“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
— Acts 1:8
Climbing “The Priest” on the Appalachian Trail was quite a challenge. Though it’s not the tallest mountain I have climbed, I struggled to the top. Sections of the trail were barely visible, forcing me to scramble over rocks in some places. The splendid views from the summit, though, were worth the effort.
The last scene of Jesus’ earthly ministry took place on a hill called the Mount of Olives. Jesus went there often with his disciples. After much walking over three years, they had reached a turning point in their journey together. There Jesus gave his disciples a startling command—to spread the word about him from Jerusalem to the surrounding areas of Judea and Samaria, and “to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus’ disciples were completely unprepared and unequipped to accomplish this task. But he also gave them a promise. After he ascended to heaven, he would continue to be present with them through the Holy Spirit. With and through the Holy Spirit, the disciples were to begin sharing the good news about Jesus to all nations.
The book of Acts and the rest of the New Testament show that Jesus’ disciples did that. And where they left off, new disciples took over, all the way down through generations of Christ-followers to us. Thankfully, we have the promised Holy Spirit to lead the way for us as well.
Lord Jesus, fill us with your Spirit to share your good news and love to the ends of the earth. In your name, Amen.