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good morning friends how you doing today great to see you friends here friends at home online it’s great to have you with us as well for the last time we’re going to jump into our series build a bigger table that means that’s the last time you’ll get that catchy little tune and get to watch the donuts spin around um and you know it’s you’ll you’ll be okay teresa I loved your shameless plug in the announcements that could be our new selling point to get people to do announcements if you get up there you can plug anything you want it’s a sales tactic we are jumping into luke 24 what I’ll do is I’ll read some of what we looked at last week last week we followed two of Jesus earliest followers on what’s called the road to emmaus they left jerusalem got out of town perhaps panicked when Jesus was arrested and executed and Jesus tracks them down he reveals him to reveals himself to them during the course of this meal in

the breaking of bread and this passage follows on closely to that so let’s just continue from luke 24 33 if you’ve got a text in front of you this is the new international version any version that you have is just as good they got up and returned once to jerusalem there they found the eleven and those with them assembled together saying it is true the lord has risen and has appeared to simon the lord has risen what an incredible statement then the two who told them what had happened on the way and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread verse 36 this is our text for today while they were still talking about this Jesus himself stood among them and said to them peace be with you they were terrified startled and frightened thinking they saw a ghost he said to them why are you troubled and why do doubts arise in your minds look at my hands and my feet it is I myself touch me and see a ghost does

not have flesh and bones as you see that I have when he had said this he showed them his hands and his feet and while they still did not believe because of joy and amazement he asked them do you have anything here to eat they gave him a piece of broiled fish and he took it and ate it in their presence he said to them this is what I told you while I was still with you everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the law of moses and the prophets and the psalms that he opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures he told them this is what is written the messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations beginning at jerusalem you are witnesses of these things 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 let’s pray

together friends God as we open this book that you have given us we believe that you speak to us in the midst of our needs in the midst of our struggles in the midst of our successes in their midst of not being enough you reach out we thank you for this story that it is expansive and rich and deep and undergirds everything about this world for those of us that need to see this story in a new way would you show it to us for those of us that need to be reminded of our role within the story would you remind us and challenge us would you afflict the comfortable would you comfort the afflicted and would you do this in Jesus name amen so we meet these disciples again in this moment where Jesus has died the worst has happened they are unsure what to do some of them have flared some of them have locked themselves in a room and they’re left with this tension point well what what do we do now what’s the next thing for this story what what

are our hopes and dreams do we run do we believe that the romans won’t come after us after they came after our leader and killed him where does the story go here there is nothing particularly about what these earliest followers of Jesus do that suggests they are full of faith and full of hope for a good end to this story for the most part it seems like what we are seeing here is just some kind of panic and yet this moment we’re about to read is the pivot point around which the whole story will turn this is the moment that decides will the story stop here or will the story go somewhere else this is the moment that decides what role you and I play in this story and where the story goes in our own individual lives this is the moment where Jesus appears to his disciples and he sets the scene for everything that will come in the future for those of you that can track back to the beginning of the series we talked about how as a

community we’re going to wrestle with this book luke this narrative this biography of Jesus life this gospel or glad tidings good news and then we’re going to move on to this book acts the first is what Jesus did the second book second part of the series if you will is is really about what his followers did that incredibly includes you and I we are invited in to that big story but it all begins here this is the pivot point around which everything builds but my question for you I’d love us to start out with is this how would you rate the statement seeing is believing would you say that that statement is largely true would you agree with that or would you question whether seeing is truly believing it’s a fairly well-known statement if you see something I want to see evidence of it I want to see and then I’ll believe is what people might tell you and yet I wonder if seeing is believing occasionally we have moments where we experience something

that we say I I’m not sure if my eyes were telling me the truth I’m not sure if I really saw what I think I saw a few weeks ago I and some of the staff at south were in downtown littleton we were doing a scavenger hunt little team building and in the midst of that as we were walking through one of the parks we heard a groaning and then a large crack and then a bang and as we turned to look where it came from in the distance we saw this scene in one of the parking lots we went dashing over as you might imagine I ran into the parking lot and yelled something like does anybody need help I’m a pastor obviously failing to recognize that to most people I brought no discernible skill or ability to this troubling situation we found the lady who had parked a car just a couple of minutes before and then was sat in the pavilion next to it as this huge cottonwood came landing on a car crushing the seat that she had been sitting in just a few

