In these forty days between Jesus’ resurrection and ascension, the apostles continue to have questions for him. “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”(Acts 1:6). This may reflect a poor understanding of what the coming days will hold, but it also could mean that they are focused on the ultimate end and full consummation of the kingdom. Jesus does not correct their understanding, but redirects their attention: “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”(Acts 1:7-8). The time he wants them focused on is the soon-to-come descent of the Holy Spirit and their role as witnesses.
Suddenly this time of preparation and confirmation is over. “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”(Acts 1:9). Jesus is now gone, but not without the promise that he will return. Two angels appear and speak to the dumbfounded apostles, telling them that Jesus “will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven”(Acts 1:11).
The apostles will be witnesses. They have testimony to give about what they have seen and heard, particularly that they have seen Jesus alive again. Apostolic testimony is vital because this is how we know what we know about Jesus, his teachings, and the hope of eternal life he offers. The gospel has always relied on the strength of witnesses. We have not seen, yet we believe.
------------- One Thing to Think About: Do I find some things people say easier to believe than others? Why?
One Thing to Pray For: Confidence in the witness of the apostles
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