The ministry of Jesus continues. Jesus Christ walked the planet 2,000 years ago revealing the heart of His Father. He preached, taught, healed and pushed back the kingdom of darkness — and he opened the way for people to enter God’s Kingdom and become a part of God’s family.
Jesus came to bring forgiveness, restoration and reconciliation with God and with others. Having risen from the dead, he eventually ascended back into heaven and left His ministry in the hands of his followers. He told them, “As the Father sent me, so I am sending you” (John 20:21). Then Jesus breathed on them and then said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
After returning to heaven, Jesus filled the disciples with the Spirit of God in fullness and power on the day of Pentecost. The ministry of Jesus was far from over. His ministry was entering in a whole new phase through his people who would be his hands and his feet, and his voice to call men and women back to God.
I am sure the disciples had a hard time watching Jesus leave them to return to heaven. What could be better than having Jesus right next to us live in the flesh. Jesus, however, believed it was much better that He go away and back to heaven. Jesus said that if He left, He would send another Helper, the Holy Spirit to come in his place. He promised the Spirit would not just be with them, but would actually live in them (John 14:15-17). He told them it was to their advantage for the Holy Spirit to come in his place.
When Jesus walked the earth, he was limited to a human body. He could only be in one place at a time. He could not be in Bethany at the same time he was in Jerusalem. He couldn’t have been in Ludowici at the same time he was in Brunswick. He would only be able to visit one church at a time on Sunday morning. Can you imagine the waiting list to get Jesus to come do ministry at your particular church gathering on a Sunday morning? Jesus didn’t want to remain isolated to one place on the planet at a time.
Through the presence of the Holy Spirit, Jesus could make himself known to many people at the same time. The Holy Spirit gives us unlimited access to Jesus wherever we may be, whatever time of day, whenever we may need Him. Jesus can now be present at churches here in Glynn County at the same time on Sunday morning, and yet also be present halfway around the world, or across the country. Jesus can be present with the sick and hurting in the hospital and at the same time make himself known to the prisoner seeking to turn his life around.
The Holy Spirit lives inside of us so the presence of Jesus could be with and in us, but also that the ministry of Jesus could continue through us. The book of Acts says, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Jesus changed the hearts of his followers so they might change the world in His name and by His power. And the ministry of Jesus continues today. The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God is not something to be kept inside to ourselves. It is a seed that must continue to spread and be planted. It is a gift that must continue to be shared. It is a life that must continue to give life to those around us. Jesus still changes lives. His ministry continues, but he is looking for people who are available to continue the work of God on this planet. Have you said yes? Will you say yes? And that’s the Word.
The Rev. David Yarborough is pastor of St. Simons Community Church. Contact him at email@example.com or 634-2960.