seconds before I ran up to her and I said you know again I’m a pastor apparently I thought a second try might work and said is there anything that you need and she said I could really use a liquor store I wish she said if you have a fifth of scotch that would be great I was like I don’t and I’m with staff so if I did I wouldn’t be allowed to tell you but there was this moment where you look at this scene and you’re like wow did this really happen is this and for the lady the profoundity of man I was sat there just a few minutes ago am I really seeing what I think I saw maybe that’s true of scenarios like this maybe it’s true of just being out in nature some of you have been exploring and you’ve stopped for a moment and you’ve seen a scene that is just stunning and he said wow am I really seeing this can this be real this is stanage edge where my wife and I got engaged at the time it was so cloudy and misty you couldn’t actually see the edge

um but it was still wonderful we got engaged and that was wonderful but this is this english countryside and I couldn’t resist sharing this with you so bear with me for just a second this is the english countryside at this best and I’m just in the middle of reading this book called the remains of a day by a japanese author called katsu ishiguro and this is what he says about the english countryside I just I just couldn’t resist here we go and yet what precisely is this greatness he talks about how we call the country great britain what is so great about it if I were forced to hazard a guess I would say that it’s the very lack of obvious drama or spectacle that sets the beauty of island apart what is pertinent is the calmness of that beauty its sense of restraint it is as though the land knows of its own beauty of its own greatness and feels no need to shout about it in comparison the sorts of sites offered in such places as america though

undoubtedly very exciting would I’m sure strike the objective viewer as inferior in account of their unseemly demonstrativeness so if you’ve been looking for a new adjective for the rocky mountains unseemly demonstrativeness is apparently that new adjective rocky mountains home to unseemly demonstrative couldn’t resist there’s these moments where we see scenes and we’re like wow it’s just so beautiful maybe you’ve stood up I stood on genesee in genesee park on one of the summits and just looking at just the beauty in front of me and I know that there’s so much more to explore there is just something about natural beauty that grasps hold of us and we say am I really seeing this and how about one more there’s this story or rumor of mirage this is something a phenomenon called feta morgana it’s something that happens with the ocean and the way that the heat works that it makes things that are beyond the horizon

look like they’re floating above the horizon it’s legends like this that have given rise to stories like the flying dutchman a pirate ship that can float above the seas and can attack pira other ships at wim here’s another one of an oil tanker apparently just suspended in mid-air of course it’s not real and we know it’s real and yet our eyes tell us that we’re seeing something spectacular seeing is believing to a certain extent is true and yet we know time and time again one our eyes can mislead us and two will question what we’re seeing and then think about that in the context of these followers of Jesus who a couple of days after his death a couple of days after the worst day and now stood there and it seems like Jesus has appeared in their midst what is happening here can they believe this they got up and returned it once to jerusalem this is our emmaus friends again there they found the eleven and those with them assembled

together and say is saying it is true the lord has risen and has appeared to simon then the two told what had happened on the way and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread there is this rumor of resurrection these stories are starting to build some of the women have seen him peter has seen him these two on the road to emmaus has seen him and now these 11 and their other followers have seen him and yet the question still lurks under the scene yes they have seen him but what does this mean what would resurrection mean and on what terms has it happened what what even is resurrection in the first century there was a fairly robust debate about what the afterlife looked like to some people it was a nothingness it was a resting in peace to some people it was an ethereal one day in some distant place we will all be together on a spiritual level and yet for some there was a suggestion that real physical

resurrection might be a thing and so we watch here as Jesus does something very specific with his earliest followers it seems like he demonstrates to them what resurrection isn’t then what resurrection is and then what it means for them as individuals as a group he’s about to pull them into this story he’s about to unleash them in a new particular way and and not just them I would suggest but you and I as well while they were still talking about this Jesus himself stood among them and said to them peace be with you isn’t that just what you want to hear when your friend who was dead suddenly stands in your midst imagine the very real terror for some of them and yet Jesus comes and says peace the hebrew word for peace would have been shalom and this idea of shalom in this book luke is very linked to the idea of salvation of rescue Jesus essentially stands amongst his followers and says don’t worry I’m here with some good

