If he listens…
“If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother.“
Matthew 18:15 (HCSB)
Then He led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up His hands He blessed them. And while He was blessing them, He left them and was carried up into heaven.
Luke 24:50-51 (HCSB)
Note from Kip…
The contrasts in thought that must have been apparent as Jesus ascended into Heaven!
Keep in mind, the gift of the Holy Spirit had not been given. At this point Pentecost was a future event, which the disciples didn’t really understand. Sure, Jesus had told them what was about to take place, but for them, those concepts were abstract.
What must have been etched in their minds and at the forefront of their thinking had to be the events that led up to this. The masters death on the cross. His burial and subsequent resurrection from the grave.
The one who they revered as their Lord and Master had returned from what was the darkest mystery they could conceive of, and did so apparently of His own will. Since that time, He had walked, talked, ate and severed among them.
I don’t really think they felt like things had returned to normal. I am fairly certain that they were just doing their best to take it all in and waiting for the next revelation.
I wonder just how many of them, if any, realized that in the next 10 days, The Lord would fulfill two of His last two promises.
With His accession into Heaven He returned to the Father as He said he would. 10 short days from now, the Holy Spirit would be sent to live within the bodies of those who gave themselves to the Master.
A revolution was taking place as Jesus rose into the clouds that day. Once again the Messiah had done precisely what scripture said He would, but contrary to everything the modern thinking Jew perceived the Messiah should.
Do you think, it perhaps sunk in what He also told His disciples about Him returning back to claim His Bride? I sort of doubt at the accession, but perhaps at Pentecost.
I do know this. The likely confusion that was so prevalent in the minds of His Disciples at that time, persists today among so many believers. We try to make sense of day to day events and fit them into a framework that leaves us feeling a bit more secure, just a little more comfortable for our liking.
And often times, we loose sight of the three promises he left us with. He left to make a home for us with Him to spend eternity. He gave us the most wondrous companion, His Spirit, to live within us. Not a concept or idea, but God living in US! And finally, He will return in the manner that he left. When the clouds will part and the Lord will return to claim His own.
Don’t loose sight of these truths, as you navigate the days and weeks ahead. Despite the glorious promises fulfill, we still have one big one to go, and I just can’t wait to see him break though the clouds and call us to His side!
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:4-7 (HCSB)
Even now — this is the Lord’s declaration — turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning.
Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the Lord your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and He relents from sending disaster.
Joel 2:12-13 (HCSB)
On the last and most important day of the festival, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, he should come to Me, and drink! The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, will have streams of living water flow from deep within him.”
John 7:37-38 (HCSB)
As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for You, God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God?
Psalms 42:1-2 (HCSB)
God, You are my God; I eagerly seek You.
I thirst for You; my body faints for You in a land that is dry, desolate, and without water.
So I gaze on You in the sanctuary to see Your strength and Your glory. My lips will glorify You because Your faithful love is better than life.
Psalms 63:1-3 (HCSB)
Then Jesus said to him, “ ‘If You can?’, Everything is possible to the one who believes.”
Immediately the father of the boy cried out, “I do believe! Help my unbelief.”
Mark 9:23-24 (HCSB)
Note from Kip…
The fathers response to Jesus speaks to me. When trials abound and it appears that no help is in sight, I often am praying something similar to this.
He reminds us that when we are at our weakest, His power in us is at it’s strongest. The investment of trust, never fails provide a return.
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.
Romans 10:17 (HCSB)