Summary: Tis sermon shows the value of focusing on the goal.
Why Stand ye Gazing?
These two men in white apparel said, ye men of Galilee, Galilee the home place where the men who follow Jesus lived, and they were commonly known by the name of Galileans.
These Galileans were the men who had follow Jesus in His earthly ministry listening to His teachings, and they ask Him saying, “Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” And now, they are watching their leader as He is taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
These two men in white apparel asked this important question, why stand you gazing? The disciples were feeling disappointed because Jesus is not going to restore the kingdom to Israel and now He is leaving. Jesus had often them that he would ascend to heaven, but they were not sure how soon he would appear again.
They wanted Him to remain, but He knew that it was important that he ascend. Jesus knew that if He did not go away, the Holy Spirit the comforter, the help mate would not come.
As they were gazing up into heaven, these two men in white apparel told them that this same Jesus shall come again in like manner as you see him go. A cloud received him as he ascended; this, I believe was designed to comfort the disciples.
Their master was taken from them, but He came as the comforter, to live in their hearts. He will come again with similar majesty and glory to vindicate his people, and to tread his enemies under his feet. This will happen after the rapture of the church when He returns with ten thousand of the saints to execute judgment, according to the book of Jude.
But now the followers of Jesus will return to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet which was a Sabbath day’s journey.
No longer gazing, they go to the upper room where Jesus had instructed them to go and wait for the promise of the Father. While in the upper room Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, the number were about an hundred and twenty.
Peter said, “Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spoke before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.” And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.
So Matthias with the chosen apostles and the mother of Jesus and other followers being about one hundred and twenty were waiting in the upper room as they had been instructed to do.
Joel prophesied concerning the upper room experience, “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will pour out my spirit.”
Joel spoke to Israel about the outward blessings; he also raises their minds to the expectation of a spiritual blessing, which brings about true restoration of God’s people. Isaiah chapter forty-four and verse three, “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; I will pour my spirit upon their seed, and my blessing upon your offspring’s.”
John records in chapter seven and beginning with verse thirty-seven where Jesus said, “If any man thirst let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.”
To the Galilean gazers this was soon to be fulfilled, as they waited in the upper room for the promise of the Father. This promise was not restricted to the first Pentecost, from Peter’s own words; “This promise not only unto you and to your children, but to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord God shall call.”
The Jews have been the seed men to the Church gathering out Jews and Gentiles. The first Gospel preachers were Jews from Jerusalem, and so the word spread from Jerusalem and all Judaea, and in Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the earth.
To all who are gazing, looking, and hungry this blessing is still available for it was promised to all that are afar off. This promise was given to the Jew first and also to the Gentile and to as many as the Lord God shall call.
Let me set the scene, it was a Sabbath, the last feast day of the year, and distinguished by remarkable ceremonies. This feast day broke forth with loud jubilation, particularly at the solemn moment when the priest poured water from the golden vessels on the alter from the stream Siloam which flowed under the temple from the mountain.