Read: Acts 1:1-7
Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel? (v. 6)
Jesus’ preaching focused on the kingdom of God (Matt. 4:17). His mission was God’s mission: to bring the kingdom–God’s reign of shalom–to earth. God’s kingdom exists wherever Jesus is Lord. Jesus spent three years–plus forty days–talking to them about it, but the disciples still didn’t get it. “Lord,” they asked, “are you going to give the kingdom back to Israel now?” They still thought Jesus was a nationalistic Messiah, that his triumph over death was only good news for their own people. But Jesus’ victory spelled good news for all peoples everywhere.
Eventually the disciples would get it, and they came to understand these truths about the kingdom:
- It is universal in scope. The kingdom is being restored to Israel, but “Israel” now includes people from every nationality and race. Christ is the hope of all peoples.
- It comes through the work of the Holy Spirit who uses our witness to bring people to Christ.
- It is gradual in its growth. From those first believers in Jerusalem, the kingdom would slowly spread throughout the whole world. Wherever the church of Jesus Christ is growing, the kingdom is on the move. Wherever Christians are living out their faith in love and service the kingdom is coming.
- It is God’s to complete. He alone can bring it in fullness, and he will do so at the time he has set by his own authority.
Your kingdom come.