“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.”
Wouldn’t it be great if someone could just tell you what you should do with your life? There as are so many decisions to make, and so many possibilities that sometimes we can feel swamped and unclear on the best direction we should take. I recently resigned from my job, but as yet am not clear on what I should do next. If someone could only tell me what I should do, then things would be so much easier!
In this verse, one of the first in the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus gives his followers a commission; they should tell the world about him. They were, he said, to be his witnesses, not just in the local area, but across the whole world. Whilst much of Jesus’ ministry was focused on reaching out to the Jews, Jesus now makes it explicitly clear that his message of salvation is for everyone, regardless of their religion or their nationality. Everyone should be told about him, and everyone should have the opportunity to repent of their sins. This seems like a pretty hard task to us today, but in the first century when travel and communication were rudimentary compared to what we have today, this must have seemed like an impossible challenge!
Jesus makes it clear that his disciples will not have to face this giant task unaided, however. The Holy Spirit will come upon them, they are told, and when it does, they will receive power, power direct from God. With the Holy Spirit, they will be able to fulfil the task that Jesus set them. The evidence suggests that they did a good job. The fact that we are still speaking about Jesus 2000 years later is evidence that they got the message out!
We must ensure that we tell people about Jesus. We also have a responsibility to tell the world about Christ. Whilst it might seem difficult, don’t forget that we too have the Holy Spirit in us. If the apostles managed to do such a good job, just think what we can do in the twenty first century!