news I’m here to rescue I’m here to bring you into something I’m here to bring you from your lowest point into something new into a new story for you and the rest of the world this message of peace is this important grounding for the textbook but it’s not enough for them at least on the surface they were startled and frightened thinking they saw a ghost this is one of the first potential errors that we could fall into about what exactly Jesus resurrection was he’s just a spirit he’s just here as some kind of ghostly figure that belongs now to a distant world this is the disciples first reaction and it’s probably understandable but it seems like Jesus is particularly keen to let them know that this isn’t what he means by resurrection it’s not what’s happening to him and it’s not what he’s promising them either he said to them why are you troubled and why did doubts rise in your minds look at my hands and my feet it is I myself

touch me and see a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see I have Jesus wants them to know that resurrection is physical it is practical is do you have enough to eat it is broiled fish it is an ability to touch it is still rooted in so many of the physical things we think about this world and yet it’s not that he’s just a dead body come back to life only to die again we’ve had this popularity right over the last maybe five ten years of zombie movies zombie tv series and there’s a potential that the disciples could fall into this era about this as well that he’s just a dead body who’s been resuscitated and yet that’s not what he’s talking about either Jesus is talking about something very particular he has this resurrection life that is both physical and yet it’s also different from the everyday physical that you and I live he appears through locked doors he can change his physical physical appearance and when the later writers on christianity

started to sketch out what you and I might hope for in terms of resurrection they start to talk about things like you will have a resurrection body like his your corruptable will take on incorruptable it is yes physical but a different kind of physicality to the one we experience right now no more of the deterioration that I just experienced for the first time really in my life just a couple of weeks ago that sudden sense of something isn’t working in this body the way that it’s supposed to work and what does that mean and how long can this body hold up every one of us will experience or has experienced that and Jesus offers a physicality free from that resurrection is about new life it is about practical physical things and yet it is beyond any quality that we can experience now he is very keen to make sure that they know he is not a ghost and he is not just a body raised from the dead he is living in a new resurrection way that is

particular and distinct and they are invited into that as well this is the extent of this good news that we’re talking about they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement isn’t it fascinating that this group of people seeing is not enough for them they see and they question are you a ghost are you maybe a raised body what what exactly is happening here but touching isn’t enough either they watch as he touches these physical things in front of them the bread and the the fish he takes it and eats it they are given the opportunity to touch the nail marks that are still present in his hands but that isn’t enough either even this offer of visual touching tactile it’s still not enough for them to believe that this good news is really true seeing is not enough for them touching is not enough for them they need something more Jesus intentionally provides counter proof to two possible understandings of his resurrection he’s not

just a ghost he’s not just a raised dead body he is living a new resurrection life that you and I are invited into as well but for these followers of his that’s a stretch how can they possibly re-up how can they ante up again how can they register faith again when they have followed this Jesus all through his incredible teaching they have lived with him for years they have watched as he’s done incredible things and now they’re being asked to believe again after hitting the lowest point after the worst case scenario after the death that they didn’t see coming and now Jesus stands in front of them and says there is a new story to come from this his followers have constantly wrestled with this part of his story they’ve never quite understood what it means for him to die every time he’s suggested it’s been met with responses by people like peter where he said things like no no no lord this will never happen to you you can’t possibly die their best

case scenario is that Jesus is around forever they’ve done some great things together people have been healed there’s a chance that they may even overthrow this roman empire there is always these are the stories that they hope for the story that they actually get in spite of being better is not one that they easily come to believe and especially when it comes to their part in it so we’ve seen them they’ve seen they’ve touched but something more is required what does Jesus say to them he said to them this is what I told you while I was still with you everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the law of moses the prophets and the psalms then he opened their minds so they could understand the scriptures within christian theology dogmatics there has been this constant conversation as to who starts the spiritual journey or who puts in most of the work some people have said it’s a human process of us investigating

and getting to know the God of the universe others have said it is simply about what God does God has to reveal to you himself and you are just a non-player you don’t get to make a decision and yet different parts of the bible will express different parts of those tension and what it seems to be is it’s the combination of the two ultimately there has to be some moment where God makes himself real to you and I there is some moment where maybe the language you’ve grown up using is things like born again I became saved I experienced new life somewhere within the bible our experiences just like that and somewhere within history are multiple experiences just like this he opened their eyes and they became aware of a story that they had never quite been aware of before I would suggest that two words are helpful for us in understanding this there is a difference between information and revelation there is all the

