Scripture Acts 1:6-8
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
- “They” are the disciples who were with Jesus after his resurrection from the dead and before he left them
- Jesus doesn’t answer the question – perhaps because they are asking about something the Father is doing differently than they perceive?
- The Father’s authority is contrasted or set against the power they will receive to be Jesus’ witnesses
- They believe Jesus has the authority or power to restore the kingdom
In the wake of Jesus’ resurrection, it is interesting what Luke shows us is on their minds. The restoration of the kingdom to Israel. What some of them likely thought and sought in the days leading up to the crucifixion of Jesus. And Jesus’ conquering death doesn’t seem to have changed their course or their assumptions.
Me neither. I wonder how often I ask God the wrong questions. Even at my most vulnerable I am a frail creature who wants such little things and has such little expectation of God’s greatness and goodness and glory.
Jesus answers a different question here – as he often does, he answers a better question than the one they asked. You will be my witnesses, the heralds of a kingdom that will transcend the ancient political boundaries of Israel and the influence of the Davidic kings.
Today. Right now. The kingdom can be restored in the way Jesus suggests here it can. We have the power given the church at Pentecost not many days later. We have the power to herald a kingdom that can become reality today in the hearts of every person we meet. A kingdom of power and influence and earth-shaking possibilities!
Lord, today may I be your witness – in my family, in my church, in my neighborhood, to the farthest reaches of my relationships and beyond. May the power of Pentecost bring the kingdom anew and expand its territory in and through me. In the name of Jesus whose witness I am. Amen.