In Life Groups this past week, we had a great discussion on Acts 1:1-11. There is one section that I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. In Acts 1:6-8, the disciples ask Jesus a question about the future and what Jesus is going to do next.
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (CSB)
In the context of the question, the disciples have spent the last 3 ½ years with Jesus, listening to His teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven and seeing all the signs and miracles he did. Not only that, they just witnessed Jesus’ death and resurrection and have spent the last 40 days with the risen Jesus. And Jesus is teaching them more about the kingdom and what it looks like to be in the kingdom. This is the context of the question the disciples ask.
But Jesus’ response surprises them. Instead of saying yes or giving them when God’s kingdom will be brought, Jesus tells them you don’t need to know.
Instead, Jesus tells them to wait and that they are about to receive the Holy Spirit, and it will give them the power to be witnesses all over the world.
So, we learn a couple things from this passage.
The disciples still don’t understand everything Jesus has been teaching. That should be reassuring to us. These disciples who walked with Jesus and got to ask Him questions and lived with Jesus for three years still didn’t get it. However, they seem to end up getting it quickly once they receive the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is essential to be a witness for Jesus. Jesus tells the disciples to wait until they get the Holy Spirit. Why? Because it is only through the power of God that we can be a witness to the world of the good news of the gospel. We cannot do it on our own power.
Knowing when Jesus is going to return isn’t important. Living each day on mission for Jesus is. The disciples wanted to know the future, the exact way things were going to happen, they wanted Jesus to conquer the world and reign. But Jesus wanted His disciples to spread the news of the coming kingdom so that as many people as possible could be a part of the kingdom when He does return.
When I think about this, it hits me hard. I have to question my motives and thoughts. Am I focused on the future, and when Jesus is coming back? Things I have no control over. Or am I living each day on mission for Jesus? Am I wanting to see as many people as possible follow Jesus and be a part of His kingdom? As Jesus said throughout the Gospels, the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Am I living each day with the urgency that Jesus could come back tomorrow, and there would be billions of people who have never heard the name of Jesus?
Our mission matters, so let us live on mission this week!
For His Glory,