by Philip Layton
Jesus ascends into Heaven and Matthias is chosen to replace Judas Iscariot
- Luke’s Gospel is addressed to Theophilus too; Acts is presumed to be written by the same author.
- Why was Jesus taken like this (vv 9-11)?
- How legitimate would it be to make major Church decisions in this way today (vv 21-26)?
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Going Deeper from 'Words of Life'
People today are passionate for power. Most problems, such as civil war, terrorism and the killing of innocent people, are due to a struggle for power. People fight with all their might to get political power. The reason why many people want to have power is for personal gain rather than the development of the country. Abuse of power has caused many factions and severe poverty among people, particularly in a number of Third World countries.
The power Jesus promises to the disciples when the Holy Spirit comes on them is not the power to rule over any country or people. It is not a power to be exercised over enemies who hated them and persecuted them physically and mentally. It is the power to tolerate insults and curses from enemies. It is not the power to hurt anyone. It is the power to turn our other cheek to the person who strikes our face. It is the power to resist temptation. It is the power to rejoice when people persecute us and say all kinds of evil things against us, because of Jesus.
It is the power to love our enemies and show goodness to them. It is the power to heal the sick and cast out devils from people. It is the power to be at peace, even when facing trials and persecution. It is the power to go in the valley of death without fear. It is the power to witness for Jesus everywhere we go.
This is the kind of power the Holy Spirit will bring to the disciples.
And the promise is not only for the Twelve but also for us now. We can be true disciples of Jesus today – and the Holy Spirit will give us power for our daily life.
Come, give us still thy powerful aid,
And urge us on, and keep us thine.
(SASB 202 v 3)
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