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Complete In Jesus - Page 6

Jesus is here promising that when his people gather together for purposes of forwarding his cause (i.e. "in his name") - he will be there. What comfort would it be to say that he would be in their midst if he is to play no active role with them in the work?

This is seen quite directly in Mark's account of the last meeting of Jesus with his disciples prior to his being taken up into heaven.  After they were instructed regarding the many things that they would do "in his name," Mark then writes:

So then after the Lord had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it (Mark 16:19, 20).

The Amplified Version captures well the sense of Mark's statement in verse 20:

And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with them and confirming the message by the attesting signs and miracles  that closely accompanied it. Amen (so be it).

That Jesus would be personally engaged in the work of the gospel after his being taken up should not greatly surprise us. For example, his ability to heal although not physically present was already established by the case of the centurion’s servant (Mat. 8:5-13). There, by his authority, Jesus spoke and the servant was healed. Yet, Jesus was not present with him. After his being taken up, the only difference is more distance.  His authority to act from heaven is yet even greater than it was on earth.

This active work of Christ is so interwoven with the mission and activities of his disciples that they did all things "in his name." And Jesus himself is specifically recognized as being at work.  Peter expresses this when Aeneas is healed:

Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; get up and make your bed!" And immediately he got up (Acts 9:34).

Arguably, a most notable indication of the work of Christ with his people after he was taken up into heaven is found in the initial giving of the spirit on the day of Pentecost.  Peter in explaining to the crowd what was occurring that day makes this statement about Jesus:

"Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he [Jesus] has poured out this that you both see and hear" (Acts 2:33).    

It is Jesus who has “poured out.”12 And, there is a direct link between what people were "hearing" and Jesus Christ.  This demonstrates something quite profound:  unlike any other, God has given to Jesus the ability to communicate with his people by the spirit of God.  

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12 It is amazing that Jesus himself "pours out the spirit." (Acts 2:33 cp. Acts 2:17 where the word "cheo" is used in both cases).


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