Search

INCARNATION


 


 


 

ACTS 1:1-14

 

1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”


6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 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.”

9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.


10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”


12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

 


“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.”

 

The first few verses of chapter is an introduction to the book of Acts, giving us the key to this New Testament book. Here we have revealed the essential strategy by which Jesus Christ proposes to change the world. I was recently reading a post that said “I strongly suspect that most Christians suffer from a terrible inferiority complex when we confront the world around us. We have bought the idea of many around, that the church is quite irrelevant, a not-at-all-important segment of society. That view is absolutely false. The church is the most important body in the world today — far and away beyond every other body — because whatever happens in the world happens as a result of something that is, or is not, happening in the church.” (Stedman)


In the opening verse Luke gives us the great strategy by which Jesus works among humankind. INCARNATION. He says, In my former book...I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach... He is referring, of course to the Gospel of Luke, in which is found the account of the birth of Jesus, the ministry of Jesus, his teaching and miracles, his death and resurrection and ascension. This is the story of all Jesus began to do and to teach.


Luke’s contention is that Acts is the continuation of what Jesus began to do. In a very real sense, the book of Acts is not the acts of Christians, but the continuing acts of Jesus. It is a description of what Jesus continues to do and to teach. Now, in the Gospel of Luke his action was witnessed in his physical body of flesh. In the book of Acts, Jesus is doing it through the physical bodies of women and men who are filled with his life through the Spirit. Now I might be missing something, but it seems to me that whether we read the Gospel story in Luke or the reports in Acts, INCARNATION is the strategy by which God changes the world.


It seems to me that whenever God wants to speak of something important, he does not simply send someone to announce it; or write a note, or hold a sign, his final way of driving home a message is to clothe the message in “flesh and blood.” God takes a life, and transforms that life, and directs that life, and by the demonstration of his own life in the that person, God makes clear what he has to say. That is the strategy we see in the book of Acts. It is the record of incarnation; women and men, JUST LIKE US, surrendered to Jesus Christ, filled and led by the Holy Spirit, the outcome of which is the revealing of his life for all who will “enter in.”


The book of Acts therefore is an unfinished book. It has never been ended, but is still being written. If you look ahead you will see that the book closes with an account of Paul in the city of Rome, living in his own house. It just ends there, as though you might turn over to the next page and begin the next adventure. This book is Volume 1, and the volumes continue to be written. We are all part of the next adventure. Now, that’s exciting isn’t it?


 

 

God,

I come before You today and surrender before You once again.

Take my life and use it for Your purposes, take this day, and use me in Your service.

I surrender to You completely.

You are my God, and I desire to worshipYou.

Amen

 

32 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All