Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
– Acts 1:4-11
Today’s passage picks up where we left off the day before yesterday – with Luke’s report that Jesus spent forty days between His resurrection and ascension appearing to His disciples. Yesterday, we read about one of His appearances to the twelve and especially to Thomas.
If the only verse in the Bible referring to the Second Coming was the one at the end of this passage, I might think Jesus was returning to earth in the same bodily form in which He left it. However, it’s clear from the many other passages on the subject that Jesus’ return was to be filled with glory beyond measure.
What the angels are therefore saying is that just as staring at heaven would not allow the disciples to see Jesus “sit down at the right hand of God” (the fulfillment of Psalm 110:1), neither would it allow them to see Jesus “coming in the clouds” (the fulfillment of Daniel 7:13). The disciples were to, instead, focus on bearing witness to what they had seen and heard.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord, thank You for the faithful witnesses You gave us..(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)