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From Luke to Acts ...

Monday, April 9, 2018. The gospels tell the life of Jesus, then the biblical book “Acts” continues the stories and speaks about the beginning of the first Christian church. The same is true with the letters of the apostles in the New Testament, they all talk about questions which arose in the early church. These first questions are highly exciting, truly fascinating, and of continuing meaning! Let us have a look …

Jesus and The Holy Spirit …

The gospels do not end with the resurrection of Jesus. He died and rose again, and then continued his mission to explain his message to the disciples. He sent them, to continue. And he left them after 40 days. Luke reports this in the last paragraph of his gospel:

50 And he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God. (End of the Gospel of Luke)

And then Luke continues in “Acts” taking up Jesus departure and talking about his coming back through the Holy Spirit:

1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (from Acts 1)

Change and Continuity …

There is a lot of change in these stories, but also much continuity. First, there is change! Jesus was not meant to stay. He was meant to leave, but not through a normal death. Of course, this story is quite challenging for the modern mind. What happened? How do we understand these events? Many scholars of different kind have made their version of the story, usually trying to avoid any supernatural components. Two arguments:

First: If you think there is no God, and it is all man made: you should look for another approach to life! But think deeply: what will you find? What is your basis? You are your own anchor point, your own reference. Here, Jesus offers himself as anchor point. He offers the creator as reference, as beginning and end. Ultimately, it will all be a qustion of the facts! We will see clearly, what truth is. If God is the creator and maintainer, if he is with and in Jesus, if God is father and son and holy spirit, we will see. And much can be seen already now …

Second: how can you sincerely talk about the God of heaven and earth without very supernatural elements? And when you think about God's relationship to mankind, the story about father, son and holy spirit starts to become a very natural approach. It makes sense! It is a great concept. It is really good.

There is the continuity in this concept. It is one God, in father, in the son Jesus, and in the Holy Spirit. He wants to be with us, truly with us. That comes with the Holy Spirit, who live in those who believe in Jesus. With Jesus God comes really close to humans. He became a human. He is not the abstract something, he comes very close. The idea of the son Jesus becoming human is a much better concept than any other idea of God I have ever heard of. But ultimately, it is a question of facts, of truth. God is alive, much more than we are! (Roland Potthast) ... further texts

jn_en_2018_04_09.txt · Last modified: 2018/04/09 08:26 by potthast