Part II

A Taste of the Holy Spirit

However, Jesus promised that things would change, as we can read in John 14:16-17

And I (Jesus) will ask the Father and He will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever - the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you.

Jesus promised that all His followers, and not just some of them, would have the Spirit of God in them. These followers would not only include the disciples who were with Jesus at the time He was on earth, but would include all the believers from that time on, including us, as believers. At the time that Jesus was on earth, He sent out His disciples and empowered them to do the work to which He had called them, as we can read in Luke 9:1-2

When Jesus had called the Twelve together, He gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.

After initially sending out the Twelve disciples closest to Him, He sent out a larger group of disciples, as we can read in Luke 10:1

After this, the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every place where He was about to go.

And so the disciples saw many miraculous things happen. However, after the crucifixion of Jesus, they had become very disheartened and had locked themselves in a room. But Jesus who, after three days, had been raised from the dead, appeared to them and once again told them that He was sending them out, as we can read in John 20:19-22

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After He said this, He showed them His hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, I am sending you.” And with that He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

So far the disciples had been able to do the work of God because Jesus had empowered them for the task. However, He was about to go back to heaven and would, therefore, no longer be with them. That is why they were in need of Someone to take His place in their lives to enable them to fulfil their God-given task. Initially, He breathed on them so they would receive the One who would replace Him, the Holy Spirit. We could compare their experience with our born again experience, for when we are born again, we too receive the Holy Spirit. And Jesus told them that he was sending them out, just as He had been sent by His Father. However, this did not mean they could go out right away. No, for Jesus told them at another time that they were to wait. The question is: What where they to wait for? Let’s read Acts 1:4-5

On one occasion, while He was eating with them, He gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift My Father promised, which you have heard Me speak about. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit."

And Jesus explained why they needed to be baptised with the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.

They needed to be empowered so they could go out and preach the gospel not just in Jerusalem, but in Judea, Samaria and, in fact, to the very ends of the earth!

After Jesus had spoken these words, He went up to heaven, as we can read in Acts 1:9-11

After He (Jesus) had said this, He was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid Him from their sight. They were looking intently up into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven will come back in the same way that you have seen Him go into heaven.”

The disciples decided they better do what He had told them to do, and go to Jerusalem to wait for this gift from the Father, as we can read in Acts 1:12-14

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Part III