THE ASCENSION OF JESUS
The disciples asked Jesus when He would free and restore Israel, and Jesus replied, "The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." After saying this to them, Jesus was taken up into a cloud, and they looked intently up into the sky until they could no longer see Him. Two angels said to them, "Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring into Heaven? Jesus has been taken from you into Heaven, but someday he will return from Heaven in the same way you saw him go!" (Acts 1:6-11).
Jesus did not answer the disciples' questions about the restoration of Israel from the Roman empire, but He told them that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them so that they would become His witnesses from Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. These were Jesus' last words before He ascended to Heaven, and according to the two angels, Jesus would return again just as He was taken up to Heaven. God would eventually restore Israel in the future to answer their question, but in the meantime, Jesus wanted them to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, so they would fulfill what Jesus commanded them in Matthew 28:19-20, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
As Jesus commanded the apostles to become His witnesses and make disciples of all nations, God also commands us with the same command. The Holy Spirit lives in us so that God can use our lives to share our faith in Jesus Christ with others and help them to grow in their new faith in Him. One of our biggest responsibilities in our relationship with God is to share our faith with others. There is no exception to this. All of us are called to be witnesses or share our faith with others until He returns to take us to be with Him forever.
Ask yourself these questions for application: (Think through these questions carefully and meditate on them while answering them, and let the Spirit of God speaks to you). Why did the disciples need to be empowered by the Holy Spirit? What is one of my biggest responsibilities in my relationship with God? Am I willing to obey God by being His witness or share my faith with others?
Father in Heaven, I am saved today because many believers before me took the courage to share their faith with others. Would you please give me the courage and willingness to obey you in sharing my faith with others? I admit that I get intimated or fearful of sharing my faith because of rejection, or maybe I do not know what to say. Please empower me with your Spirit so that I may share my faith with others. In your name Jesus, I pray. Amen.