Not another like him, #33
-->Invitation for you at the end
Just two more segments in Jesus, Not Another Like Him ~ the set of Morning Briefings spanning our love of the miraculous birth of Jesus to the celebration of his walking out of the grave, the Resurrection - the very epicenter of our belief in Jesus Christ. O, how I love him and I love being loved by him!
Come with me back to that day on the Mt. of Olives when those closest to Jesus were gathered near him, inquiring yet again if he would NOW restore the kingdom…would now be the time he would overthrow Rome and establish his kingdom?
Hmmm, like you and me, I’m afraid those early followers were often short sighted.
Luke writes, 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.” Acts 1
I love these verses--succinct statements of authority, promise, power, passion, purpose, prophecy and even fulfilled prophecy!
Jesus had a kingdom of forever in mind. He was thinking of Australians, Austrians, Africans, Asians and Americans over millennia who would have a relationship with him in this life and then live with him forever. He was not looking at those right in front of him - though he dearly loved them - he was looking well into the future and across miles and miles of the earth.
The last thing Jesus had on his mind was you.
So he told of the Holy Spirit who would soon abide with his followers and give them power. [refresher on power of the Holy Spirit? https://conta.cc/3Le07mZ].
In that power, they were released; in their radically changed lives and excitement, each told someone who told someone who told someone who told another who told someone who told his family who told her daughter who told someone all the way down until they told you about a mighty God who loves you mightily and wants relationship with you.
Jesus said be my witnesses so that all would know.
Imagine these last words of his commissioning them to go and tell so that all would know. After all, that is what a witness does - he speaks to another of what he has seen or experienced. Really simple when you think about it. Ha, and from this simplicity was the earliest and greatest strategy ever launched: one who tells one who tells another who tells two more who tell another.... the law of multiplication.
Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth. WE are the ends of the earth from Jesus’ day. It worked, and we are testament to that.
And to put an exclamation on his earthly life, Jesus then ascended into Heaven as they all watched him go into the clouds. [Take a minute to read again 1 Thess. 4.16-17 about his coming in the clouds!! https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Thessalonians%204%3A16-17&version=NIV]
Right then they were approached by two men in white (angelic beings?)who told them that Jesus would come back again in the same way they saw him go.
Jesus will return just as He left.
· He left physically and will come back in the same way.
· He left visibly and will come back in the same way.
· He left from the Mount of Olives and will come back in the same way.
· He left in the presence of His disciples and will come back in the same way.
· He left blessing His church and will come back in the same way.*
So you and I were the last thing he had on his mind as he cast his gaze toward his Father. What a homecoming it must have been!
Oh and do not forget - that commissioning was also for you and me--we are simply to tell others how sweet it is to walk with Jesus. Amen!
Say, would you like to stand on the Mt. of Olives looking out and around at the Old City of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount? Would you like to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane or sail on the Sea of Galilee? The pages of the Bible truly come alive as you walk the ancient streets where Jesus was born and lived his life. I am in the early planning stages of a March, 2023 journey to Israel.
Do you want to join me?
hit ‘reply’ if so!
With love and anticipation for all that is to come,
*David Guzik, Enduring Word Commentary