Summary: We see the disciples' simple obedience to God, simple dependence on God in prayer, and simple faith in the Scriptures.
Luke wrote the book of ACTS. It’s a sequel to the Gospel of LUKE which gives an account of the life of Jesus and all that He said and did.
• ACTS tells us how the risen Lord works to build His church by His Word and the Holy Spirit, in particular covering the works of two principal apostles Peter and Paul.
• Both LUKE and ACTS forms a quarter of the NT and it’s written by a Gentile believer Luke, the only books written by a Gentle.
• We see the spread of the Gospel from beyond the Jews and Jerusalem, to the Gentiles and to the ends of the earth (Rome).
Luke records for us that Jesus showed Himself to His disciples after His resurrection and gave them convincing proofs that He was alive.
• In those 40 days prior to His ascension, Jesus strengthens their faith through His presence and through His words.
• Luke tells us His parting words: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised” (1:4) – the gift of the Holy Spirit.
He – the Counsellor, the Comforter, the Advocate, the Helper – will TEACH us all things and will REMIND us of everything that Jesus has said (cf. John 14:25-26)
• Dear church, the Holy Spirit dwells in us who believes. We are not alone and can never be alone. He guides us and help us understand Jesus and know His will.
• Jesus is with us today. He says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
• With the ascension of Jesus, the disciples were given this hope of seeing their Master and Saviour Jesus returns. We share that same hope today. We will see Him again.
Read Acts 1:12-14
With the parting of Jesus, Luke tells us “they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives” (Mount called Olivet) where Jesus ascended.
• They went and gathered in an upper room, probably the same place they had the Last Supper with Jesus 6 weeks ago.
• They were united in prayer, with the family of Jesus and others.
We see their SIMPLE OBEDIENCE to Jesus. They trusted Jesus. His parting words were: “Do not leave Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit.”
• There are few things in this life harder to do than having to WAIT. We like instant noodle, instant coffee, Instagram (instant camera + telegram).
• We don’t like to wait. It takes faith, it takes patience, and it takes lot of trust in the person who expects us to wait.
• I remembered Lester sharing a story about a family taking a road trip, to some place nice, and the child kept asking, “Are we there yet? Are we reaching?”
• Even if the dad had answered, “Well, it will be another 2 hours”, I don’t think the child would have understood. Waiting is uncomfortable to many.
Can we trust Jesus? Can we simply obey because we believe Him?
• How long should we wait? What exactly is the coming of the Holy Spirit? What are we to look out for?
• There were so many unknowns for the disciples. The only word they had from Jesus was, WAIT. And yet that was precisely what they did.
They returned to Jerusalem, went into an upper room, and waited together.
• 1:14 “They all joined together constantly in prayer”, in one accord, with one mind.
• They were not just together physically in one place but they were one in spirit, seeking God together with one mind and heart.
• And they were determined to wait as the Lord instructed.
• They did not know how long they would have to wait, and that makes it tougher.
• Yet wait was what they did for as long as it takes for the promise to be fulfilled. They SIMPLY OBEYED.
That’s difficult for many. We are people of action. We want quick answers and easy solutions. We don’t understand the need to wait.
• We want to do something. Or more precisely, we want God to do something. Why the wait? Why the 7 days? (that was how long they waited for Holy Spirit; Pentecost is 50th day from Passover.)
We have been waiting for COVID-19 virus to be contained. Every day we pray and hope for better statistics the next day.
• We don’t see a need for the delay, and yet God allowed it. That wait changes us.
• We learnt to trust God, pray more, be humble, be socially responsible, cooperate with the authorities, prioritize life choices, and care for the more vulnerable…