Acts 1:6-8: So when they had come together, they asked Him, “Lord, are You restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Lesson 1: Do not worry about when the Lord will do what He is going to do. He has the authority, we are His slaves. This sounds crass but the level of submission required as a Christ follower mirrors that of slave to master. It is a good thing we have a wonderful owner. We should not be preoccupied with end times prophecy and the day that He will return. A warning of God’s judgement to come is good, but excessive pursuit after knowing the details of His return is frivolous and ultimately not in our lane. It is going to happen. God knows when and how. We don’t. We won’t until it happens. Stop being anxious and declare the good need we do know! The disciples were very sad that Jesus was leaving and they wanted to know what He was going to do and when He would be coming back. He tells them not to worry about future events because knowing God’s timeline is not part of their authority. If they knew the details then they would share them with the world and obviously God did not feel they, or any of us, needed to know them–so we won’t. If anyone would have known the details about His future plans, it would have been His apostles because they were given “apostolic authority”. But, they were simply to go with the flow of God’s schedule and be His witnesses. They needed to refocus on their authority which was given to them–to share the good news (a privilege given only to His children).
Lesson 2: The apostles were men who had seen Jesus throughout his entire ministry, including after His resurrection. Acts 21-22 talks about how they chose the man who replaced Judas–specifically that He needed to be a man who was with Jesus from his baptism by John until that moment. These were apostles. Witnesses of Jesus Himself during His earthly ministry and after His resurrection. One caveat to this is Paul, who was not commissioned with the 12 during Jesus earthly ministry, but who was commissioned by Jesus directly when He appeared to Saul, later named Paul, on the road to Damascus.
Consider these 2 passages as well:
- Matthew 10:1-4
- Acts 9:26-27
- 1 Corinthians 15:1-9
When we evangelize today we bear the good news of the gospel. We bear witness to the soul saving power of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit that has saved our souls. We are not apostles today–we are Christians with other gifts. Reread the text and you’ll clearly see the qualifications of an apostle. We did not see the earthly Jesus, but we have been given His Holy Spirit. Some were given as apostles, and those apostles are gone. Other offices remain but this one does not…and IT’S OK!
Acts 1:21-23; 26 Therefore, from among the men who have accompanied us during the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— beginning from the baptism of John until the day He was taken up from us—from among these, it is necessary that one become a witness with us of His resurrection.” So they proposed two: Joseph, called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias…Then they cast lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias. So he was numbered with the 11 apostles.
Let us bear witness this year to Jesus whom has been revealed to us beginning with his apostles 2000 years ago and shared until this moment today!