Huge thanks to Dave for the notes this week. I’m sure they have been a blessing to all who have read them and what great stuff we’ve been thinking of; Christ is risen, he has ascended and he is going to empower his people with the Holy Spirit! As we read a few days ago;
“What then should our reaction to this be? I propose that we follow the disciples example: “Then they worshiped him…and they stayed continually at the temple praising God”.
I think that about covers everythingl. Thanks Dave.
This is my last day writing these notes, hopefully you’ve found them helpful – I know I’ve been blessed in writing them! Anyway, today’s passage is here.
The Command: Why did Jesus want the disciples to wait before performing the ministry set out for them? This is God after all, if he wanted to fill them with the spirit now then he could have done it! It wouldn’t have made sense to them but God had a grander plan here. As we’ll see later in Acts when the spirit descends on the apostles it is during a major Jewish festival when Jerusalem was heaving with people from all over the middle east. And because of that, when Peter speaks 3000 people are saved. Make no mistake, God has a plan, it’s timings don’t always make sense to us but we need to accept it!
The Question: It is interesting to note that even now, the disciples are still very much not on the same page as Jesus. Their question “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” is not a silly one – remember that these are Jews who were waiting for a messiah that would remove the Roman rule, but shows that they’re not thinking on anywhere near a large enough scale. They want completion. It doesn’t sound to me like a group who are expecting to work for Jesus.
The Answer: So what does Jesus say in response? He puts them right by telling them to stop focusing on God’s job and to focus on the work he’s putting in front of them. I think that’s a message which we need to remind ourselves of! We have been given the Holy Spirit and a work to do, I suspect that we do not spend enough time focusing our prayers and thoughts on it. Notice as well that Jesus points out a flaw in their question here. They still think that Jesus’ kingdom is for the Jews whereas he tells them in no uncertain terms that they are going to be taking his message to the ends of the earth.
Are there questions that we have? Would it be fair to say that they are less important than doing the work that God has planned for us?
“Bend us, O Lord,
Where we are hard and cold,
In Your refiner’s fire
Come purify the gold.
Though suffering comes
And evil crouches near,
Still our living God
Is reigning, He is reigning here.”