Acts 1:6-7 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
I continue to marvel at our limited understanding and perception of the kingdom of God. It is painfully obvious that these soon to be apostles held a very narrow and nationalistic view of the kingdom. “Lord will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel”, in other words are we finally going to throw off the imperialistic rule of Rome. Are the glory days of our past independence and prosperity upon us? Truthfully, I have on more than one occasion looked through the same lens and seen only what my present circumstances would allow. Amazingly enough our conditioning can distort even divine revelation. Jesus the king of the Jews has ushered in not another religious system, but a literal kingdom. With such language how could they not be guided by some personal interpretation and application of the possibilities contained in the word kingdom. Jesus always enlarged the understanding of his disciples and this discourse was no exception. Immediately he firmly injects the sovereignty of God into the conversation. The total and complete authority of the Father is clearly stated. Jesus as the king of Kings would lay out the strategic expansion of this kingdom. Of course Israel would figure prominently in the plans and purposes of the Father. However, this kingdom would not be limited to just one tribe and just the mere mention of the Samaritans would display the incredible heart of our King. Paul’s testimony of the gospel in Rome would fulfill the “to the ends of the earth” statement made by Jesus. Yet we can see a broader interpretation and application being fulfilled as we continue the work of expanding the kingdom in our generation. Today, I am struck by how limited my understanding and perception can be regarding the Lord’s plans and purposes. Like the first century church I am in desperate need of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to lead me to a fuller understanding of truth. Not to mention the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill his plans and purposes in the earth. May His will be done and His kingdom come.