Acts 1:9-12 NASB
“And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
I often, as I am reading the scriptures, try to put myself into the minds of those that I am reading about and ask myself questions like what would I have thought or how would I have felt had I been there to witness what they had witnessed.
As we read through the four Gospels and Acts, one can’t help but imagine what thoughts were going through the minds of the Apostles and early disciples. Consider all that they had seen and heard during Jesus’ ministry, the total devastation of Jesus’ crucification and the exaltation beyond human comprehension of Jesus’ resurrection and His numerous appearances during the 40 days. And then we have the ascension of Jesus and He is gone.
It struck me this morning that in some ways it would be much like the death of a dear family member or very close friend. I’ve never seen Jesus and I miss Him, I can only imagine how the Apostles and early disciples felt. How does a human mind process what they had heard and what they had seen?
This isn’t just big, it’s way beyond big. The realization that they had literally changes everything, nothing that they previous knew could ever remain the same. Nothing. And so it is with us who believe and trust in Jesus.
And I thought, what went through their minds the following day when they first woke up?
If you had of been there, what would have gone through your mind? When we love someone there is a longing to see them, especially when we know that for the time being, we can’t. I think I would have felt that loss. I think they must have felt that loss too. But then, the whole reality of what Jesus said and showed them and us, about Himself and our Heavenly Father, not only through His ministry but also through His death and resurrection and now His ascension, would come together in their hearts and minds and they would know exactly what they had to do.
And of course, that is exactly what they did. They witnessed to what they had heard, they witnessed to what they had seen and they declared who Jesus was and what He had accomplished and the eternal life that He promised to all of us who believed in Him. And through God’s grace, the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ spread like wildfire and the then known world was turned upside down.
And it also struck me this morning, that the reality of Jesus, who He is, what He did, should probably have the same effect on me as it did to the Apostles and early disciples. But then God reminded me of something. Very few were called to be Apostles. And those who God did call to be Apostles, God accomplished in them exactly what He wanted to accomplish. But many are and have been called to be disciples and that is exactly what I am. And as the church grew and the body of Christ became much bigger, various parts were added, as the Apostle Paul indicates in 1 Corinthians 12:20-26.
And the common believer, of which I am, what does the Apostle Paul indicate that I should do? Paul addresses this in his first letter to the church of the Thessalonians.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 NASB
“Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; for indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need.“
Oh, I know, there’s more, much more, like studying God’s Word, communing with God in prayer, following the leading of God’s Holy Spirit, doing good whenever an opportunity presents itself, especially to the household of faith and serving one another in love, but what Paul it also talking about in the above scripture is an overview of one’s pattern of life.
Lead a quiet life;
Attend to your own business;
Earn your own living;
Be willing to help others, both within the body of Christ and also those who are without.
Be without need so that you are able to meet the needs of others.
And that longing to see Him that I spoke about earlier, it is still there. Matter of fact, that is one of the most beautiful things about our walk with God, because it is that longing that continually draws us to Jesus, and it is a longing that only He can fill. No I haven’t seen Him yet but He lives in me and I live in Him. Jesus has promised to always be with us and He is, and one day, one glorious day, I shall see Him face to face, my Redeemer, my Saviour, my King and my God.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!