Wednesday, May 13, 2020

John 1:1-14

In my first volume, dedicated to our dear friend Theophilus, I spelled out everything Jesus did and taught from the beginning, 2 right up to the day when he was taken up into heaven. Before he ascended, the Holy Spirit empowered Jesus to give his chosen agents some final instructions. 3 After his death he kept appearing to them over a period of 40 days -- convincing them that he was alive and explaining to them about God’s regime. 4-5 Once, during a meal, Jesus ordered them to wait in Jerusalem for the Father's promised gift -- the Holy Spirit. He said, “I'm not saying anything new. You've heard this before. John baptized people with water, but in just a few days you'll be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

6 When they heard this, those gathered asked Jesus, “Master, does this mean that the time has come for you to re-establish the kingdom of Israel as a superpower?”

7 Jesus replied, “That information is above your pay grade so don't fixate on figuring out the timing which the Father has established by his own authority. 8 But know this, the Holy Spirit is going to come to you. At that time you'll be empowered as my witnesses, first in Jerusalem, and then throughout the regions Judea and Samaria. From there you will move out to the entire planet with the news of what you have seen and heard from me.”

9 After Jesus finished these final instructions, as they were watching, he was lifted up and engulfed in a cloud that hid him from their sight. 10 While this was happening and they were looking up -- straining to see him in the sky -- two white-robed men rather suddenly appeared next to them. 11 They said, “Hey Galileans, are you going to stand here all day staring into the sky? Jesus is no longer here with you because he's been taken into heaven. But he'll be back. As certain as you saw him go, you can be certain that he'll return.”

12 They then returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives -- about a half mile walk from Jerusalem. 13 Once they got back into the city, they went to the upstairs room where they were staying. Peter, John, James, and Andrew; Philip and Thomas; Bartholomew and Matthew; James, Alphaeus’ son; Simon the zealot; and Judas, James’ son -- 14 together they turned their attention to prayer. And they were not the only ones. Some women (including Mary the mother of Jesus) and Jesus' brothers were in the group, too.