“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.” Acts 1:8 NIV
I have the red letter edition of the Bible. That is the edition where the words of Jesus are highlighted by being printed in red ink. I like it because Jesus’ words always stand out visually, and I pay particular attention when I know that Jesus himself is speaking. I fully believe that all of scripture is God's word, but during this period of time in history God sent His Son into the world to speak to His people directly, and I love to picture the disciples soaking up every word they heard. This verse in Acts is the last thing they hear Jesus say as He rose into heaven.
That means something, I think. You have heard the phrase “famous last words” before. The implication is that people pay attention to what others say as their last utterance before leaving this world. Jesus knew that, and so it must have been extremely important to Him that His disciples would listen to these words with ready ears.
“But you will receive power.” Power. Maybe other people would no longer look at them in pity or scorn, regarding them as weak and ineffective; followers of an insignificant itinerant preacher. This could be grand for the confidant, but disconcerting to the timid among them.
“When the Holy Spirit comes on you.” Jesus was very aware what this would mean for His disciples. It meant the difference between their success in spreading the gospel and their failure in that task. The power was in that very Spirit. The disciples, on the other hand, were perplexed. They had no idea who the Spirit was or what His power could do for their lives.
“And you will be my witness in Jerusalem”. Ok. They were good with that. In fact they were full of the stories of the miraculous things they had seen and heard. They loved to speak of Jesus among themselves and compare their wonderful memories of that time. They couldn’t wait to tell their friends and acquaintances about their amazing time with Jesus, the Son of God.
“And in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Wait a minute. Many of us are fishermen. We never travel far from water - our water. We are just regular folks. You know that. You picked us. We’re not world travelers. What do You mean the ends of the earth? Where’s that?
A thousand thoughts raced through these disciples minds as they listened to Jesus; hundreds of emotions rocked their hearts. Famous last words indeed. Were they ready for this?
“The average Christian is so cold and contented with his wretched condition that there is no vacuum of desire into which the blessed Spirit can rush in satisfying fullness.”
Just a thought & I don't want to seem to nit-pick; but, all the words in scripture are Jesus' words, the ones in red are the ones that are, of course, highlighted, but try reading Genesis to Revelation knowing that really all of them should be in red. See how it changes the way you read it now.
Brave soul indeed to write on the Spirit; it's like trying to fully describe the universe in three paragraphs. I would like to see your work on the Spirit after a few pages. I don't know if I should applaud you or take you in for evaluation.