Do Not Leave Jerusalem…But Wait!

Acts 1:6-14

Acts begins as a continuation of the gospel of Luke. Luke states that following the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus has now appeared to the disciples and many others for a period of 40 days, teaching them, and showing them that he was really alive. So today, we are remembering what it was like for the disciples …. 40 days after the resurrection!

In today’s account, they are gathered on the Mount of Olives. With so much anticipation and expectation for what Jesus will do…..the disciples ask him “Is this the time that you’ll restore the Kingdom to Israel?” He says in so many words “It’s not important for you to know that.” And continues…“But you WILL receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. And you’ll be my witnesses, here in Jerusalem, in Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. “

And then we’re told that he disappeared from their sight….into the clouds.The disciples are left gazing into the sky. Two men dressed in white ask them “Why are you gazing up into the sky?” And finally, we are told that they walk back to Jerusalem and the entire group – disciples, women including Mary, Jesus’ mother, and the brothers of Jesus – all wait, earnestly spending time together in prayer.

What Should be our takeaway…our lesson for today?


  • “It’s not important for you to know that.”
  • “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

Don’t look back, or stare up… look forward. Focus on the task ahead. Focusing too much on heaven, end times, etc. may keep us from working hard for the kingdom today. Jesus is NOT disappearing. He will be with you as the Holy Spirit….this will be a new chapter of kingdom work.


“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Jesus does not command, ask, encourage, or instruct us to witness. He simply states what will be happening in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. You WILL receive power when the Holy Spirit comes and you WILL be my witnesses.


4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

In this text Jesus only gives one command: “Don’t leave Jerusalem…but wait for the Holy Spirit.”

With all of the anticipation, and possible fear and excitement… isn’t it unusual that the first task to be done by the disciples…. is to WAIT. Why do you think that was?

Perhaps it was to teach them that they were to be responsive to the Holy Spirit, listening to the Holy spirit, aware of the Holy Spirit…not working on their own, or under their own strength?

How could this command to “WAIT!” be applied in our lives today?