There was a brief period of time, roughly ten days, between Christ’s Ascension and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. The disciples were told by our Lord to go into Jerusalem and wait for the Promise of the Father. Jesus gave them great hope and comfort when He said to them, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” This account is found in Acts 1 : 4 – 8.
We have a compelling testament as to the result of this great promise when we read Acts 5 : 12 – 16. As you read this passage and consider the scene presented therein, ask yourself a few important questions: Where else, in the New Testament, have you seen similar incidents? Who’s ministry does this seem to mirror? Let’s have a look.
Acts 5 : 12 – 16
12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. 13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly. 14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. 16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
Now have a look at this account from the Gospel of St. Mathew.
23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. 24 Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. 25 Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan.
What do we see here? In the Gospel of St. Matthew we see Jesus healing all kinds of diseases and casting out demons from those tormented by the demonic. From these good works we see numbers added to those who would follow Christ as He moved from one place to another.
What do we see in Acts 5? We see the same good works being done, but this time they are being done through those who have been filled with God by the gift of the Holy Spirit. We find the sick being brought to the Apostles and healed. We have those who are in bondage to the demonic released from their captivity. And, we see numbers of those who would follow the Living Christ added to the Church daily.
Are we truly making the connection? Are we beginning to comprehend the awe-inspiring breadth of such a critical truth being illuminated for us here? Jesus Christ was the embodiment of the Holy Trinity. And through His flesh and blood the reality of the Kingdom of God was made manifest to the world that it might be saved.
So, too, we who have been filled with the Holy Spirit have been collectively made the Body of Christ. As such, we have become the Temple of the Holy Spirit. We have become the embodiment of the Holy Trinity through which the manifest reality of the Kingdom of God is to continue for the salvation of the world.
This was purposed by God all along. This was and is His desire and design. It is why Jesus said that it is better that I leave you and go to my Father (John 16 : 5 – 24). It is also why our Lord would say in John 14 : 12 – 13:
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
Dare we believe that these words of our Lord Jesus Christ are true? This world, particularly in this current age, does not need intellectual reasoning and arguments as the main thrust of the Gospel message. This world needs to see the Living Christ through demonstrations of His life, power, nature, and love. May we grow to embrace the truth that we are the Body of Christ; that is, we are the continuing incarnate ministry of the Holy Trinity and made so by the divine wisdom of the same.