To understand the book of Acts, at first, we have to know about the book of Luke. Both of them have written by one person, Dr. Luke and for a person, Theophilus.
Let’s compare two verses from Luke and Acts.
Luke 1:3 says ‘most excellent Theophilus; Acts 1:1 says ‘Theophilus’.
Do you see the difference between two verses? Yes! There was the huge difference between two verses. Now Luke called Theophilus without his title. As you expected, Theophilus believed in Jesus as his Savor in his life. They are a family member in Jesus Christ. It should be a blessing that the writing of Luke introduced Jesus to Theophilus.
It is a blessing if our writing through e-mail, Facebook, or twitter becomes good news for somebody. I pray that the articles or news in our church homepage will be good news for somebody. Inversely, we can image that if you have such a good friend like Luke, it is also a blessing in our lives. The power of the gospel is to make everyone: friend and family accept Jesus Christ. I pray that we, you and I, experience the power of the gospel in our lives.
You can find the summary of the book of Luke in Acts 1:1-3.
“..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 showed himself to these men 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.”
When I read today’s passage several time, some words touched my heart, which were ‘do, teach, suffer, show, gave, appear, spoke’ These words are related with what Jesus did for us. And also I realized that these are things for the church to do.
First of all, we can ponder who Jesus is from today’s passage.
The First lesson we learn from today’s passage is that Jesus balanced between action and teaching. Other translated versions emphasized that Jesus did both of them, to do and to teach. Sometimes, we emphasize the action too much. Sometimes we just teach something without action. We should act as we believe. We should teach what we do.
Second, what we learn from today’s passage is the will of the LORD. Jesus chose the Apostles with His will. What was the criteria when Jesus chose his disciples? As we know, it was not their wealth; it was not their diligence; it was not their faith. They were normal people. Some of them seemed not to be qualified yet at all as the Apostle. As you knew, they ran away when Jesus died on the cross. They didn’t believe the resurrection of Jesus. They were weak and would not be trustworthy. However, the will of the Lord called them as his disciples, the Apostles. The Lord asked them to take care of His church. How daring Jesus was!
This is the grace of God when God chose them as his disciples: when God loves us who are not lovely. Thus, we have to thank God, not to complain him. He chose us as his people although we may not be qualified as his people. He also chose somebody who we may not think he/she would be qualified for his people. This is God’s decision.
Nowadays, the Lord still calls people who are weak and not a lovely person as his disciples for his kingdom. Thanks to God who calls us as his people and his disciples. This is what we should do.
Third, we learn from today’s passage is that He give us the faith.
What the Risen Jesus did is to show himself to his people and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He showed the nail marks in his hands and in his side to his people because he wanted his people to cast a doubt away and to be a believer.
Thus what we do is to ask the Lord to show convincing proofs that he is alive. To believe in Jesus is to experience the many proofs that he is still alive. This is the Christian life. We should experience the power of God. We will have many convincing evidences that he is live in our lives.
What did Jesus do after he was risen from the death for the period of 40 days? Today’s passage shows that he spoke about the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
We can get more details from the books of gospel.
Let’s read Matthew 28:18-20.
“Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Mark 16:15-16, “He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Luke 24:46-48 - He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
John 21:15 ..’ When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."."
The Risen Lord was with the disciples and spoke about the kingdom of God. And also he encouraged his people and gave the faith to them. One example is ‘Peter’. He asked Peter, ‘do you truly love me more than these?” That was the question to Peter.
He didn’t ask Peter whether he believed in him or not. He didn’t ask Peter whether he had hope in Jesus. Instead, Jesus asked him whether he loved Jesus three time. Peter said, Yes, Lord.” He said, ‘Feed my lambs.” Whenever Peter answered the Lord.
Our faith can be weak; however, our love to Lord should not be changed. We love the Lord more than others. The Lord wants to hear us, saying that I love you, Lord. We can do God’s work with love.
The book of Acts is the record of people who shared the gospel to the end of the world. We should have the same records. We will be the church works for Jesus. It should be the blessing for us to work for the kingdom of God.
Last thing we learn from the passage is that we have to know that our Lord keeps the promise. The book of Acts was the record of the work of the Holy Spirit, and showed that that Jesus kept his promise to his disciples.
But we should keep in mind that he asked the disciples to wait for the promise of the Father, which was the Holy Spirit.
It is very important to work with the Holy Spirit in our lives. Before we are baptized with the Holy Spirit, we would not expect for anything happens. The bible shows that the Holy Spirit works. He worked when the heavens and the earth was created. The Spirit of God hovers over the waters. Many miracles performed by many prophets was through the Holy Spirit. Jesus also worked through the Holy Spirit. He also commanded his Apostle through the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, nothing will have happened.
It is not easy to wait for someone or something to happen. However we can wait for someone who is precious to us. We can wait for the promise of God because we trust in Him. Waiting for the promise of the Father is crucial in our Christian life.
Let’s wait for the promise of the Father. Let’s wait for the Holy Spirit. We will be baptized with the Holy Ghost. The book of Acts is the record of people who were baptized with the Holy Spirit. To live our lives like Acts, we should wait the promise of God and be baptized with the Holy Spirit. The Apostle was baptized after 10 days during their prayer time.
Do you believe that the Lord keeps his promise? Amen! Yes. He does keep the promise.
We will read the book of Acts and will pray for us to have the same record. Let’s pray together for his grace and mercy. Especially his promise.