Fifth Sunday after Easter – Wednesday
And He led them out as far as Bethany. – Luke 24:50.
This brief text takes us back to the Biblical events relating to our Savior. On the fortieth day after His resurrection, He appeared to His apostles, who were assembled in Jerusalem. And after He had conversed with them, He led them out of the city up to the Mount of Olives as far as Bethany.
And there He “commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which” He said, “ye have heard of Me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence” (Acts 1:4-5). Then the apostles asked Him: “Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (v. 6).
Their conceptions were still quite worldly. And He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth” (vv. 7-8).
These were Jesus’ very last words on earth to His disciples. Jesus focused His disciples on the task at hand. While the earth remains, until the last day will come and with it the Kingdom of Glory and the consummation of all things, we Christians, we disciples of Jesus, endued with the power of the Holy Ghost working through His Word, are to be witnesses of Jesus by word and deed, each in his own sphere. The Lord requires this of us. It is for this purpose that He still leaves us in this world.
This is our true calling, to be witnesses for Him who has so faithfully witnessed to us through His Word, and continues to faithfully witness to us through His Word, telling us that He came into “the world to save sinners” (I Timothy 1:15a), “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:16-18).
PRAYER – O my Lord and Savior, continue to work in me the desire to confess Thee and Thy Word, sowing the powerful, living seed of Thy Law when I have the opportunity in my life, and, most importantly, sowing the powerful, living seed of Thy Gospel when I have the opportunity and the privilege in my life, that Gospel which “is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth” (Romans 1:16). Accomplish what Thou art pleased to accomplish through such sowing of Thy Word, for Thy glory and honor, and for the everlasting benefit of souls. Amen.
“Spread, oh, spread, thou mighty Word; spread the kingdom of the Lord;
wheresoe’er His breath has giv’n; life to beings meant for heav’n.
Up! The ripening fields ye see; mighty shall the harvest be;
but the reapers still are few, great the work they have to do.
Lord of Harvest, let there be, joy and strength to work for Thee;
till the nations far and near, see Thy light and learn Thy fear.”
(TLH) – Hymn 507, st. 1, 5, 6: