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Jesus is already king—tell others!

April 19, 2023
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Daily Scripture

Acts 1:6-11

6 As a result, those who had gathered together asked Jesus, “Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now?”
7 Jesus replied, “It isn’t for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
9 After Jesus said these things, as they were watching, he was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going away and as they were staring toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood next to them. 11 They said, “Galileans, why are you standing here, looking toward heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you saw him go into heaven.”

Daily Reflection & Prayer

The apostles asked, “Lord, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel NOW?” They still didn’t see that he already had. “In the resurrection (and the ascension), Jesus is indeed being enthroned as Israel’s Messiah and therefore king of the whole world…. The apostles are to go out as heralds, not of someone who may become king at some point in the future, but of the one already appointed and enthroned…. One day that kingdom will come, fully and finally. In the meantime, we have a job to do.” *

  • In verse 7, Jesus was clear that God’s authority (which Jesus shared—cf. e.g. Mark 1:22, Luke 5:24), and not us, sets the “times or seasons” (the “when” we are so curious about). God was going to give them power (Greek dunamis, root of “dynamite”) by being present as the Holy Spirit (hence the “wait” we studied yesterday—cf. Acts 1:4). What helps you remember that God’s authority and power must be the ultimate reason for everything we undertake as a church?
  • Jesus said God’s power activated God’s people. In God’s authority, Jesus sent them (and us) to “the end of the earth” as delegated witnesses to his kingship. “The Greek term… is found thirteen times in Acts, and the basic meaning is ‘one who testifies’…. The focus in ‘witness’ is speaking from personal experience.” ** In Emil Brunner’s words, “The church exists by mission as fire exists by burning.” *** In what ways are you gifted to join in the church’s God-given mission?

 

Prayer

Prayer: Lord Jesus, empower me to be more effective as a witness to Jesus who loves me, and who has saved me. Let my peace, purpose and passion draw others to Jesus. Amen.

GPS Insights

Shannon Starek

Shannon Starek

Shannon Starek serves as the Director of Discipleship at Resurrection Downtown. She loves to travel and has been to 49 states, 11 countries and lived in Vancouver, Canada for grad school! When not gallivanting all over the world, she lives in Liberty with her husband, Aaron, and two sons, Owen and Porter.

I have always been a morning person, but my current season of life has taken that a step further. One of my kids needs to wake up at 5:45 in the morning to get ready for school which has created a new rhythm in my life…I now see the sunrise most days. This typically happens with coffee in hand while stepping outside on our back deck that faces east. I do this most mornings, even in the cold, and see the beginning light of day.

I thought of this rhythm in my life as I read the Scripture from today. Even though we live in the reality that Jesus is already king, we are also looking forward to the day when he will come again. And that coming day will start just like every other day…with a sunrise. In the book of Luke 1:78 we hear Zechariah’s Song which says…

Through the heartfelt mercies of our God,
God’s Sunrise will break in upon us.  (The Message)

Did you catch it? The day doesn’t just begin with a sunrise, Jesus is the Sunrise. I have seen some gorgeous sunrises from my back deck, but I can’t fathom how amazing that day will be when Jesus is the morning sun. And yet here’s the thing that he reminded us of–“It isn’t for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has set by his own authority” (Acts 1:7).

I don’t know when that day will come, but I do know that this day has come. I woke up today and, if you are reading this, then you woke up today, too. So may we remember that God’s heartfelt mercies are new each day…whether we’ve seen the actual sunrise or not.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
References

* Wright, N.T., Acts for Everyone, Part One: Chapters 1-12 (The New Testament for Everyone) (p. 8-10). Westminster John Knox Press. Kindle Edition.
** Barclay M. Newman and Eugene A. Nida, A Handbook on The Acts of the Apostles. New York: United Bible Societies, 1972, p. 19.
*** Emil Brunner (1889-1966), The Word and the World, London: SCM Press, 1931, p. 11.