sorts of things that you can learn you can read you can study you can examine all of those different things you can read stories about Jesus life you can read proofs of the fact that it seems like he came back from the dead those are all useful important things to do and yet it seems like what Jesus suggests the biblical writer suggests is this there is a moment somewhere where all of that information maybe physically not but maybe in practice drops from somewhere here to somewhere here there is a moment where you come to understand that the story is not just historically true it’s not just that a man lived taught and then died and rose again it’s that the man who lived died and then rose again dramatically impacts your life and this world around us it’s this moment of these disciples coming to understand that it is not just good that they have their friend back but that friend’s story that spiritual leader story

undergirds every single story in this world this is a moment where they come to see that important point because I think up until this point if you’d ask them what their best case scenario and seeing Jesus again what their answer might have been is this if Jesus came back to life we get to just continue what we were doing right we were doing some good stuff we were traveling we were teaching people people were being healed if Jesus comes back we get our leader back we get to take a back seat again and he gets to do his thing and we get to support him but there’s this moment where in maybe a terrifying way these 11 men and few women start to realize that’s not what you’re talking about is it yes resurrection has happened but Jesus begins to reveal to himself to them actually now this involves me taking a step further back this actually involves me removing myself from the physical side of the world and now the story will

center yes still around me but now in terms of the practice in terms of the everyday activity now the story will be about what you do luke is a book about what Jesus did acts will become a book about what his followers did as they took his principles his life his message and shared it with the world this for these disciples is a pivot moment and I would suggest a terrifying one what does it mean for Jesus not to be there and what does it mean for him to say now now the story sits with you because it seems like Jesus has no plan b right there is no if these 11 men and few women don’t take the story I’ll come up with another solution everything about this story rests on this moment will it go anywhere outside of this room or will it just stop this is this wonderful tension point they need to see him yes they’ve had this appearance they have seen yes there’s been an interaction they have touched but then there’s this understanding it has

been revealed this is the moment where they realize Jesus story is not just good news for him it’s good news for them and it’s good news for the world and they begin to realize they have a role to play Jesus never gets into a huge amount of details about which passages in the old testament he believes point to him but he will say this is what is written the messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day everything about the old stories has been pointing to this story to this crescendo to this moment but now it’s on them to go and share so my question for us is this after all this has happened after Jesus has died risen again he’s sat with his followers he’s shown them that he really is alive where does he see the story going now how does he see their role what is he shaping them to do because I would suggest that that very thing is probably inch is probably helpful for us in learning how he sees our role today

Jesus sees this moment where there’s this gospel of repentance for forgiveness of sins that will be proclaimed in his name to all nations beginning at jerusalem think about the boldness of that jerusalem is this tiny little backwater significant enough that the romans wanted to invade it but but not particularly important in terms of the geopolitical landscape and in this tiny room where these 11 men and few women have gathered Jesus is suggesting that the message that has been talked about there will spread from that point to the entire world he tells them that they will become his heralds is a great word the greek word is karisso and there’s a there’s an element of british politics that maybe will I can share with you that will help you understand this there’s this incredibly archaic role within british politics for this character his name unbelievably is black rod that is his title I’m not sure why actually I am he carries a black rod it’s

very very intuitive his one responsibility throughout the year is this he is to be a herald for the queen when the queen goes to open parliament he walks in front of her by a few minutes he bashes on the door and says the queen is coming to open parliament and because parliament is supposed to be free from the queen’s authority they open the door for him they say okay and then they slam it in his face in this act of theatrics and then he goes back and does nothing for the rest of the year sits in his comfortable office just having a great time on the public funds and all those types of things he is a herald he is a proclaimer of someone who is coming and it seems like Jesus understanding of one of his followers roles is this you are heralds and proclaimers of this message of this kingdom and of this king that will return again Jesus is very comfortable about the fact that the the story will not just stop on this world but this king will

return again one day to take up his rightful place he sees them as proclaiming in the same way that he saw himself proclaiming for those of you with good memories let’s go back to the very start when we started build a bigger table we talked about how Jesus outlined what he had come to do in luke chapter 4 he says this the spirit of the lord is on me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor he has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind to set the oppressed free to proclaim the year of the lord’s favor proclaim proclaim proclaim and now he says to these earliest followers this is what you will be doing now you will proclaim the repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all nations the very role Jesus had at the beginning of all this he now says I now hand to you you get to go and do this with one important addition as well I

