PART 10 – CLOTHED WITH POWER (17/4/20)
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‘On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, 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.’ (John 20:19-22)
Jesus, breathing on them, is, like taking bread and wine, a physical means of communicating a spiritual truth; Jesus is promising them that He will pour out His Spirit upon them. This will be fulfilled on the Day of Pentecost.
In Luke’s account Jesus’ promises,
“Repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:47-49)
The power of the Holy Spirit is ‘from on high’. He comes upon us from God. He, the Spirit, has been promised. Jesus said, ‘I am going to send you what my Father has promised’. The Spirit’s ‘power’ (dunamis) is miraculous power; He gives us ability beyond our natural limitations.
Clothed with power for what?
Here, in Luke 24, we see the link between the coming of the Spirit and our becoming witnesses: as we are "clothed with power”, “Repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations”
We get the same link between power and witnessing 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.” (Acts 1:8)
Jesus pours out His Spirit on us for His mission to all nations. This mission is too much for you and me - we lack love, courage, perseverance… Like these first faltering disciples, we need the empowering of the Holy Spirit. Spurgeon wrote,
'All the hope of our ministry lies in the spirit of God operating on the spirit of men.' (C. H. Spurgeon)
Jesus wants us to be ‘clothed with power’ in order to love Him and serve His mission. Let’s pray for the empowering of the Spirit for ourselves and our church.
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY – JESUS, STAND AMONG US
What do you love most about Spring-time and why?
Introduction - please read in your group
Everything changes in Spring-time because of the presence of the sun. The blossom and flowers grow profusely. The trees begin to grow their leaves. It's a time of greater light and hope.
This is true, to a greater extent, when Jesus stands among us. Those first followers of Jesus all doubted the resurrection. The women, the disciples and those on the Road to Emmaus, are all grieving and not expecting Jesus to fulfil His promise of rising from death. However, when Jesus stands among them, His presence gives joy, peace and power.
Please read John 20:19-21
Please discuss/share together:
Peace: Jesus makes the promise of peace, twice in John 20. What does this promise mean?
Joy: It says that 'the disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord'. What does this promise mean?
Power: Jesus 'breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy Spirit". This is an enacted promise that would be fulfilled at Pentecost. Please also read Luke 24:49. How does the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit enable us to have peace, joy and thrive in challenging times?
The risen Jesus gave peace, joy and the empowering of the Holy Spirit to those first grieving, limping disciples. Let's pray for one another to experience these things in our lives.
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