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Book of Acts, Chapter 1, Verses 1-2 (continued)

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 Book of Acts, Chapter 1, Verses 1-2

 Acts 1:1 KJV. The former treatise (The same Greek word used in John 1:1, “In the beginning was the word and the word with God and the word was God.” The word is “logos” meaning a discourse) have I made, O Theophilus (lover of God), of all (many, or “the principle portion”) that Jesus began both to do and teach,

Acts 1:2 KJV. Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:”

To do and teach . . .

In Luke’s gospel the first public ministry of Jesus was in Nazareth (Luke 4:14-18). Jesus had returned from fasting and being tempted by Satan. He came to Nazareth in “the power of the spirit.”

In the synagogue, he began with reading from Isaiah, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because . . .” Jesus reading that passage and saying the passage was now fulfilled was not received well. An angry crowd thrust this thirty-year-old man out of the city in which Mary and Joseph had reared Him. From a secular vantage point, Jesus first public ministry was not a rousing success.

In Capernaum, thirty miles away, the outcome was different. There were miracles of healing. Jesus had an audience that wanted to hear what He had to say. The people of Capernaum wanted Jesus to stay among them.

These two experiences, in Nazareth and Capernaum, were the first of Jesus’ “teaching and doing” that Theophilus would have read about. The rest of Luke’s gospel expanded on these first experiences. Theophilus read of more things Jesus taught and did. Luke’s message is focused until Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. Following the resurrection, the resurrected Jesus spent time with his followers.

A summary of the gospel of Luke:

What Jesus taught and did
The gospel
Final instructions to His followers

 

Acts begins by being spliced into the experiences recorded in Luke 24. Two pieces of rope are tied together. Luke 24 is the end of what was first communicated to Theophilus. Acts 1 provides additional details to events recorded in Luke 24; so, Acts begins by connecting the future with the past. Going forward the story continued with similar accomplishments in the book of Acts.

Luke records Jesus miracle of healing people in Capernaum. Acts 3 reports a lame man being healed.

Luke 4:33-37 reports Jesus casting the unclean spirit out of people in Capernaum

Acts 6:18 tells of a woman from whom an unclean spirit is expelled.

In Acts, we find the believers performing miracles but attributing the cause to Jesus Christ (Acts 3:6, 4:10, 9:34). In the gospel bearing his name, Luke introduced Theophilus to what Jesus began to do and teach. In Acts, the apostles also do and teach. Both their message and action were directed and powered by the spirit of Christ.

Responsibility to Do and Teach

Jesus was both a “doer” and a “teacher.”  Teaching without action is philosophy. Those who “do” without having instruction usually end up taking that is unfocused or do things the hardest way possible. As leaders we must “do” and “teach.”

We should also follow Jesus example and prepare others to both “do” and “teach.” 

Doing and teaching are distinct but merge in Jesus Christ. They should merge in all who are Christians. We can theorize and wax philosophical to little accomplish.  Few great churches are built without teaching; none whose impact lasts for multiple generations.  We need to be hungry to learn how to teach and to ourselves be trained.

 

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