mentioned to you that there’s been these questions lurking behind this text behind luke specifically that have been there from the beginning early on in luke we’re told that this message will not just be for those in the jewish world but for those outside as well early in luke in chapter two a man called simeon in the temple when Jesus is dedicated says this about what Jesus ministry and life will do at that time there was a man in jerusalem named simeon simeon took him in his arms and praised God saying sovereign lord you have promised and now you may dismiss your servant in peace my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all nations a light for revelation to the gentiles there’s been this idea that the story will expand to the ultimate degree the story will go everywhere and yet as we’ve watched throughout luke Jesus has spent almost a hundred percent of his time with jewish people yes

it’s been jewish people who live on the margins it’s been those that have been discluded it is a wonderful story it is a wonderful inclusion those that don’t belong now find a place to belong and yet this passage is lurked there from the beginning where’s the gentiles where are those that are really outside is the story as good as it can possibly go does it go the entire way does it include everybody and yet Jesus has spent time with jewish people jewish people even the occasional interactions with gentiles have been a little bit controversial a gentile woman comes to him and says can you help can you hear my child and Jesus says it’s not right for the dogs to receive the food from the children’s table yes the story ends positively for her but there has been this tension throughout the text where are those real outsiders when do they get included this is the moment where that begins to be resolved it seems like luke in his mind has this verse

in isaiah in the back of his mind it is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of jacob and bring back those of israel I have kept I will also make you a light for the gentiles that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth there is this moment where that ultimate story will become true they will be proclaimers that will go to all nations it will begin in this tiny backwater but we’ll go everywhere and as we as a community wrestle with acts we’ll see the beginnings of just how expensive that story gets when you look at this idea of mission worldwide when you look about outreach evangelism there were conversations about 250 a.d that was centered around what do we do when everyone in the world is a follower of Jesus the thing was growing so fast it was so dynamic that it felt like there would be no work left for people to do in just a few short years and then tragedy the christian faith became tied to the

roman empire constantine became the first christian emperor and he took his soldiers and said well I want you to be baptized as followers of Jesus but I want you to leave your hand and your sword out of the water because your hand and your sword still belong to rome Jesus as it were could have the rest of you but you still were a soldier of the empire and suddenly it became profitable or even good for your career to join the christian faith and things took a dramatic turn downwards but there was this moment where it was growing so fast the people were like this thing is going to be worldwide before we know it that movement that organic movement began in this room with these people that became these proclaimers these heralds of this news that was to come Jesus sees himself as creating this group of proclaimers of heralds they will take what he began to do and they will do it everywhere now not just to the jews anymore but

to the whole world but not just proclaimers something else as well another fascinating word that Jesus uses you are witnesses of these things Jesus says yes you will proclaim you will speak you will go and share this message but you’ll also be witnesses now the language of witnesses is probably familiar to us a little bit we think about courtrooms all those different things but there’s another way that I would like us just for a few moments to think about the idea of being witnesses it is in the realm of sports so how many of you have seen the new space jam movie maybe not many of you you shouldn’t because the real space jam has michael jordan in it I’m a child of the 90s and so jordan is king lebron isn’t jordan but if you want to go see it that’s fine it’s entirely up to you but think about lebron james for a second we’re just going to land on him think about his story he comes into the nba as an 18 year old he takes over as like a man

amongst boys he’s dominating everything and then think about the language that people used around this person who let us remind ourselves is paid money to play a game played money to play a game this is a poster that was put up in cleveland during the height of everything there’s lebron 23 we are all witnesses we are all witnesses what does that statement mean think about how else lebron james is described in the press at this point he is the chosen one the chosen one think about the religious aspect to that language and then what do they mean what do nike mean what does the cleveland cavaliers mean by we are all witnesses do they just mean we have seen lebron do some stuff they actually don’t they actually mean buy all of the shoes he wears buy the gear watch as many games as you can tell your friends about it spread the word something is happening here even in the world outside of church this idea of being witnesses is

more than just seeing something there is this involvement in this story and again this is around a man who plays a game for money this language is taken straight out of the bible and it’s maybe a little bit helpful for us in understanding that this is somewhat what Jesus is asking us to do when it says we are witnesses it is not simply you have seen Jesus alive when he was dead it is more than that it is take this story that is transformative for you and take it into the world around you tell others about what you have experienced in a non-physical sense where the clothing can buy the shoes but live this story out and take it with you wherever you go that explosively growing church that we talked about just a couple of minutes ago do you know what empowered it wasn’t great programs didn’t have any buildings had no money loads of resources that we would say today are very important didn’t have any of them what it did have

