The Gift of God: You Are Witnesses

When I was a senior on my high school track team, our coach came up with this theme for the season: “U Inspired?” The “U” represented my school, Urbandale, and also the pronoun “you,” to indicate that each of us should be inspired. The idea was that we would run faster, jump better, and throw farther if we found inspiration.

In Luke 24, Jesus unexpectedly appeared to his disciples. At first, they were afraid, because they “thought they saw a spirit” (verse 37). To calm them down, Jesus showed them his hands and side and ate something in their presence. After they were reassured, Jesus spoke to them.

“’These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.’ Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of all these things.’” (verses 44-48).

Jesus knew that his disciples needed inspiration, too. They were frightened by his death and unsure about his resurrection. So he appeared to them in the flesh, showing them that he was real, and explained to them the details of his plan. That gave them the foundation they needed, but there was something else they needed still.

“And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high” (verse 49). Jesus had one final gift for his disciples: the Holy Spirit, the inspiration like no other. He didn’t want them to start their ministry as witnesses until they had received the Spirit.

We, too, are witnesses. We have been taught the Scriptures and given the Holy Spirit in our baptisms. With this inspiration from Christ, we can run faster, jump better, and throw farther – we can fulfill the ministry we have been given. What is your ministry? What is God inspiring you to do? Whatever it is, as you do it, keep in mind your inspiration. You are not alone.