You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high. – Luke 24:48–49
We are called to a task that we cannot accomplish alone: to be witnesses to Christ.
Following His death and resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples, dispelling their fear and doubt by revealing the nail marks in His hands and His feet (Luke 24:39), reminding them of all that had been written concerning Him (v 44), and opening their minds to the truth of Scripture (v 45). And before He returned to His heavenly throne He gave them a task: to witness to what they had seen Him do and heard Him teach. The truth about Him needed to be proclaimed “to all nations” (v 47).
Since that task is as yet unfinished, God’s people today are called to witness no less than God’s people that day were. We may not be able to go out and say with the apostle John, “That which … we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life … we proclaim also to you” (1 John 1:1, 3). But in the Bible we have God’s very word, which we are called not only to believe but also to proclaim.
Yet we are so limited! One minute we’re believing; the next minute our minds are filled with uncertainty. We often step back in fear rather than forward in faith. We find ourselves not quite knowing what we should say about the gospel to those around us.
Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows this. He knows His sheep—He knows our propensity for fear and timidity—and He assures us that we do not have to speak or act merely by our own power. No, we have received what Jesus told those first disciples to wait for: “the promise of the Father,” His Holy Spirit, so that we are “clothed with power from on high.”
Jesus gives us His Spirit in order that we might be involved in kingdom business—in order that we might take the good news to the nations and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Don’t give in to fear and timidity. What you cannot accomplish alone you can do in the power He has given you. So, go out in dependence on the Spirit of God, and prayerfully commit to playing your part in the great, unfinished task of proclaiming the name and glory of Jesus Christ to the nations near and far:
Facing a task unfinished that drives us to our knees,Frank Houghton, “Facing a Task Unfinished” (1931).
A need that, undiminished, rebukes our slothful ease,
We who rejoice to know Thee renew before Thy throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee to go and make Thee known.