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  The Great Bible Story #116
Jesus ascends to heaven

Jacob Ninan
After God raised Jesus from the dead, He was on earth for forty days, during which time He taught them many things from the scriptures, especially the things concerning Him and what they should do to be witnesses for Him. On one occasion He appeared to a group of five hundred disciples at one time.

One night Peter felt he should go back to fishing, and some of the other fishermen disciples went along with him. But even though they struggled all night in the Sea of Galilee, they couldn't catch any fish. Early morning Jesus stood on the shore and asked them if they had any fish. They didn't recognise Him and they replied they didn't have any. Then He told them that if they cast their net on the right side they would get a catch. They tried that, and the net caught so much fish they were unable to pull it up! Then someone said it was Jesus! Immediately Peter jumped into the water and swam to the shore to meet Him. The others brought the boat ashore and got down with the fish.

They saw Jesus already had a fire going with some fish on it. He asked them to also bring some fish they had caught, and they had a great breakfast.

After this Jesus took Peter aside and asked him if he really loved Him more that everything and everyone else. Peter said he did, but Jesus repeated the question twice more. Peter was conscious of the fact that he had denied Him, and finally all his bravado was gone. He was now willing to surrender himself to His lordship.

Jesus told Peter that when he became old, someone else would stretch out his hands and take him where he didn't want to go. One implication was about how he would be put to death on the cross for His sake. At this point Peter saw John and asked Jesus what would happen to him. Jesus told him not to worry about that but to leave that to God. Peter's responsibility was only to complete God's task for his own life.

When it was getting near to the time Jesus was going to be taken up to heaven He reminded them about His promise to baptise them in the Holy Spirit. He told them to wait in Jerusalem till it happened, and then to go everywhere and help people to become His disciples. He would give them the power and strength they needed for this, and He would also be with them all the time.

Finally they went up the Mount of Olives, and as they watched, Jesus was taken up from them and disappeared into the sky. An angel told them the one day He would come back to earth in the same way.

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Comfort & Counsel