In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On 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 Then they gathered around him and 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.”
12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. 
What does it mean to restore the kingdom? The disciples asked Jesus shortly before His ascension whether He was “at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel.” This is often taken as an example of the cluelessness of the disciples, who were supposedly still looking for an earthly restoration of the kingdom of Israel, including the expulsion of the Romans.
But is this what they were asking about? In verse 3, Luke mentioned that Jesus had spend the last 40 days teaching them about the kingdom. Were they really that dense? Was Jesus such a poor teacher that they would still be so off in their understanding. I don’t think so. I think rather that what the disciples were looking for was rather the fulfillment of kingdom as Jesus had been teaching them. No doubt His teaching left them yearning for the fulfillment of the new creation. They were hoping for its consummation to come soon. Who could blame them?
Notice that Jesus doesn’t correct their longing, merely points to the fact that it is not for them (or us) to know the time when the fulfillment will come. But in the meantime, they were to engage in the kingdom work for which He had been preparing them. They were to rely on the Spirit’s power for the task of being His witnesses to the world.
This message is for us. We don’t know when Christ will reappear in glory, but we do know the kingdom task He has given us. Like the disciples, we are to rely on the Holy Spirit’s power and guidance as we live out our calling as witnesses.
Lord Jesus, send Your Holy Spirit to fill and lead me today, that I may live as a witness to You.
What is the Word leading you to pray about today?
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