1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 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. 4 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. 5 For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.”
What a great start! Luke, the author of
Acts launches in, boots and all, saying “My first book was all about Jesus. Now
I’m going to tell you about the Holy Spirit and how the story continues.”
I’m hooked. But there’s a phrase that I can’t get passed in verse
4. Jesus says “don’t leave Jerusalem…” It’s left me pondering.
What was significant about Jerusalem? Was it the temple? Was it because it was where Jesus ascended into heaven? I don’t know. What I do know is that all the disciples stayed together and worshipped! (see the last verse in Luke’s first book!). Jerusalem meant they were together.
Something very special and awe-inspiring happens when followers of Jesus meet together to pray and worship. The unity, humility and single-minded hunger for God seems to move His heart. He comes. He sits in on our praises (Psalm 22:3) and comes close. This is a blessing and a joy and a mystery that defies words. When the church draws near to God, He comes.
It’s so cool that the Holy Spirit was first given to the church as they “stayed in Jerusalem and worshipped.” This puts the importance of church in a whole new light.
Lord I see the significance of being in Church. I want your presence more than anything. So I will stay in “Jerusalem” with my Church Family and worship with all my heart. And I will meet you there! Amen
Written by Boudy Van Noppen