So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Jesus meets again with His disciples. They have been wowed and amazed through these days of Him just showing up in locked rooms or cooking breakfast on a beach or walking the Emmaus Road. Jesus has been teaching them about the Kingdom. They have been told to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them – so maybe they are wondering about Joel 2 – that they might be the remnant that God has promised to bless and restore.
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh;… And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.
So it is not too surprising they might ask a few more “practical details” about how this next initiative is going to play out. (I’d want to know…especially if I had an inkling.)
Jesus didn’t say they were wrong. He just redirected their thinking.
He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed 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 and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
But you…This is what stands out to me. Let’s talk about you.
You will receive power. The Holy Spirit is the empowering source of anything that is to be accomplished in the Father’s plan. Don’t leave home without it. Remember He is the one who will tell you everything and remind you of what I have said.
Then, you will be [able to be] my witnesses. You will stand before your peers and tell of your personal experience with Me. (I wasn’t actually with Jesus like these guys, but I know how encountering Him has influenced my life. That’s what I’m supposed to tell…no more, no less.)
Where to? In Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and to then end of the earth…the ever widening circle of influence. In Jerusalem – the seat of religious thought and practice; Judea – the Jewish kingdom at large; Samaria – the half breeds and enemy of true religious practice; then end of the earth –everywhere and everybody! (While this is not surprising I do find it interesting that my testimony is equally important close up as it is in the extreme.)
And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
I bet they weren’t expecting that! Good thing there were those two men, angels, I’m sure, to explain something about getting used to this idea. In fact, this is a signature move. This is how Jesus rolls.
“Why do you stand here looking into heaven?” (The adage “one can be so heavenly minded they are no earthly good” comes to mind. There is work to be done. Not in my own strength or in the flesh. Not to build programs or monuments. And certainly not to be standing staring at the sky inside some holy bubble… It is to get out there and turn the light on.)
God has chosen to use those who believe to spread the Good News. Risky, huh?
It’s dark. Turn the Light on.
About the World?
There are no limits on God’s desire for all to hear.