After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He appeared to His disciples over a 40-day period. At one point, He appeared to more than 500 people. During that time, Jesus taught about the kingdom of God. Some of them wondered if Jesus was finally going to overthrow the Roman government and set up His kingdom on earth.
Jesus had a different plan for the disciples. He directed the Eleven to go to a mountain, where He appeared to them again. They worshiped Him, but some still doubted. (Matt. 28:17) On the mountain, Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission. He commanded His disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel, the good news about Him.
The Great Commission is not just for missionaries far from home. All believers are called to share the gospel with others, teach them to obey God’s commands, and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus finished His commission with a profound promise: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
Jesus told the disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they received the Father’s promise—the Holy Spirit. Those who repented of their sins and trusted in Jesus’ death and resurrection would be baptized by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would give them power to live holy lives and take the gospel to the ends of the earth. After Jesus told the disciples these things, Jesus was taken up into the sky—right in front of their eyes!
Jesus left earth and returned to heaven, but He did not leave us alone. Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to be with us and help us do God’s work—to teach people everywhere about Jesus so they will trust in Him as their Lord and Savior. One day, Jesus will return to make all things new and to rule as Lord over all.
FAMILY STARTING POINTS
- Babies and Toddlers
- Jesus told His friends to go and tell others about Him.
- The friends watched Jesus go up into heaven.
- Jesus will come back one day.
- The Holy Spirit helps us while we wait for Jesus.
- Jesus is alive in heaven.
- Jesus gave His disciples a mission.
- Where is Jesus now? Jesus is in heaven.
- Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission.
- Where is Jesus now? Jesus ascended to heaven where He is seated at the right hand of the Father.
UNIT KEY PASSAGE
- John 11:25
- “The Holy Spirit Came” (Acts 2)