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.
- What was Jesus’ focus in this discussion?
- What was the disciples’ focus?
- What is your focus when you talk about the future?
- What do we learn our focus should be?
- What is our job?
- Since this was Jesus’ last conversation with the disciples, how would you rank this in importance?
- What will you do with this lesson?
Jesus has walked with his disciples for forty days after His resurrection. Time grows short. So He begins to give them a heads up about what will come next. But His followers are still focused on winning an earthly battle.
Israel longed to be restored; however, they wanted a physical restoration. They wanted the nation of Israel to look like it did during the days of King David. They longed for the glory days.
Jesus did come to restore; however, the Kingdom He brought was bigger and more magnificent than the glory days of David. The Kingdom of the Messiah is a Kingdom that lives within us. Jesus was trying to explain that to His followers when they interrupted Him.
Even with the interruption, Jesus gave us a brief commentary on the end times. So many people focus on the signs. Always looking for clues about the rapture, they focus more on Revelation that today. But basically, our Savior told us, “Don’t worry about that.” The end will come. We can’t change it. There’s no sense in trying to figure it out.
Instead, Jesus wants us to open ourselves up to His Spirit. Immediately after He clears up the priority of the physical Kingdom, He returns to the message He wants them to understand. He’s sending His Spirit, and He wants them to be ready.
Today, God wants us to be ready–not for the end times, but for His Spirit. He wants us to open His great gift and use the power that comes with that Spirit. And He wants us to use it to bring more people to Him. Jesus tells us to start in our own little corner of the world, then spread the word throughout the entire earth.
In my opinion, because this was the message Jesus saved for the day He rode a cloud into heaven, I believe it’s His most important sermon. So many people miss the promise of the Holy Spirit because they’re afraid, or they just don’t want to surrender. But when we keep the Spirit of Christ in the box, we miss the power of God.
I pray we’ll talk to Jesus about His gift and embrace it. Invite His Spirit to control your life so you can walk in His power and take the Gospel to Jerusalem, Samaria, and all over the world.