ACTS 1:1-11


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.”


“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 book of Acts is the original “church history.” It recounts the progress of the Christian witness “from Jerusalem to Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). Written by Luke, the author of the third gospel, Acts continues Luke’s account of the Jesus story by emphasizing the unshakeable confidence believers in Christ possess as they lean toward the good future God has for them in the power of His Holy Spirit.

We notice that Acts is addressed to Theophilus (“lover of God”), most likely a name for a high-ranking Roman official who had come to faith in Jesus Christ. What we will notice is that while Luke mentions a beginning, located in the earthly ministry of Jesus recorded in the Gospel, the fact of Jesus coming ascension will mean that the gospel will have no ending. It will instead be a story that continues through the ministry of the church, empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Luke starts out his so called “second volume” of the Jesus story by guaranteeing his readers that the first followers of Jesus were not deceived individuals. They were certain of the resurrection because of how Jesus had offered them proofs of Himself over a forty-day period. Our reading today notes that Jesus’ resurrection appearances over this time centered on the kingdom of God.”

Luke describes for us that Jesus told his followers the importance of remaining in Jerusalem until they receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit or in the words of the gospel, “power from on high” (Luke 24:49).

The disciples want a timetable, did you notice this? That is not-so-strange of a request is it. Who doesn’t or wouldn’t want the answer to the “when” in life. I believe we see here that their concern continued to be for a kingdom that will bring deliverance from Roman rule. Jesus, however, refuses their request. The only indication or timetable he will give them is the gift of the Holy Spirit, which he calls “power (dynamos=dynamite) from on high.” Then Jesus is taken up into heaven, a supernatural act of God, then two angels appear next, just like on Resurrection morning at the empty tomb (Luke 24:4), the angels issue the call to the disciples to the work of the continuing witness to Jesus.

As followers of Jesus, we join with all believers who have been sent to bear witness to the risen and ascended Jesus, the LORD and KING who sits at the right hand of God. You see as we faithfully speak and live out our life as Christ-followers, we pass on the story of Jesus so that others may receive the gift of the Holy Spirit too and know the same confidence that we enjoy.




If You call me I will go,

if You lead me I will follow,

if You show me I will learn,

if You rebuke me I will turn,

if You speak I will hear,

if You beckon I will draw near.



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