The (really) last advice of Jesus

Acts 1:7-8 He said to them, It is not for you to become acquainted with and know what time brings [the things and events of time and their definite periods] or fixed years and seasons (their critical niche in time), which the Father has appointed (fixed and reserved) by His own choice and authority and personal power. But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.

There was a lot that was being recorded by the disciples in Jesus’ night when He was betrayed. The episode was nothing short of traumatising for them as it was significant for each of us reading what we usually call the “last words of Jesus”.

But did you know that the really last advice of Jesus was just before He ascended back to heaven? Those words set the tone for the trajectory of the church and how we are supposed to live and keep our eyes on the prize until He returns.

In simple words, what Jesus is telling each and every of us who are called to be His disciples, is that there is a part of God’s sovereignty that we need to be aware of but not be fixated on. By doing so, we are kept cognisant of His omnipotence, omnipresence and omniscience whilst we go about doing our life’s assignment.

Think about it – there are bigger issues that are happening around us. Wars and skirmishes, geopolitical struggles that evolve from petty issues, economic meltdowns and those who become billionaires overnight as well as those who also lose billions in days, and the list goes on. God appoints and brings down leaders; all appointments being at His disposal to fulfil parts of His sovereign plan. No matter how much we want to fret over them, they are completely out of our control.

What Jesus is saying in this verse is – “for the things that fall within God’s sovereign plan and are out of your control, don’t bother fretting over them. Focus rather, on the One who has come upon you from My departure – the Holy Spirit. He will empower you to fulfil your assignment.”

So the question that you might want to revisit is this – “What is my assignment?” and then the follow-up question is “How can I partner with the Holy Spirit to fulfil it?”

As we steward the various areas of our lives and ministries, our dependence on the Holy Spirit needs to increase along the journey. More of Him. Period. This is perhaps one of the most distinctive traits of a surrendered disciple cognisant that he/she is part of a plan that is much much bigger than any one person, ministry, church or denomination. And I like how Jesus ends His parting words which in a simple phrase is “witness till the end” – this returns us to how we must persevere and have grit and resilience despite every obstacle that we face. With the Holy Spirit, we will fulfil our assignments!