Acts 1.1-5

Spanning about thirty years, Acts tells us how the Good News of Jesus got from Jerusalem to Rome and all the stops it took along the way. Acts picks up the narrative where Luke left off (with what looks like a slight overlap), Jesus having ascended and His followers being full of joy and anticipation in Luke 24.50-53 and about to do so in Acts 1.1-5.

Acts 1.2 tells us that Jesus gave instructions to the apostles whom he had chosen, instructions and commands through the Holy Spirit. One of these is shared in vv.4-5:

“While he was with them, he declared, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait there for what my Father promised, which you heard about from me. For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

(NET)

The apostles are told, simply, to wait. 

“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait there for what my Father promised, which you heard about from me.”

The apostles must have felt like doing anything but waiting! They had encountered the risen Jesus many times over the previous forty days (v.3) and were no doubt excited and energised for the next chapter in the story. What they are waiting for, however, is spectacular. They’re waiting for a Trinitarian baptism of the Holy Spirit, did you see it?

“While he was with them, he declared, “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait there for what my Father promised, which you heard about from me. For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

(NET, emphasis added)

The apostles were no doubt anxious to get going, itching to share this Good News of Jesus and what it meant for everyone who heard and believed, but they were told to wait. They were told to wait because more was coming, better was coming. 

The same can be true, in principle, for you and for me. Often times we experience something and, quite naturally, want to go and do something as a result. Sometimes though, God has something even more spectacular planned for us, if we will only wait. Like the child who wants to buy the first souvenir they see on holiday, our Heavenly Father says wait, there is more, there is better, for now, wait…

Here, the apostles are told exactly what they are waiting for (v.5), but it can be difficult for us if we feel that we are waiting for something that we are not 100% sure of. The action we take is the same, so whether you know what you are waiting for or not, today take a lesson from the apostles here: wait, pray, and expectantly watch for something better. 

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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