was hundreds and thousands of people that had a specific story about personal transformation and change and said this story is so profound for me I longed to share it with those around me this story was empowered almost completely by an organic thing that said this story means everything this story has changed me and I would love to spread that change I would love to tell of that change I would love to bear witness to that change what have you witnessed how has this story impacted you and I and what does it look like to share that the fascinating thing about this word witness is the extent to which it demands of us let me unpack that a little bit more the greek word for witness is martus it’s where we get the word martyr so many of the people that are sat right now in this room with Jesus a couple of thousand years ago they would get pushed to the choice what’s more valuable to me my part in this story my witness to this story

or my physical life on this earth most of the people in this room that were talking about they died for this faith now in america 21st century is that likely a choice you will be asked to make I would suggest it probably isn’t right now in other parts of the world is it still definitely a choice you’re asked to make a hundred percent it is regularly and often a choice that our brothers and sisters followers of Jesus make all the time but there may be other choices that you have to make maybe they’re less difficult maybe they’re more difficult I don’t know but there may be something that you have to lay down to bear witness to this story maybe something because one of the interesting things about this Jesus is that he takes second place to no one I say this somewhat carefully he does not take second place to your american-ness to my britishness it seems that he has no interest in that he does not take second place to your ethnicity to your

background he does not take second place to your political persuasions does not say take second place to your sexuality it seems that Jesus will take second place to nothing and to nobody his expectation of his heralds and witnesses is that he is the center of everything for them that is what shapes the story he is the center his story undergirds and grounds everything it seems like the one who laid down his life would soon be best represented by those who live as he lived on one hand that included taking his teaching and put it in putting it in to practice it’s why we have a big thing outside on a war that says that we are a group of people living in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus but it might extend all the way through to a group of people who would lay down their lives as he laid down his ultimately the word witness it risks the possibility that you may have to surrender and sacrifice something to do it well and think

about that how that brings us back full circle to how we’ve talked about build a bigger table we’ve talked about build a bigger table as a series about reaching out for those that are on the margins it may mean that there are some difficult choices for you and I to make about who we let’s sit at our table about who we give access to our homes about who we call our friends and include in parts of our social group it may mean that there’s a push to change some of the ways that we have acted in the world in the past it may mean that we lay down some career promotions it means that we may mean that we have to give up some practical things that we thought would bring us a ton of joy it may mean that somewhere this story costs us something because the central part of the story is it costs Jesus everything this is the story that he invites us into and yet we have seen Jesus constantly throughout this series use his table to bring in

those in the margins we have seen him sit as an honored guest and somehow in some kind of transaction he has become the host and he is welcomed in those that find themselves on the outside and so when we think about becoming witnesses yes it may mean the ultimate of becoming a martyr but it still means that the table still matters we get to be part of this movement that takes this story from this upper room hidden away 2 000 years ago and we get to be part of it when we are heralds when we are witnesses to what this story means for you and I in matthew matthew will talk about this about being going and making disciples of all nations baptizing him in the name of the father the son and the holy spirit in mark he’ll talk about going into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation but all of them have that sense of it’s go let’s go let’s go where will you bear witness but here’s some final good news the

worship band are going to come back up in a second there is no expectation that you and I are supposed to do this in our own power and in our own strength let’s look at how Jesus resolves this passage you are witnesses of these things 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 and acts as these combined works are an account of how God has and is working in the world luke is what Jesus did acts will be what his followers did but they were never left to do it in their own strength and power and I would suggest that neither are you and I this is the audacious claim of Jesus about his followers this is the claim that the spirit inside you is greater than Jesus beside you think back to them again just for a second Jesus has been returned to them against all probability and there’s got to be a longing that he will stay because everything is better when

Jesus is there if only he would stay we could keep doing all of those things he would be our champion we would follow him life would be good and yet his message is I’m going I’m stepping back I’m relieving you not alone I’m leaving you empowered to continue this story and the spirit inside you is better than Jesus beside you you and I have something to do in the world we are called to be witnesses how will you be a witness to this story today and beyond let’s pray