Summary: We often seek kingdoms based on power, wealth, and fame; however, Christians should seek the kingdom of God, which is based on love.
"In Search Of A Kingdom" -Acts 1:1-12
Rev. A.L. Torrence
Pastor of the Cross of Life Lutheran Church
In our text, we see a group of Galileans searching for a kingdom and the power that goes along with it. They asked the question, "Lord is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?" As Israelites, they still held on to that promise that one day God would make his people a great nation. The disciples hoped for the day when their oppressors would be conquered and their enemies defeated. And they concluded that Jesus had the power to give it to them. They have seen Jesus healed the sick, restored sight to the blind, raise the dead, calm the stormy seas, and even escaped the cold grip of the grave. They have seen the resurrected Christ with all power in heaven and earth. The disciples knew that if anyone had unlimited power to make them into an invincible people that could conquer the nations of the world, it was Jesus. And after all, Jesus promised them a kingdom saying, "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God," and "I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my father has appointed unto me." Jesus constantly talked about receiving the kingdom of God. So, they knew they were to receive the promised. It was their hope and expectation. This kingdom would make them somebody. They would no longer be a group of misfits but they would be great. Their nation would no longer be enslaved, exploited, used and abused. The disciples were in search of a kingdom. They were fed up with their mediocre living as poor fishermen with no voice in the mainstream of society. They wanted a kingdom based on power, wealth and fame.
Like them, we also seek our kingdoms. The world is filled with those seeking to raise up mighty kingdoms. The search is on for financial empires. We see many like Donald Trump and Bill Gates seeking a kingdom through corporate takeovers, mergers, and buyouts. Many are striving to make six figured salaries either by working for ATT, Bell Atlantic or the local drug dealer. We all want to own the title and deed to a home in the suburbs while taking Sunday drives in a Mercedes or Cadillac. We work over-time and brown nose our bosses for job promotions and keys to the executive washroom. Others just play the lottery hoping to win the big one.
The search is on for political kingdoms. The war in Yugoslavia is over political kingdoms. Sierra Leone, Liberia, and other countries suffer from military upheavals due to the search for political kingdoms. The dirty politics in congress from white water to zipper gate was due to a battle over the political kingdom. Even in the church, we strive for political power. We all strive for position and influence where we boast about being kappa’s, deltas, and masons. We desire to have our voice heard on the Boards and standing committees. We like sitting in own pew where we can look important. We like seeing our names printed in the bulletins or having pastor call our name from the pulpit. We like to think that since we give our tithes, we should be able to tell the pastor when to jump and how high. We too have a hunger for political kingdoms in the church.
Even the best of us preachers seek ecclesiastical kingdoms. We envision having a large church overflowing with members in the pews and money in the bank. We want a dynamic worship service with large choirs and talented musicians. I would love to have standing room only bible studies and Sunday school classes.
We seek our kingdoms. Some of us pursue fairy tales kingdoms where, the husband can be king of his castle and the wife protected by her brave knight in shiny armor. Many of us men seek to have a harem of concubines where we can have a woman every night, like King Solomon. While some of our women are still going around kissing frogs and even sleeping with toads hoping to turn one of them into their prince. The search is on for a kingdom and if the truth be told, when we pray “thy kingdom come, thy will be done” we are hoping that God wills us a kingdom.
That's what going on in our text. We have a group of no bodies seeking to become somebody. Sinners and Galileans seeking silver and gold; fishermen trying to become aristocrats; preachers seeking be politicians. But, Jesus was offering them something better. For three years of his ministry, and forty days after his resurrection, Jesus tried to open their minds to the treasures of heaven; yet, their eyes could only see the wealth of the world. Jesus wanted to show them the glory of the Father, but they wanted to glorify themselves. They were asking Jesus, “When will you restore the kingdom to Israel?” When will we become somebody? When will we overcome?