Jesus has risen! So what do we need to spread this good news? Watch the featured video, reflect on some questions, and go deeper into study on your own or with a group. If you're participating in our reading plan One Story that Leads to Jesus, this Reflections Bible Study lines up with week 41.
Once you've watched the featured video, take time to reflect on these questions.
What is one way this video encourages or expands your understanding of the book of Acts?
In the Hebrew Bible, God is repeatedly depicted as a fire. Why is this significant in the book of Acts?
In your own words, summarize the way Luke speaks of the two different temples (review 2:44-4:23 in the video)
Luke begins Acts by telling readers about a meeting between the disciples and the risen Jesus. For weeks, Jesus continues to teach them about his upside-down Kingdom and the new creation that began with his death and resurrection. The disciples want to share his teachings, but Jesus tells them to wait until they receive a new kind of power, so they can have all they need to be faithful witnesses to Jesus’ Kingdom. He says their mission will begin in Jerusalem, move out to Judea and Samaria, and from there out into all the nations. The main theme of the book of Acts flows out of this opening scene. This is a story about Jesus leading his people by his Spirit to invite all nations to live in the ways of his Kingdom. The first seven chapters show how the invitation will begin to spread in Jerusalem. The next four chapters map out how the message spreads to the non-Jewish neighboring regions of Judea and Samaria. And from Acts 13 on, Luke tells us how the good news of Jesus’ Kingdom begins to reach all the nations of the world.
Compare Jesus’ words in Acts 1:4-8 with John the Baptizer’s words in Luke 3:16-18—remember that biblical authors often use chaff as an analogy for sin. According to John the Baptizer in this text, what is the purpose of fire? How is the purpose at work when the disciples receive God’s Spirit (see Acts 2:1-4, 2:38-39)?
Review Acts 1:6-8. What do the disciples want Jesus to do for their people in Israel? How does Jesus reply? What does he want them to receive and do while they wait for God’s timing?
In the Hebrew Bible, God’s temple is the place where God dwells, and his presence is often depicted as fire. Notice the similarities and differences in Exodus 19:17-18, Numbers 9:15, and Acts 2:1-4. What is the significance of God’s presence dwelling in many people instead of a single mountain or building?
Take some time to pray. Express your gratitude to Jesus. Tell him where you want to see his restoration in your life and community. Ask him for the courage to receive the refining power of his Spirit, so you can join in his restoration plans and spread his good news.