So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied “it is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:6-8
Jesus told the disciples that they were to be witnesses about the good news of salvation. The duty of a witness is to tell what they have experienced and seen. In a court of law, on TV commercials and in our churches we look to witnesses to tell us their personal story in order to make a decision. We want a faithful witness that we can trust.
When I am buying a car I always ask my mechanic, who day in and day out works on cars, what he has experienced in the repair shop with various brands of cars. His experience is the key to his credibility. Jesus’ disciples were credible witnesses because they had first-hand proof of the resurrection. Jesus called on his disciples to simply tell what they had seen and heard.
Jesus wants us to do the same. Christians, you have experienced the power of Jesus’ forgiveness and his Spirit that dwells in you for victorious living. That is what we need to share with people! So where are we to witness? Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the earth!
The disciples happened to be in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ Ascension and prior to the day of Pentecost. This was strategic because soon many visitors from other countries would be coming to Jerusalem for the Pentecost celebration of the Jews. The disciples themselves were from Galilee. Some interpret the use of “Jerusalem” to mean to witness at home first. Galilee is not mentioned. Jerusalem is where the most work can be done for evangelism.