I was in the Leicester Post Office on Saturday and met an Afghan waiting in line. We got talking. Later over a coffee I heard his story and shared the gospel. We've planned to meet again and read some stories from the life of Jesus.
It all seemed so simple and natural. Partly because I've been trained. Mostly because I'm the Holy Spirit had prepared this man's heart and led me to him.
I’m fascinated by the period of time between Jesus’ resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
Jesus is laying the foundation for the era in which we still find ourselves between his first a second coming.
Over 40 days he gave convincing proofs that he had risen. He took his disciples from cover to cover of the Old Testament explaining God’s purposes and the meaning of his death. He gave his disciples a clear mandate to take the message of repentance for the forgiveness of sins to the world.
Then before he left, Jesus said there’s one more thing.
Wait. Gather in Jerusalem and wait. After commissioning them to go, he commands them to stay.
One more thing — the Holy Spirit.
You’re not going anywhere without the power of God. After all, it’s not their mission, it’s his. The example Jesus set was dependence on the Holy Spirit.
Jesus had been conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. The early witnesses at his birth were filled with the Holy Spirit.
At his baptism he received the power of the Holy Spirit to launch his ministry. It is through the Holy Spirit that Jesus taught with authority, proclaimed the coming of the Kingdom, defeated Satan and expelled demons, healed the sick and performed miracles.
What is the role of the Holy Spirit? The Spirit bears witness to Jesus.
In Acts the most frequent function of the Holy Spirit is to witness to Jesus through the disciples (see Shelton, Mighty in Word and Deed).
To be filled with the Holy Spirit is to be a witness to Jesus. The Spirit who spoke through the prophets is the same Spirit who empowers Jesus and now fills his disciples to take the gospel to the world.
For Luke, the mission of God is all about the spread of the Word, through us, in the power of the Holy Spirit. So next time you're waiting in line at the Post Office, say hi to someone. You never know what God might be up to.