Acts 1:1-5 Luke’s Second Letter

His footprints continued on past it too

We’ve made it to Acts! It has taken us awhile to get here but the journey was WELL worth it. I pray that our walking with Jesus day by day brought you new insight and a special closeness to Him. I’m sorry I made the journey longer by missing days; lately more than usual. I want to get back on track as we enter the birthplace of the church.

I was asked if I was going to change the name/title of my blog now that we are moving past Jesus’ physical walks down the dusty roads. Because it would mean losing a lot of people in the transition, I’m keeping it the same but we could call our next step “Walking in Jesus Footprints.” He marked the path for His disciples and ultimately for us. He knew we would need His footprints to keep us going on the right path. I’m SO grateful for them today.

Luke is, once again, writing to Theophilus. He is giving a logical account of the early beginnings of the church. And as expected, he starts at the very beginning of the new birth; Jesus’ resurrection. Luke emphasizes that Jesus spent time with His disciples AFTER His “suffering.” He wants to make sure his reader(s) realize that this is the risen Jesus. His ministry and Kingdom did not end at the grave. Luke also stresses that Jesus didn’t just show up once and be done with it. “He presented Himself alive to them after His suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the Kingdom of God” (verse 3). We are told of at least nine times Jesus appeared to one or more of His followers. 1) Mary Magdalene at the tomb; 2) Two on the road to Emmaus; 3) To Peter; 4) To the women; 5) In the locked room the evening after His resurrection; 6) In the locked room with Thomas present; 7) By the Sea of Galilee; 8) On a mountain in Galilee where He gave His great commission; 9) On Mt. Olivet where He ascended.  (This is my count of the instances mentioned in the end of the four gospels. Let me know if you come up with more or correct me if I’m wrong.) Jesus also performed physical signs to prove He wasn’t a spirit. He ate and drank in His disciple’s presence and He allowed them to touch His wounds. (These are the only signs I can remember. Again, please add to my list if you remember others.)

Jesus wanted His disciples to know that the mission was not over yet. In fact, this was just the beginning! He emphasized the importance of what was to come next and invigorated His followers for the road ahead. He also set them up to receive the promise He had made much earlier in His ministry; the baptism of the Holy Spirit! What an awesome gift to bestow on them! But I’m jumping ahead.

I have often wondered why Jesus didn’t stay with His disciples during the forty days He walked the earth following His resurrection. I think I have an answer now. (Feel free to discard this if you wish, as it is not specified in the bible.) I believe it was to force the disciples into a “growth spurt.” Many of them, Peter and John most certainly, had grown from events surrounding His crucifixion. Peter would always remember the night he tried to fight for Jesus then denied even knowing Him THREE times. John would always remember Jesus’ face as He hung on the cross and carry out his Lord’s final instructions for His mother. But they were still a bit lost; hence their fishing trip at the end of John’s gospel.

Jesus moving back in with them would have placed them right back into their familiar routine. But He didn’t want them to stay in the student role forever. He needed them to become the leaders He had trained them to be. Hovering over them as they struck out would have been counterproductive. They needed His encouragement when they began to flounder in their purpose but not His constant physical presence. They were never out of His sight though. God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit ALWAYS knew exactly what they needed to become the building blocks of the church.

Lord Jesus, thank You for stretching us when You know there is more inside than we are letting out. You know our FULL potential and what it is going to take to help us reach for it. Thank You that You didn’t smother Your disciples but allowed them to grow into exactly what You purposed them to be. Their seed sprouted! Make my seed grow please Jesus. Show me what You have for me to do. If this is it, thank You. If not, keep me moving towards it. No matter where I’m supposed to go, I know I will always find Your footprints leading the way.

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply