This week we get to pick up the Bible journey right where we left it at the end of Luke’s gospel. The book in most of our Bibles known as “Acts of the Apostles” is a continuation of Luke’s account written primarily to his nephew Theophilus. He ends his gospel with the ascension of Jesus and mentions it again in the first section of Acts zooming into a very intimate conversation that takes place between Jesus and His disciples. And this includes Jesus’ last instruction He leaves with His chosen ones just before He leaves them – “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, NIV)
When we walked through Luke, we noted the repeated emphasis on the Holy Spirit. And that theme picks up here in the book of Acts and many have aptly suggested that this book should in fact we re-titled as the “Acts of the Holy Spirit” because indeed the central figure throughout here is the Holy Spirit.
There is just so much to unpack in this book. Come on, this is an abridged version of how the largest movement in the world – the Christian Church – was birthed and established.
It is full of the unexpected.
- From ordinary people experiencing extraordinary miracles simply by allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to them and guide them, to the religious and non-religious leaders of the era doing a double-take on the unusual events unfolding before them.
- Out of the timid disciples who were locked up in the upper room after Jesus’ departure came forth the more fearless bunch who had the audacity to stand up to anyone to boldly proclaim the one true Savior of the world, Jesus Christ.
- From a zealous religious leader, Saul, arose one of the most powerful advocates of the early Church, Paul.
- Even the gentiles or non-Jews are included in this new movement.
- And most important of all, Jesus, who was known as a rogue preacher and only in some parts of Roman occupied territories, was declared as the Christ among all of the surrounding nations. So much so that those who put their trust in Him, took on the moniker “Christians”.
So, without further ado, let us go ahead and step into this book and look for the wonder of the Holy Spirit to stir up wells of revival within us as well. And let us pay close attention to the various people, places and events as we journey through this because this background will serve us very well in the coming weeks as we read through the remainder of the Bible that is built on the foundational events in this book.
The Holy Spirit comes upon all those who believe in Him and causes the church to be established, spreading the gospel throughout Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth.
Weekly Reading Plan
And now here is the weekly plan for you to read through this section.
If you want to dig deeper here are some of my suggestions:
- Use the above schedule to read through all of the text.
- Take time to note down and study the various people, places and key events .
- Optional (if you want to really read through the Bible in a year): Read Psalms 109-111.
And that is it for week 38!
Happy Bible Learning!