Divine Empowerment of Leaders

Divine Empowerment of Leaders, Study of Luke(Page 5)

By Allen Quist 

From Misunderstanding to Power

To help his reader understand how Christ changed the disciples thinking about ruling to the Spirit’s power, Luke quoted Christ, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 2 7-8). Montague points out Jesus did not challenge their role as future rulers of the twelve tribes; Jesus merely took away any idea of knowing when. However, Luke replaces “knowledge of the future” with a concept the Jews understood during Pentecost—“the gift of power” (Montague 273). Psalm 68 had an important place in the Pentecost festival with its message ending with: “Awesome is God in his sanctuary, the God of Israel; he gives power and strength to his people” (Psalm 68:35). Luke, continuing to use Christ’s words, provides the purpose of the power they were about to receive—“you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8b; Montague 273).

Though we determined the apostles might have believed their ruling with Christ was imminent, they had a major problem; with the loss of Judas, there were only eleven apostles rather than the prophesied twelve. Luke credited Peter with bringing this fact to their attention, “The scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas…” (Acts 1:16). Witherington points out Peter’s talk is not about Next Pagewhat Judas did, rather it is about the need to replace him (121). Luke helps us understand the apostles’ thinking through Peter’s recitation of Psalm 109:8b, “may another seize his position” with substantial changes to Acts 1:20b, “Let another take his position of overseer.” Luke recounts the replacement of Judas (the betrayer) with Mathias as the twelfth apostle (Acts 1:21-26).

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