Acts 1:8 (ESV) -- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Have you ever had to be a witness for something? Maybe a parent or a teacher asked you if you saw what happened in a circumstance. Perhaps you’ve been asked to testify as a witness in court.
I remember doing this once. A man in our church needed me to testify in court about his character and qualifications to take full custody of his adopted sons. Even though it was a simple task, I was nervous. Being in court raises the stakes of everything you say. But the task itself is very easy. All that is required is to speak about what you have witnessed.
Our passage today is a reminder that Jesus gave us the task of being His witnesses in the world. After his death and resurrection, He met with His disciples before ascending to Heaven. He told them that power from the Holy Spirit would fill them. This is huge. They are not going to simply have the Spirit rest on them. The Spirit will actually inhabit them. Notice that Jesus says the indwelling of the Holy Spirit will supply power to them. The question is: power for what?
Jesus continues, saying that the disciples will be His witnesses. They will testify to the people around them of the works, words, and ways of Jesus. They will communicate about his death for sin and resurrection from the grave. This message would go from where they were (Jerusalem), and to the ends of the earth. In other words, they have a mission of proclaiming Jesus throughout the world.
It is easy for us to overcomplicate this task. We make it feel impossible by pretending we have to answer every question that could be raised. We tell ourselves that we have to be salesmen for Jesus. Our speech must be smooth and persuasive. In reality, the task is very simple. We are to be witnesses. We simply share what we know and have experienced. And every Christian is able to do that. The Holy Spirit will empower us to do so.
Reflection & Journal:
Why is it significant that the Holy Spirit aides us in the task we’ve been given?
Why do you think Jesus wants us to be His witnesses? Why not reveal Himself to people in some more miraculous or supernatural way?
How can you be more active in witnessing in your everyday life?