Usually, sequels aren’t as good as the original. The book of the Acts of the Apostles could just as easily be called Jesus Part 2, but it’s a sequel that lives up to the original. In Acts, Jesus is still at work in the world, only he does his work through his people who are empowered by his Spirit. In Luke’s gospel, as Jesus engaged with his fellow Jewish countrymen, the action flowed from Galilee to Jerusalem. In Acts, the movement of the narrative flows from Jerusalem, into Judea, Samaria, and eventually the very ends of the Roman world. In fact, Acts wraps up with the Apostle Paul powerfully proclaiming the good news that Jesus is Lord right under the nose of the would-be-lord of the world, Emperor Nero, in the capital city of Rome.
Acts reminds us that though Jesus has ascended to the Father, he's still at work in our world. And as the gospel continues to spread to the ends of the earth, we’re reminded that Jesus Christ is Lord, even in those places where he’s not yet been named publicly as such. As Acts tells us in the first chapter, Jesus will return someday, just as he departed. And as Acts 17 reminds us, God is not far from anyone of us. He's placed us in the times and places of his choosing so that we might grope for him and find him. There's no greater freedom in this life than the freedom that comes through making Jesus our Lord and our Master. The latter part of the Christ-hymn in Philippians 2 says this: “God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” And I would echo John’s words from Revelation 22, “Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!” – Shay