With summer in full swing, many of us have prepared to travel and enjoy time away. We often think about packing up essential items – clothes, toothbrushes, phone chargers, hair products. But in reality, the essential items are those that if we don’t have them with us can put a halt on the entire journey – like our wallets, phones, passports, or airline tickets. The same can be said of our journey with Jesus. As we traverse through a broken and dark world there are things we need to keep moving forward. Here are three essential things Jesus reminds his disciples to take with them from Luke 24:46-49.
1. The power of the Word.
In the final chapters of the book of Luke, Jesus appears before the disciples to comfort and encourage them before sending them into the world with the gospel. In verses 46-47, Jesus said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” Jesus always honored the authority and power of the Word. Why is the word powerful? Because the word of God points us to the work of God (Jn. 1). Jesus is the embodiment of the word. Throughout his temptation, Jesus overcame Satan with the power of the word (Matt. 4). Paul exclaims that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16)! Never unpack God’s Word from your life. Keep it with you. There will never be a day we will not need it.
2. The power of witness.
Jesus reminds the disciple that they are witnesses (v. 48). The disciple literally saw Jesus fulfill scripture by seeing his miracles, sitting under his teaching, and watching his death and resurrection actually happen. They saw it with their own eyes. Because of their witness, thousands of years later, the gospel is still making an impact all across the world simply because they told others what they saw. Our testimony is a powerful tool to share the gospel with others but it’s also a deep spring of encouragement for our own souls when we face various trials. Remember what God has done in your life, what he’s brought you through, and let it fuel your joy as you journey on.
3. The power of waiting on the Holy Spirit.
Jesus ensures the disciples that he will send what the Father promised. John 14:26 tells us that “the helper, the Holy Spirit, will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” In Luke 24:49 Jesus commands the disciples to stay in the city and wait. Waiting on the Lord means relying on and trusting in God through prayer in everything. When trials and suffering come the Holy Spirit is able to remind us of the truth, to help us believe God’s love for us and our eternal hope found in Christ. Learning to wait on the Lord is the key to rest and replenishment (Isa. 30:15; 40:31).
Many of us have carried baggage for far too long. Maybe you’ve been packed with the burden of guilt, shame, and discouragement. I encourage you to lay down your burden at the feet of Jesus. Wait on the Lord, wait on his power, wait on his Word, wait on the presence of God. Because when it comes, you’ll be equipped for every good work he’s prepared for you to do!