Reading For Monday Acts 1:1-11
As Acts begins, Luke addresses a man named Theophilus explaining that the first treatise he had written was focused on Jesus actions leading up to the ascension. During the forty days between the resurrection and the ascension, Jesus taught the disciples, preparing for their mission and leadership in the early church. Jesus not only showed the disciples that he was alive, but he also offered many proofs. Jesus gave them the directive to stay in Jerusalem and to wait for the promise of God the Holy Spirit.
The disciples wondered if Jesus’ resurrection would immediately inaugurate God’s kingdom. The disciples were thinking in very narrow and nationalistic terms. He replaced their nationalistic concerns with a worldwide mission. They were to be concerned with witnessing rather than when the kingdom comes. Jesus explains that the power for the mission will come from God himself. Only Luke relates Jesus’ ascension, as he was taken up in a cloud from the disciples’ view. Two men in white were appeared and assured the disciples that Jesus would one day return on the clouds just as they had seen Him depart. The ascension meant their communion with the risen Christ had come to an end. Jesus would not join them in the upper room again. They accompany the departure with news of a certain return on the clouds of heaven, just as he departed this earth.
Things To Consider:
- Why is it significant that Jesus appeared to the disciples and remained with them for forty days?
- Why do you think he provided his followers with many proofs?
- Why would the disciples want to leave Jerusalem?
- Why is the promise of the Father so important?
- Why are the disciples so concerned with an immediate inauguration of the kingdom of God?
- Why is it essential to recognize where the power for witnessing comes from?
- What did the cloud represent? How do you know?
- Why do we need the reminder that Jesus is returning?