DEVOTIONAL – AUG 22
SEQUENCE OF PROCLAMATION OF GOSPEL
Leslie M. John
“And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me” (Acts 1:4)
There was an order and sequence by which the Gospel of Jesus Christ was to be proclaimed since the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven. This sequence was given by Jesus Christ himself. Even though the disciples were curious to know certain things even before those things were supposed to be known, Jesus commanded them to follow the sequence.
Firstly, they were asked not to be concerned of the time when the kingdom shall be restored to Israel.
Secondly, they were asked to wait at Jerusalem to receive the promise of the Father and that promise was the coming of the Holy Spirit upon them. Jesus promised to the disciples that they would not be left as orphans but The Comforter will be with them always.
Thirdly, they were asked to go to one region first and then to another region and so on and after giving them the order, Jesus ascended into heaven. The disciples did just as Jesus told them to do. They waited at Jerusalem and received the Holy Spirit and power came upon them. The Holy Spirit is right here as The Comforter.
The book of Acts is a systematic and detailed exposition written by Luke who wrote the Gospel of Luke. In continuation of all that Jesus taught until he ascended Luke also wrote about the infallible proofs Jesus left behind during the period of forty days between his resurrection from the dead and ascension into heaven.
Before His ascension Lord Jesus spoke to his disciples about the kingdom. The disciples were curious to know when he would restore the kingdom to Israel. Jesus told them that it is not for them to know the times and seasons that the Father had put in his own power. He said to them that they would receive the power after the Holy Spirit comes upon them. Then, they would be his witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and then in uttermost parts of the earth. One noticeable fact here is the sequence that was to be followed for proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
First it would be in Jerusalem, his own place and to his own people, second it would be in Judea and Samaria, where Israelites and Gentiles lived, and lastly it would be to the utmost part of the earth; that is to every one.
These three stages are seen in Acts from Chapters 1-7, second from Chapters 8 to 12 and third from Chapters 13 to 28.
After Jesus spoke about these things to his disciples a cloud received Jesus as he ascended into heaven and they saw him no more. While the disciples looked steadfastly and watched two men stood by them in white apparel and said that Jesus who ascended into heaven will come back in the same way as he ascended.
Then they return to Mount of Olives which is at a distance of one Sabbath day’s journey. (Sabbath day’s journey is equivalent to seven and half furlongs and not a mile; this distance was based on conventional agreement among Jews as the distance that they can walk on a Sabbath day).
The disciples and others that were in upper room were one hundred and twenty in number Peter took leadership and spoke to them (Acts 1:6-15). Mathias was numbered along with eleven disciples by lots to replace Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Jesus.
In the early days of proclamation of Gospel of Jesus Christ by the Apostles the power of God was seen clearly