Acts 1On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." 6 So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?" 7 He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight. 10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 "Men of Galilee," they said, "why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven."
Jesus disciples wanted to know if he was going to restore the kingdom to Israel.
What do you suppose they are expecting?
They may have still thought that Jesus would set Israel free from Roman rule. Maybe he would lead Israel in a rebellion against the Roman Empire and rule Israel as their king?
Everyone would follow him now, he came back from the dead. Maybe.
But Jesus has something much better in mind. He tell them that they don't need to know times or dates, but to wait in Jerusalem until they receive power from on high. Jesus will establish his kingdom. BUt it's not an earthly one. And he will not do it himself.
He will give power to his disciples and many, many others, and through them his kingdom will be brought to earth, little bit, by little bit.
They work isn't done yet. But if you follow Jesus you can be part of bringing his kingdom, you can be one of the ones who redeems the earth by working with Jesus spirit in you.
The part when the spirit comes is actually the most exciting part. But like the disciples, we will have to wait until it comes.
This is the end of the Lent series. And the beginning of a weekly series for Pentecost. (I wrote it last year for Sunday school class.)
I would love some feed back from all 15 of you who actually read the whole thing. :) I welcome critiques. Also, sorry about the lack of pictures for the last several weeks. Maybe I'll get some up by next year. :)