Jesus called his followers to be his witnesses in Jerusalem, in Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. The church in Antioch became the launching point for the final phase of this commission, as the Spirit leads them to send key leaders to carry the good news farther into the world.
Luke wrote his gospel in order to give his readers certainty as he described Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. But that was just the beginning of this new era of history. As he starts his second book, the book of Acts, he describes what Jesus continues to do in the world. Now the story follows the reconstituted people of God, the church, those gathered and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be Jesus’ witnesses in the world.
At first, this new movement spreads through Jerusalem like wildfire, accompanied by undeniable power and contagious love. More and more people are finding their place in this new Way of Jesus, as the Spirit grabs hold of some of the most unlikely people. But these early chapters of the new story God is writing are not without opposition and struggle. These gospel-bearing people are scattered like seeds to the wind, as the Spirit blows them over barriers they were reluctant or unable to cross on their own.