The apostles obeyed Jesus' command to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit. Having done so they were empowered to lay the foundations from which Jesus' disciples could, ever after, live out the teaching of His earthly ministry in the power of the same Spirit. Luke has told us that his book is about the ongoing impact of Jesus' earthly ministry. What we have read so far concerns the first weeks and months after He left. The empowerment of the Holy Spirit showed itself in the life of His apostles and disciples. They became a bright light shining so Israel and Jewish descendents dispersed in various places could hear the good news. They received it with joy. There are inklings and hints in these first 6 chapters that the gospel was on the verge of spreading into gentile regions near and far. But first, the apostolic synagogue had to be set up. The work of the apostles commissioned by Jesus Himself meant Jerusalem was their initial base of operations. Jesus had told them to wait for the Spirit in Jerusalem from there they would be His witnesses "throughout Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth" (1:8).
We can discover something interesting by thinking about the phrase "to the end of the earth" - what does end mean? Was this the farthest land or was this about the last things? The word means 'extremity' and it can refer to space as well as time. So how did the apostles understand Jesus' command? Were they to always base their operations in Jerusalem and from there send out messengers to the ends of the earth? Or was this a command which required the apostles to take the good news to the farthest extremity? Or is it, perhaps, something else? It seems to be that it is Jesus' description of what happens when we, His disciples, take Him at His word. We discover that the good news is a message for all times and places. This was our Saviour's prophetic description of how we will live!
Luke describes the many surprises the Holy Spirit had for the growing community. The apostles led a well-respected synagogue which met at Solomon's Portico in the temple. The religious authorities opposed them bitterly. It is noteworthy that apart from references to Pilate, when Jesus' trial is mentioned, Luke does not say anything about the Roman authorities - the focus is on the Sanhedrin. After the lame man's healing, Peter and John were dragged before it. Later the High Priests and Sadducees imprisoned the twelve but an angel mysteriously freed them. That was just before the Council adopted Gamaliel's policy of "leaving them alone". Then Luke tells us how a problem in food distribution was solved, as a prelude to Stephen's arrest. A group including some from the Jewish community in Cyrene, Egypt, conspired to have Stephen executed for blasphemy.
In all this the main character in Luke's story, is the Holy Spirit Himself. He is always a few steps ahead preparing the way, encouraging the followers of Jesus to move on and take the good news with them wherever they go.