The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Ever since our 25th anniversary trip to Israel, the Book of Acts has been in my devotional reading. Luke’s account of the events after the Lord’s ascension has become animated in my mind. I see the disciples learning how to function without their Lord Jesus physically among them. They are instructed to wait for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would give them power to be a witness for Christ—a witness of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. They did not know exactly how the Holy Spirit would manifest this power. They just knew that they saw many things in the recent days that were completely devastating and then completely miraculous. And then a cloud takes Jesus.
Luke doesn’t tell us about the emotions the disciples were experiencing. Perhaps they were emotionally worn out. We all have been there. Then the Lord goes an extra mile. He sends two angels to appear to comfort their emotions and steady their doubts.
How often do we find ourselves standing there gazing? Perhaps we are stunned. Perhaps we are doubtful. Perhaps we are to wait for the Spirit to guide us. (I hate waiting.) Our Lord wants to comfort and steady us. All we have to do is trust and obey. How are you functioning today?
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. August 2018. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.