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January 17 I Tuesday

Genesis 41-42

Matthew 12:1-23

 

 

“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day He was taken up to heaven…”    —Acts 1:1-2

 

When Jesus ascended to His Father, He sent His Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost to a new body, which is called the Church. The same Jesus Christ that lived in one single body now lives in this corporate body.

       How does this all make sense? Luke writes, “In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day He was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen” (Acts 1:1-2). The former book is the Gospel of Luke, which recorded all that Jesus began to do and teach. The implication is that this second volume is a record of all that the same Jesus continued to do and teach, not in one place, one location or one body, but through the Church, the corporate body that spreads around the world. In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ is expressing Himself and doing His work through the body.

       Our hands and feet are considered part of our body for one reason alone—our life is in it. We are part of the body of Christ because His life is in us and we have become His body. Every single individual who comes into relationship with Jesus Christ receives the Spirit and is baptized by the Spirit into the body of Christ. Paul tells us, “For we were all baptised by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. And so the body is not made up of one part but of many” (1 Corinthians 12:13-14). Through the Church, Jesus has hands with which He can work, feet with which He can walk, eyes to look with, ears to hear with and a heart to love with; He now indwells them and they are His body.

       In the middle of the book of Acts, Luke writes, “From Attalia [Paul and Barnabas] sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles” (Acts 14:26-27). In the missionary report that Paul and Barnabas gave, they did not credit themselves for the work accomplished but acknowledged that God was the One doing it. Through the Spirit, we are the hands and feet of Jesus to this broken and lost world to share the good news and continue His work of doing and teaching.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for Your Spirit in me that allows me to be Your hands and feet. Use me mightily for Your kingdom work and may You get all the glory. Amen!


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