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Book of Acts, Chapter 1, Verses 6-8
Verse 6. “When they therefore were come together, (they came together on the Mount of Olives, just east of Jerusalem. At one time it was covered with olive trees. Jesus often came here to pray. Several important events took place on this mountain.) they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”
Verse 7. “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.”
Verse 8. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
Wilt thou restore the kingdom?
The way this is reported by Luke the apostles kept on asking, “Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” What time? The fulfillment of the promise of the Father! Like a child asking a question repeatedly becomes annoying.
Notice, Jesus did not say there wouldn’t be a restoration of the kingdom of Israel. He merely said the time of the establishment would not be revealed to them.
Nothing showcases the continued spiritual blindness of the disciples than this question they kept on asking the Lord.
They believed Him to be the Christ. As the Messiah or anointed one, they anticipated that He would establish the kingdom of God upon earth. But what they envisioned was this happening with the restoration of Israel’s sovereignty. The king was back. Now Israel would reign.
- Now Israel would defeat the hated Romans and become a world empire. They did not diminish the kingdom of God.
- They had their own ideas as to how that kingdom would come to be. As they saw, it establishing the kingdom of God had to start with Israel again being self-governing
This was envisioned by every Israelite. Because Israel is in a strategic location – particularly running north and south – many battles had been fought in Israel.
Through the years, Palestine had been ravaged by the invading armies of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome.
- It had been centuries since Israel had known true independence. The nation’s servitude led to much political intrigue. There was an influential group, something like a political party, known as “zealots” whose primary goal was to re-establish Israel to self-governance.
- Judas Iscariot is thought by many to have been a zealot.
- Whether one was as zealous as the party of zealots, the idea of restoration was certainly a common thought among the Israelites.
- If you can be resurrected from the dead.
- If angels stand alongside your empty tomb.
- We have seen you walk on water and turn water into wine.
- With such capabilities, what could all the strength of Rome have against you?
- Imagine them thinking and talking among themselves, ”You know that resurrection was a pretty neat trick, but I wonder when He is going to take care of the ‘main’ thing, the business of restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
- So, they asked Him and kept on asking, “Will you restore the Kingdom to Israel?”
- “Restoring the kingdom to Israel” never was Jesus’ business. The eleven misunderstood what business Jesus was in.
- Even worse, perhaps they thought they could use Jesus to their own ends.
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