In verse 2 we read that Jesus had giving instructions to those whom he had chosen through the Holy Spirit. In Luke’s gospel 24:48-49), he had instructed them to wait in the city to be “clothed with power from on high” as he would be sending upon them what the Father had promised. They had received instructions through the Holy Spirit and yet they were to wait to be endued with the power of the Spirit.
I know that the order of Luke-Acts is different to John’s and that scholars note Jesus’ gift in John 20:22 “Receive the Holy Spirit.”. If we do not see Luke and John as telling a different story, then was there more to come? Were the happenings at Pentecost simply more about building community? It does seem as if, individually (as collectively), the apostles found empowerment beyond what they had earlier received.
Re-reading Acts, I am reminded that in John’s version too, Jesus had told them, ”It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”(John 16: 7). Earlier, in 7:37-39, he observed that believers had not yet received the Spirit since Jesus was not yet glorified.
So then, there’s got to be that searching desire for more of the indwelling Spirit of God. I know what a difference it made when I witnessed what we sometimes refer to as the “witness of the Spirit” not just Christian Assurance – the knowledge of being pardoned, healed, cleansed, forgiven- saved- but being more deeply aware of the indwelling Spirit’s power and presence. I still recall my earliest unfettered outburst of TOTAL PRAISE! My heart felt larger than it ever did. And it is awareness that keeps reminding that I need more and more of the Spirit of the Lord, more of that power to love and show who God really is.
And the Spirit’s presence keeps me praying Charles Wesley’s prayer:
Ö that it now from heaven might fall
And all my sins consume!
Come, Holy Ghost, for Thee I call,
Spirit of burning, come!
Refining Fire, go through my heart,
Illuminate my soul;
Scatter Thy life through every part
And sanctify the whole.