Summary: The disciples spent three-and-a-half years with Jesus in ministry. This sermon looks at what were the most imprtant things Jesus tried to teach them and, in turn, us during his last moments on earth.
“The Disciples Final Exam”
Ascension/Graduation Sunday, May 30, 2003
The Disciple’s Final Exam
The disciples had spent three-and-a-half years with Jesus in ministry. What were the most important things Jesus tried to teach them, and in turn, us during his last moments on earth?
Extra credit: What does it take to graduate as a Christian?
Introduction – Illustration – my final exam.(I had a final exam in a credit/no credit course that I didn’t need to take in order to pass. I choose not to take it instead of making the effort.)
Point- the disciples couldn’t do what I did, their life was hanging in the balance!
Jesus had given them some things to think about.
He has given them to us as well.
We are witnesses to Christ’s suffering…we are witnesses to Christ’s resurrection…we are witnesses to Christ’s redemptive grace-filled offer…and we are witnesses of the remission of sin.
“And you are witnesses to these things.” (v.48)
Jesus had just shown these disciples the ultimate “shock and awe” campaign.
Just when the disciples thought it was over that Good Friday afternoon…
But they were shocked by Easter morning….
And awed by the teachings that were now starting to make sense…(ex. the road to Emmaus – vs. 31 – “then there eyes were opened.”)
We witness to the suffering, death, resurrection of Christ and the redemption and remission of sin that is offered to all humanity. This is our witness.
Did you get this one right? Good, question #2.
We tarry (according the NKJV) other versions say that we remain or stay…until what???
“until we are endued with the power from on high”
There’s been a lot of theological thought around this verse. Some say that the Holy Spirit comes after baptism, some say during, and that we can only come to a true understanding of what we are to do once we’ve been baptized with Spirit one way or another…”
In either case, its not a matter of the answer, it’s a matter of the question. Let me explain.
What we do while we wait for Christ’s second coming is based solely on our Spiritual gift. Therefore the question should not be one of when (I believe a strong case can be made for either), but is should be a question of how.
“For as the body is one and has many member, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ! (listen up here)
For by one Spirit were we all baptized
(the same spirit that baptized the disciples also baptized us when we came to faith – notice when is not the issue – it happened!)