Summary: Exhorts Christians to get to work for Jesus instead of just waiting and watching.
Why Stand Ye Gazing Up into Heaven?
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. (Acts 1:4)
For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. (Acts 1:5)
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? (Acts 1:6)
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. (Acts 1:7)
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. (Acts 1:8)
And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (Acts 1:9)
And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; (Acts 1:10)
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:11)
Jesus had prepared the disciples for His ascension into heaven.
He had given them instructions as to what they were to be doing after He ascended to heaven.
I think that we all know what verse 8 means. It was not just the apostles, Jesus was talking to.
He is also talking to all of His followers for all time. The scriptures are for us too, Amen!
Now why do you think the angels asked the question that they asked in verse 11? Why stand ye gazing up into heaven?
Was it because they were just awestruck?
I don’t think so, because they had seen so many miracles that Jesus had already performed.
I mean after all, He had already risen from the dead, how could His going up into heaven top that?
Was it because of the question they asked in verse 6—Did Jesus sort of leave them hanging?
Absolutely not, he had already settled the issue for them by telling them that it was not their concern—READ v. 7
Why the question in verse 11?
The implication here is they were focusing on the wrong thing. They were focusing on the sky.
Jesus was already out of sight. They were standing there gazing at the sky. The work that needed to be done, them being witnesses, needed to be the priority.
Not the fascination with the event.
Now the scripture doesn’t say that they were wrong for being awestruck.
But the implication is they were not focused on the work. Why else would two angels appear and ask them Why are you standing around?
Anybody’s boss ever ask them that question before?
They were not getting the job done. They were wasting time. They already had all the encouragement that they needed.
Jesus said that they would soon be baptized with the Holy Spirit. It is not encouragement that the angels came for.
Jesus had given explicit instructions and they were not being carried out.