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Summary: "All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me." It was, probably, this announcement that led to the inquiry which Luke mentions next. Being informed that all authority is now given to him, the disciples expected to see him begin to exercise it.

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May 6, 2013

By: Tom Lowe

Title: The Re-orientation to the Program

Scripture: Acts 1.6-8

Acts 1.6-8 (KJV)

6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

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.

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.

Introduction

We are informed by Matthew that Jesus prefaced the Great Commission by announcing, "All authority in heaven and on earth is given to me." It was, probably, this announcement that led to the inquiry which Luke mentions next. Being informed that all authority is now given to him, the disciples expected to see him begin to exercise it in the way they had long anticipated.

Commentary

6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?

Paul wrote, “When they therefore were come together” to make it clear that ALL the apostles were present when this question was asked, so that we may know that it did not come from only one or two of them, but that they all wanted to know about the state of the kingdom. It may cause us to wonder why they appear so ignorant of the subject, when they have been diligently instructed by the Lord for more than three years; it’s as if they never heard a word. The question they put to Jesus was, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? There are as many errors in this question as words, but it does contain two interesting facts: First, that the apostles still had a misconception of the nature of Christ's kingdom; second, that the kingdom was not yet established. Both these facts deserve some attention at this point, especially the latter.

Their misconceptions consisted in the expectation that Christ would re-establish the earthly kingdom of Israel, and restore it to its ancient glory, under His own personal reign. In His reply, the Savior does not attempt to correct this misconception, but leaves it up to the enlightenment that was to be provided by the Holy Spirit.

The expression "kingdom of heaven" is used only by Matthew. In the places where he uses this expression, the other three Gospel writers say "kingdom of God." This fact shows that the two expressions are equivalent. Explaining the former by the latter, we conclude that the "kingdom of heaven" is not heaven, but simply a kingdom of God, without regard to locality. This kingdom is also called by Christ his own, as the Son of man; since he says, "There are some standing here who shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom." (Matthew 16:28). The Apostle Paul also speaks of the "kingdom of God's dear Son," (Colossians 1:13); and He also says, "He must reign till he has put all enemies under his feet" (1 Corinthians 15:25).


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