The book of Acts begins with a brief but fascinating time in human history. The crucified Jesus, now resurrected, is walking the earth for a short 40 days. Nearing the end of this time, His disciples asked Jesus a question burning in their minds, “When will you restore the Kingdom to Israel.” Jesus reply, as always, is interesting.
Jesus answers, "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and to the uttermost parts of the earth."
Do you notice how Jesus shifts their attention? They are consumed with dates and timing. Jesus tells him that's above their paygrade, and quickly redirects their attention to contending for the power of God to come upon them. Why?
Jesus had already taught them the requirement for His return.
"This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt 24:14 NAS)
The disciples had their agenda, Jesus had His. They were concerned with the end, He was concerned with how to get there. He’d marked out the mission, He now planned to equip them to complete it.
Could it be the obsession with the study of end time events is simply man's replacement for the power of God and mission?
Many become preoccupied with charts and dates, trying to connect the dots between today's news and the Bible. But Jesus made it plain, our hearts are to be consumed with seeking Him for a fresh anointing to get the job done. Only then can He return.
His return will be the epic event of history. Before that can happen, the Gospel of the Kingdom must be preached to every people group. Jesus understood only a church walking in the power of God can get the job done.
When Jesus ascended into the heavens, the disciples stood, mouths open, watching the clouds close. Scripture says suddenly two men (undoubtedly angels) stood beside them asking, “Why do you stand gazing into heaven, this same Jesus who has gone into heaven will come back in the same way." The underlying message: He already told you He will return, now go and fulfill the last order. And that order was to wait on the Lord until they were clothed in power.
How are you doing on your assignment?