The Father’s Promise of the Spirit


We are meditating on the last words of Christ in the Gospel of Luke. Before ascending to heaven from Bethany on the Mount of Olives, Jesus gave another instruction to the disciples:


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 24:49).


God can do more in five minutes through His Spirit working in you and through you than you can do by yourself, attempting to work things out by your own strength and abilities. When we give ourselves to Christ, His Spirit takes residence in our lives and gives His power and gifts to continue Christ’s ministry. The words "clothed with power from on high” (v.49) denote something bestowed upon them for a specific purpose. This power from on high was necessary to transcend what the disciples could do through human effort. What a beautiful thought that God can clothe us with His strength and His Spirit to do His work here on earth! He adorns us with Himself even while we are in this human form. I find this truth to be very encouraging because it tells me that, even when I am feeling helpless and out of my depth in a situation, or just inadequate for a task, then I know that His Spirit is sufficient for me.


After spending time with His disciples, instructing and preparing them for forty days, it was finally time to leave them, physically:


50When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. 52Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. 53And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God (Luke 24:50-53).


The vicinity of Bethany is the other side of the Mount of Olives near Jerusalem. Luke writes again in the Book of Acts about this same account when Christ was taken up from them in bodily form:


10They were looking intently into the sky as He was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11"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 you have seen him go into heaven" 12Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near the city, a Sabbath day’s journey away (Acts 1:10-12).


While they waited for the Spirit’s filling, the disciples used the time by boldly meeting together in the Temple courts and praising God (Luke 24:53), not caring about anything that the religious elite might do to them. In quiet surrender, have you ever held your hands up to God and asked Him to fill you? Are you thirsty for more of Christ? That is the principal qualification to be filled with the Spirit (John 7:37-39).


Why don't you come to Christ today and abandon your life into the Good Shepherd's hands? He wants to take away your doubts and fill you with His Spirit if you ask Him. Jesus has promised the believer His abiding presence. He promised that He would never leave us or forsake us. Whatever this life holds in store for you, He promises that you will not face it alone (John 16:7-14). Keith Thomas.


Taken from the series on the Gospel of Luke, study 66: Jesus Appears to the Disciples