May 19, 2019

Power from on High

Luke 24:36-49

“Stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”

—  Luke 24:49

Have you ever felt the fear of following Jesus? After all, the story of the resurrection and ascension seems impossibly crazy. How can a first-century Jew be the center of human history?

I appreciate that Jesus’ first followers were honest about their doubts and fears. The resurrection and glory of their Lord was not something they understood at first. They had to be convinced that what they saw had really happened. At first glance, it wouldn’t seem like they would be the best candidates to continue the work Jesus had begun.

But God chooses to use fearful, doubting followers to do great things. “You are witnesses of these things,” Jesus says to them. He commissions them to share the story of the Scriptures and especially the message of repentance and forgiveness. And to assure them that they will be able to carry out this immense task, Jesus says they will be “clothed with power from on high.”

Christ’s church still contains weak, doubting people. Perhaps you know the disappointment of living with failed relationships, a prodigal child, or a criminal background. As the ascended Lord, Jesus does not simply promise to walk alongside us in these trials; he fills us with “power from on high” to share his message of repentance and forgiveness.

What an amazing promise!

Lord Jesus, you know our weaknesses, doubts, and failures. Help us grasp the message of repentance and forgiveness. Clothe us with power from on high so that we may serve you faithfully. In your name, Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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