To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
May/June 2016 Issue – The Presence of God, ‘You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.’ Psalm 16:11
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Acts 1:1-14 (NIVUK): “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: ‘Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.’
Then they gathered round him and asked him, ‘Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He said to them: ‘It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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.’
After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.
‘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.’
Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying.
Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.”
Selwyn summarises his discussion on the three prepositions ‘with’, ‘in’ and ‘on’.
He writes: “The Holy Spirit who had been ‘with the disciples prior to the crucifixion and resurrection and came ‘in’ them following the resurrection would now come ‘on’ them in all His fullness to saturate them with divine power and turn them from timid, vacillating, hidden disciples into men and women who were ablaze and very visible. …
Now, the disciples had no doubt that Jesus was actually living in their lives and, feeling His personal presence with them, they went out and began to turn the world upside down.”
I liked Selwyn summary, because it encourages us to ask these questions: Do we have no doubt that Jesus in actually living in our life? Do we hide ourselves away within our church communities and have little contact with those who may criticise us for our beliefs? Or, do we freely use the Holy Spirit’s divine power to fearlessly proclaim the good news about Jesus to all and not just our Christian friends? Are we working with other followers of Jesus to turn the world away from sin, towards repentance and eternal life with God?
Worthwhile questions to think about during this day.