The Series - Jesus, Unique & Unequaled Teacher (48/50)

Focus Text: Acts 1.4-8

“And [Jesus] being assembled together with them [the apostles], He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, ‘which,’ He said, ‘you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’ Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, ‘Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’ And He said to them, ‘It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.’”

On the night of His betrayal, Jesus promised the Holy Spirit as a Teacher for the apostles. Among other things, He said, “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.” (John 14.25-26). Later that evening, He said, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” (John 15.26-27). Continuing along this line, Jesus explained, “And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more; of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” (John 16.8-13).

The apostles had a mission, an important and colossal mission, in taking the gospel to the world. They were not divine as was Jesus; they were mere mortals. As such, they were limited in the same way that all mortals are limited. The mere fact that they had been with Jesus did not change their capabilities so far as hearing, reflecting, and assimilating go; they were still mortal! However, Jesus knew the apostles and their limitations; the Master Teacher recognized the limitations that attend every learning situation due to materials, environment, students, capacities to learn, distractions, etc., etc. Knowing that they could not absorb all that was needed, He made provisions along with the Father to empower them to achieve the task which they were being called upon to achieve.

Jesus was like that throughout His ministry; He did not ask of others that which they were incapable of doing. He did, however, place stringent demands upon those who elected to follow Him; He had no “cheap disciples!” Great teachers always know their students, determine their capabilities, and equip them to perform that for which they will be held accountable. The coming of the Holy Spirit upon the apostles was not a sign of failure on Jesus part; it was a sign of greatness as a Teacher. Jesus, the Prolific Provider!

Questions:

1. For what were the apostles to wait in Jerusalem?

2. Where or from whom had the apostles learned of the coming of the Spirit?

3. Into how much truth did Jesus say the Holy Spirit would guide the apostles?

4. Why do great teachers take into account the capabilities of his/her students? How should that same principle affect the way each of us interacts with the world?