It is interesting to look at the growth and development of the apostles and disciples of Jesus. They got the best teaching that anybody could get, and they got it from the Master, Jesus Himself. They were taught how to do their ministry and were commanded to heal the sick, cast out demons and clean the leapers. They practiced it and were excited!
After coming back to Jesus they evaluated their experiences with him and told him: “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name!” When they had failed to cast out the demon of a boy, and were disappointed, Jesus told them: “Because you have so little faith!” when they had their evaluation time.
But all the teaching of Jesus, his guidance and their practice, does not seems to really change the behavior of the disciples. They were still selfish, quarreling who were the greatest. When put to the test, Peter even swore that he never knew Jesus and all the disciple run their way when Jesus was caught. Even after his resurrection, they were afraid and locked the doors when they were gathered because of fear. When Jesus appeared to them, the Bible tells us “some of them doubted”. To this “weak” group of men, Jesus declared: “Go and make disciples of all nations!”
But he added something! He told them to hold on and wait. "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised!” he said once, and another time: “stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high." Jesus understood that more than 3 years of teaching, training and practice were not enough. There was something else that should transform them as persons – The infilling and power of The Holy Spirit!
The Power of The Holy Spirit changed and transformed the disciples of Jesus from fearful, weak and doubting people to fearless, brave and powerful witnesses of Jesus. You could hardly recognize them, and people thought they were drunk! Even the scared Peter stood before the masses and proclaimed: “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ." After they had been punished, beaten and tortured they came back to the church and prayed: “Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus." They did not ask to be delivered from their difficulties or wisdom to escape their threats, but asked for boldness to preach more!
It is the Power of The Holy Spirit that transforms! Paul explains in Rom. 8; 2: “Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” We often believes that if we study more, go to a Bible School, learn the Bible, then we will get our life in order. It did not work for the disciples of Jesus, and it does not work for people today. People need to be born again and filled with The Holy Spirit – not just once, but daily! It is not bad with Bible Schools, teaching, attending meetings and learning, but being transformed to Gods standards is not possible in ourselves! We need Jesus to be born in us by His Holy Spirit and He transforms us. I do realize that we in the Christian world have one great need: Experience the Power of Pentecost – the Power that changed and empowered the disciples of Jesus! Give up yourself and drink The Holy Spirit that God has given! Release His power in your life and experience the transformation that the disciples of Jesus experienced.