, I’m re-reading and imagining what the characters are thinking.
You might have noticed one of the men still wants to know when God will rescue Israel from Rome. Jesus repeats what He has said before, “no one knows the day or the hour when He will return.”
I’m guessing maybe some of the apostles are feeling bummed again.
But then Jesus tells them about this exciting event, the Holy Spirit will come and give every follower “power” to spread the news of what Jesus did on the cross for everyone all the way “to the ends of the Earth.”
The disciples didn’t even know just how far the ends of the Earth went. So I wonder if maybe Jesus used these words to visualize for future Christians—us! He invites us into this adventure of spreading the good news in this century and beyond.
Stay in this scene for another moment; I like to imagine one last group hug, though it isn’t written in the text. The disciples watch their Savior, best friend and Lord, float into the sky until they can’t see him anymore.
After this, I wonder, were the apostles bursting with crazy joy and purpose as they walked to Jerusalem together, ready to take on the world for Jesus? This true story continues today. The Holy Spirit lives in us, giving us strength and courage as we share Jesus with those we encounter on our journey.
Sometimes I cry at the end of a good book, because I want the book to go on and on. His story does and our eternity begins today. Jesus promised!
- If you want to learn more about picturing, click here.
- In addition to these devotiaonls, are you reading the Bible each day? Consider downloading the Bible App and following the many reading and study plans they offer.
- If you’re not in a small group yet, click here to see what might be available at your campus.