To the Ends of the Earth
by: Lee DeYoung
In these beginning verses of Acts, Luke sheds additional light on the concluding paragraph of his Gospel (Luke 24:50-53). In both accounts Luke records the risen Christ’s instructions to his disciples just before they saw him lifted up into heaven: “Repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed . . . to all nations beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:47-48). “You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem . . . and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Jesus already had accomplished his redemptive mission in his death and resurrection. At this momentous transition, he entrusted much of the remaining Kingdom-building task to his followers, who were to testify about what they had observed. Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit has been empowering Jesus’ disciples to bear witness everywhere—ranging from their respective back yards (“Jerusalem”), to those cross-culturally near (“Samaria”), to the far distant (“ends of the earth”).
Fulfillment of Jesus’ directive continues today. Words of Hope ministers with indigenous partners who are responding to our Lord’s command to witness throughout the world. In this series of devotional reflections, we’ll seek to connect the ever-widening proclamation of the saving Good News described in Acts with recent examples of fruitful outreach in some of the hardest places in our world.