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Luke 24: 49

And behold, I am sending forth the promise of my Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.

Jesus made this statement during the forty-day period between his resurrection and ascension. He was preparing his disciples for the ministry ahead of them. Shortly they would form the new church and would have to carry out all the administration and teaching of a brand new religion. He had to minister to them to get them from their deep sorrow to the dynamic profession of the faith. For all they knew, the whole mission died with Jesus. They were expecting a very different kind of victory out of Jesus and they were expecting him to establish the new kingdom. That did not happen though. And even though they were taught the scriptures, they just could not reason out this apparent defeat.

So Jesus visited them during this period. He lifted their spirits and he instructed them. The disciples saw, with their own eyes, the living Jesus. They heard his voice and dined with him. They went from defeated people who were probably wondering what to do, to world changing believers. They were then able to go out and proclaim the victory of Jesus with strong conviction.

But before Jesus released them on the world, he told them to await the promise of the Father. He told them that the reception of the promise would cloth them with power. They might have thought themselves ready to go proclaim the gospel of Jesus’ when they saw him. Certainly, their sorrow turned to joy and they must have wanted to run out to the streets and spread the good news. But Jesus told them to wait so that they could receive what the Father had promised. This was part of the preparation for the gospel.

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