God’s kingdom agenda
By: Ysrael De la Cruz
If you had the chance to ask Jesus one question, what would it be? During his earthly ministry he was asked so many different questions by secular people and by his own disciples. Can you name one of the questions Jesus was asked during his ministry?
Why do we ask questions? To seek knowledge and understanding; to test someone’s knowledge; to make someone stumble in his words.
With everything that is going on in our world today, wouldn’t you want to know what God’s agenda in all this?
It was about 40 days after Jesus rose from the dead that the disciples asked Jesus a very important question. The resurrection brought all their hopes and dreams back. It was as if their messianic hopes came alive.
“Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” This was the apostles’ question to Jesus.
“At this time” What is this time? Jesus had given them instructions to stay in the city until they were empowered by the Holy Spirit. (v.4-5). The apostles thought being baptized or empowered by the Spirit meant also the restoration of the kingdom of Israel.
If Jesus is the Messiah, then he knows when the restoration of the kingdom of Israel will take place. The apostles were waiting for the kingdom of Israel to be established through the Messiah. They wanted to know God’s agenda in terms of the kingdom. Will you do it then?
This was truly what was in the minds of the apostles; they expected the redemption of Israel to take place in their lifetime.
Jesus’ answer (v.7)
It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority.
Times (chronos) Time in sequence. Seasons (time, occasion, opportune time)
God has a fixed time for this event to take place and the apostles will not know. You are I don’t know when this event will take place. We do not know the hour or the day, or season, only God.
Jesus said to them, it is not for you to know when God will restore the kingdom to Israel. It is not for us to know when Jesus will come back.
Throughout history there have been preachers attempting to figure out when Jesus will come back. Someone wrote a book entitled the “Jerusalem countdown” John Hagee. Wikipedia: a book written in 2006 by American pastor John Hagee which interprets the Bible to claim that Russia and several Islamic nations will invade Israel and will be destroyed by God. This will cause the Antichrist, the head of the European Union, to create a confrontation over Israel between China and the West. A final battle between East and West at Armageddon will then precipitate the Second Coming of Christ. Looking at the events surrounding Israel and then trying to predict events such as the rise of the antichrist and the battle of Armageddon.
Jesus said it is not for us to know the time and season God has fixed by his own authority. It is not our job to figure out events and attempt to interpret wars or political conflicts. We will still be clueless as to when God decides to establish his kingdom. These attempts in trying to find out when the Messiah will redeem Israel only get us distracted from God’s mission in the world.
v.8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.
Your job is not to know when Christ will come and when things will take place in Israel. Your job is to be my witnesses where you are and where life takes you.
Jesus called his followers to be his witnesses: (Someone who testifies about what they have seen or heard about Jesus)
Jesus called his people to represent him, to be his living testimony in the world. They would start in Jerusalem (their home), all Judea (their state), Samaria (other country), even the ends of the earth. This mission is global (where you find yourself, be my representatives).
This is the job Jesus left for his followers and it is our job today, as we wait for his return. We are to tell others about Jesus. We are to be living testimonies of what Jesus has done for us and of who Jesus is.
This is God’s kingdom agenda now, to be his representatives in this world; to recruit others to become followers of Jesus. Jesus doesn’t want us to be distracted concerning dates, or events such as wars or pestilence. These things will continue to happen until the day Jesus comes again. We must not get distracted and so neglect our Christ-given mission. We are Jesus’ missionaries in the world.