Do you ever get confused about what your ministry should be as a follower of Jesus?
In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”
7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 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 ends of the earth.”
9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.
10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”
Christians can often get hung up about what they should be doing for Jesus. Some get hung up about what God’s will might be for their lives. We can become unsure of what to do and how to do it and that can lead to inertia or turn into simply doing nothing.
Maybe the first step is to remove any confusion about Jesus – who he is, what he has done and what his kingdom is about.
In Luke chapter 7 we see that John the Baptist was confused about Jesus – was he the ‘one’? Jesus answered him by saying that yes, he was God’s coming king but not a worldly sort of king. Today we jump ahead into this passage in Acts where we meet a similar questioning of Jesus.
I love the evidence this passage provides to help us trust in Jesus. Luke the careful evidence gatherer and narrator makes it clear that Jesus has indeed risen from the dead and that he stayed around for 40 days providing many proofs of his resurrected existence in this transformed body. He ate with his friends and even walked through closed doors (John 20:26). Paul adds extra weight by telling us in 1 Cor 15 that Jesus appeared to over 500 people at one time during this period.
But on one of these occasions – in verse 6 -Jesus is asked when he is going to restore the kingdom to Israel. It reminds me of John’s question of Jesus about his kingship. Jesus answers his disciples by telling them of their role in his kingdom work. They are to wait for the promised Holy Spirit who will baptise them and equip them for their part in this kingdom work. Jesus has already done the work of defeating the enemy at the cross. His kingdom has come and yet it is still coming and each of Jesus’ followers has a role to play. And that role is to be his witnesses to all that he is and all that he has done so that other might find their way home and join him in the kingdom.
So we need not be confused about our ministry in whatever shape it might take. We are to live our lives allowing the Spirit of God to grow his fruit in our lives as we share the things of Jesus – who he is and what he has done – with others.
Head: Do you get confused about the Kingdom of God – what sort of a kingdom it is?
Heart: What does it mean for your heart to be ruled by King Jesus as you live under his rule?
Hands: What might you do differently today having removed any confusion you might have had about Jesus as King and your role in the kingdom?
Dear Heavenly Father I thank you for Jesus and the path he took to bring in your kingdom and the way home he provided for me to be part of his kingdom family. I thank you for the evidence that Luke gathered to help us trust in Jesus, and to remove from our minds and heart uncertainty concerning the resurrection of Jesus and the implication that flows from that victorious event. Help each of us Father to show Jesus to others as we live our lives under Jesus’ rule.
A song to listen to: This is Amazing Grace
Tim Hewlett- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina