Jesus said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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.” Acts 1: 7-8
In my glove box I have a special wheel nut, without which it is impossible to take off the wheels. You could try brute force- but that would end in disaster. No, for certain tasks you need the right tool, or things don’t work.
Without the Holy Spirit, the mission Jesus gave the disciples to be his witnesses would have ended in abject failure. Oh, they could have done it with brute force, compelling people to become Christians through fear or intimidation. They could have used bribery, offering incentives to each new convert. But forced converts or bought converts don’t last when the chips are down, or when the threats are backed up with violence or when the bribes cease. And neither do they risk their lives or their reputations to tell others about Jesus, and they don’t go willingly to the flames or gallows to defend their faith.
No, the only way the gospel would spread, is through the Spirit of Jesus flooding the lives of the early disciples and every disciple since, equipping them, compelling them, changing them and using them to be His witnesses.
Today we mark the day the Spirit first fell in power, but the same Holy Spirit is at work today. He was at work through the one who brought you to know Jesus and those who have helped you follow him. And He is at work in and through you, as you carry on the same mission. Because Jesus’ mission hasn’t changed. But the promise, as well as the mission, was for the first disciples and for us (those far off). So come Holy Spirit. Fill us afresh and send us out as your witnesses!