Event(s): The Holy Spirit is promised; Jesus ascends to Heaven
Today’s Text: Acts 1:1-11
Tomorrow’s Text: Acts 1:12-26
Chronologically, Acts 1 picks up where Luke 24:51 left off, offering a slight overlap that connects the two books together. Though no one is perfectly certain who Theophilus was, his mention allows us to connect Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:1, thereby confirming Luke as the author of Acts. Here are just a few things to point out in today’s text:
Acts 1:1 “both to do and teach” Jesus’ life and ministry was marked not only by what He said and taught, but also by what He did. And one of the most exciting things to realize is that the healings, miracles, signs, and wonders Jesus performed were done by the empowerment of the Holy Spirit within Him – the one and only Holy Spirit He was now promising to gift His disciples with.
Acts 1:3 “by many infallible proofs” Translated from the Greek, this phrase means unmistakable, convincing, decisive proof. God knew in advance what it would take to convince even the most doubting of hearts. Even today, anyone who sets his or her heart towards knowing the truth will discover that Jesus is who He said He is, and that He did what the Word of God says He did. It’s undeniable.
Acts 1:5 “you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now” In this case, not many days would end up being ten (often recognized throughout the Bible as the number of testing). However, we should not conclude that any time this phrase is used it is limited to mean exactly ten days.
The word baptize means to immerse, or to dip and results in union with something or someone. Here, we get the picture of being drenched, much like we see in the example of water baptism. But this new baptism Jesus was speaking of would be a spiritual baptism. One not limited to the outward, but a complete saturation of His presence, reaching the deepest chambers of our being.
The word had been spoken. The promise had been given. The Spirit was coming. But notice obedience and trust were key factors in the disciples receiving what Jesus had promised. They had to be obedient to remain in Jerusalem. They had to be patient in waiting for His timing. And their posture of expectancy is evident by the priority they gave to prayer and worship.
Many times, when God speaks to us, whispers a promise to our hearts, or awakens a dream within us, we don’t immediately get to see all the details or specifics of how and when everything will work out. We may catch big-picture glimpses of what is to come. Typically, the only thing we have clarity on is the next step. And sometimes, that “step” means waiting. The rest of the details remain hidden behind that door of obedience we must faithfully walk through. Then, and only then, will we get the privilege and satisfaction of seeing what lies beyond.
Think about the pending promises in your life, or the dreams you carry in your heart. Has God revealed a next step for you to take? Is there something you can act on today to move closer to that promise? Or perhaps some of us are in a waiting period. Filling that gap of time with worship and prayer, as the disciples did, will ensure our hearts and minds are prepared and ready to receive what He is getting ready to send our way.