The Mission

Bible Book: Acts  1 : 4-8
Subject: Missions; Focus; Evangelism; Witnessing

Jesus instructed His disciples to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit to cloth them to empower them to be witnesses to Him. Today we are to actively wait (look for opportunities) for the Holy Spirit to empower us to be witness to Jesus and to how he has changed our lives.

Jesus spent 40 days with his disciples after he was raised from the grave teaching them and preparing them for his ascension back to the Father in Heaven. His main thrust of teaching centered on the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). We have few accounts of those days. We know that Jesus walked with disciples and taught them. We know that Jesus presented himself alive in the upper room on different occasions. We know that Jesus met with his disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee.

At this point in Luke’s narrative Jesus’ disciples are in Jerusalem where they are told to remain. Often we equate waiting and remaining with laziness and inaction. Waiting and remaining can be a tremendous time of great gain. Those who wait on the Lord are renewed and strengthened. Those who wait on the Lord are not ashamed and will be saved. Those who wait on the Lord receive blessings missed from not waiting.

I. Wait For Power

Verses 4-5

Jesus commanded his disciples to wait. The word to wait came from a man who had died a horrible death and a stunning resurrection. After hearing about the Kingdom of God they must have been ready to face the challenge of building the kingdom. Why waste time waiting?

What were they waiting for? Christmas time is a time when we all, as kids, and now our kids and grandkids wait. Christmas is worth the wait because we know there will be reward. Sometimes we engage in a program or project and we become weary. The project is taking more time than we think it ought to and we are tired of working for and waiting for the time of completion and reward. Many get to this point in high school and college. Often, the big question is, is it worth the wait?

How long does one have to wait? Jesus told his disciples that the Spirit would come upon them “not many days from now.” I wish that God would share with me how long times of waiting are going to last. It would seem easier if one knew when the time of waiting would be over.

Jesus commanded his disciples to wait and gave them the reason why. Sometimes in our times of wait we do not have or understand the reason why. Moses must have questioned his time of waiting and preparation in with Jethro shepherding sheep. David must have wondered why the wait while running from King Saul. Jeremiah must have wondered how long the wait between his proclamation of the word of the Lord regarding the destruction of Jerusalem and the time of destruction. Jesus told commanded them to wait because the Spirit was coming upon them.

The baptism by John of water was already theirs and now the baptism of the Holy Spirit was going to be theirs. The Spirit of God had been at work and had be present on men throughout the Old Testament but, now a new time was coming when the Holy Spirit was coming to dwell continuously in men. This indwelling was for a purpose and not just for the individual’s sake.

II. Keep Focused

Verses 6-7

Times of waiting can lead one to lose focus. The disciples seem to have lost focus on what Jesus and the Kingdom of God was all about. His disciples asked him if the time was not for the kingdom to be restored to Israel. Israel was the object of God’s care and concern. Through Israel God revealed himself and his Word to humanity. The glory days of Israel were in the past by the time of Jesus.

Israel suffered greatly because of their refusal to obey God. They were divided and conquered by many successive empires and during this time were under the control of Rome. There mind was made up that the Messiah would rescue them from foreign domination and restore the glorious throne of David. The mother of the Sons of Thunder wished to have her sons on either side of Jesus.

Notice that in Jesus’ response he does not eliminate the idea of a restored Israel; he simply states that it is not for them to know when he would restore the Kingdom. Even Jesus states earlier that he does not know when the kingdom would come. When discussing the end in Mathew 24:36 Jesus said: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only.” There will be a kingdom of God that will come.

III. Be A Witness

Verse 8

Many Christians have given up on evangelism. This has happened because it has been so complicated with books, workbooks and seminars that persons are intimidated with evangelism. Simply put, Jesus declared that his disciples would BE his witnesses to the world. Evangelism is simply one person telling another person about who Jesus is and what He has done for him or her.

When one person tells the old story to another he is being a witness. The disciples took serious their call to be witnesses. We are all here now because of the witness of those early disciples. We are believers today because someone, a parent, friend, pastor, was a witness for Christ to us.

The best part of being a witness for Christ is that his Spirit empowers us to tell the old story. We do not have to do it alone. When we allow the Holy Spirit to lead the process all we have to be is obedient. The Spirit leads us to the person, prompts us to share a testimony, and he prepares the listener. We are accountable to be a witness and the effectiveness of the testimony is the Spirit’s responsibility.

We are all called to be witnesses regardless of profession or maturity level. Josh McDowell tells the story of an executive ‘head hunter’ who interview candidates for employers. He often attempts to disarm the interviewee with small talk. This head hunter tells this story: “Well, I was interviewing this fellow the other day, had him all disarmed, with my feet up on his desk, talking about football. Then I leaned up and said, ‘What’s your purpose in life, Bob?’ And he said, without blinking an eye, ‘To go to heaven and take as many people with me as I can.’ For the first time in my career I was speechless.”

What is your purpose in life? If your purpose is to be a witness for Christ and you are obedient to this command then you will be a success.


We may not always want to wait but times of waiting prepare us like no other time. When we are waiting let us not lose focus. Let us always remember that times of waiting are followed by times of great power.

We never witness alone when we witness for the Lord. His Spirit will lead and empower us in ways that will amaze us.

Let us Go and be empowered witnesses for Christ.