Jesus remained on the earth for forty days after He was crucified and rose from the tomb. He appeared many times to His disciples, proving to them that He was real.
Then, His eleven main disciples went to the mountain in Galilee where Jesus had told them to meet Him. He appeared to them there, and they worshiped Him.
But even after everything He had done, some were still confused and struggled with doubts.
“I have been given all authority,” Jesus told them, “Here on earth, and in heaven.”
His disciples gazed at Jesus, wondering if He would finally declare Himself King of Israel and kick out their Roman rulers. But Jesus was thinking about a different kind of kingdom.
“Go to every single country on earth,” He commanded. “Teach people to be my disciples. And when they follow Me, baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Teach them all the things I have taught you. And don’t worry! I will always be with you, in every part of the world.”
Jesus’ disciples were ready to follow His instructions right away, so He added on, “But don’t leave Jerusalem yet. First My Father will send His Holy Spirit on you. You will be baptized in the Spirit just as John baptized you in water.”
“But what about a king for Israel?” the disciples asked. “Will we finally be free from Rome again?”
“In the Father’s timing,” Jesus replied. “You don’t need to worry yourselves about rulers and kings. You have a bigger job to focus on. When the Holy Spirit gives you power, you will tell everyone about Me, starting in Jerusalem, and moving outward until you have reached the whole world.”
After giving these instructions, Jesus was taken up into heaven, to be seated at the right hand of God the Father. As He disappeared into the clouds right before His disciple’s eyes, they stood there, motionless, staring up at the sky. Then all of a sudden, two angels appeared and asked, “What are you looking up in the sky for? Jesus is in heaven now. But one day He will return the same way you saw Him go.”
The disciples were overcome with joy. They worshiped Jesus and returned to Jerusalem. Directly to the temple their feet carried them, where they praised God. Pouring out into the streets, they began telling everyone they saw about what had happened. And God allowed them to perform many miracles to show that their words were true.