So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking Him, “Lord, has the time come for You to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”Acts 1:6-8
I drew your attention to the fact that the disciples didn’t just ask Jesus this one time (verse 6) but in fact, they kept asking Him the question. There is quite a possibility, as I told you in the last Gems, that they were lodging together and had the opportunity to ask over and over. Or if that were not the case, the question comes over and over throughout the gospels. Notice that the question has not just been repeated a number of times but is also set in the present tense. “Has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?” Notice the way other versions handle the question the disciples asked.
- (AMP) Lord, is this the time when You will reestablish the kingdom and restore it to Israel?
- (BBE) Lord, will you at this time give back the kingdom to Israel?
- (CEV) Lord, are you now going to give Israel its own king again?
- (ESV) Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?
- (GW) Lord, is this the time when you’re going to restore the kingdom to Israel?
- (LITV) Lord, do You restore the kingdom to Israel at this time?
- (MSG) Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?
- (NASB) Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
- (NLT) Lord, has the time come for You to free Israel and restore our kingdom?
- (YLT) Lord, dost thou at this time restore the reign to Israel?
This is such a short segment to cover such an important question. Why has it been dealt with so briefly? Clearly it is something that is in everybody’s minds and yet Jesus handles it so curtly. Why is that? What is it that they are all expecting? What do they mean by the “kingdom”? Why is it that Jesus says it is not for them to know? Pay careful attention to the variations in the translations. They all bring out some valid points.
Could it be that this is not new? Has Luke mentioned it before? Let’s look back.
- Luke 1:33 And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdom will never end!”
- Luke 4:43 But He replied, “I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.”
- Luke 6:20 Then Jesus turned to His disciples and said, “God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdom of God is yours.
- Luke 7:28 I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is!”
- Luke 8:1 Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took His twelve disciples with Him,
- Luke 8:10 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: ‘When they look, they won’t really see. When they hear, they won’t understand.’
- Luke 9:2 Then He sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
- Luke 9:11 But the crowds found out where He was going, and they followed Him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and He healed those who were sick.
- Luke 9:27 I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Kingdom of God.”
- Luke 9:60 But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
- Luke 9:62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
- Luke 10:9 Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdom of God is near you now.’
- Luke 10:11 ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdom of God is near!’
- Luke 11:2 Jesus said, “This is how you should pray: “Father, may Your name be kept holy. May Your Kingdom come soon.
- Luke 11:17 He knew their thoughts, so He said, “Any kingdom divided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart.
- Luke 11:18 You say I am empowered by Satan. But if Satan is divided and fighting against himself, how can his kingdom survive?
- Luke 11:20 But if I am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.
- Luke 11:52 “What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.”
- Luke 12:31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and He will give you everything you need.
- Luke 12:32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
- Luke 13:18 Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it?
- Luke 13:20 He also asked, “What else is the Kingdom of God like?
- Luke 13:24 “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.
- Luke 13:28 “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out.
- Luke 13:29 And people will come from all over the world—from east and west, north and south—to take their places in the Kingdom of God.
- Luke 14:15 Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, “What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdom of God!”
- Luke 16:16 “Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdom of God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in.
- Luke 17:20 One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, “When will the Kingdom of God come?” Jesus replied, “The Kingdom of God can’t be detected by visible signs.
- Luke 17:21 You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdom of God is already among you. ”
- Luke 18:16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, “Let the children come to Me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children.
- Luke 18:17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
- Luke 18:24 When Jesus saw this, He said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!
- Luke 18:25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
- Luke 18:29 “Yes,” Jesus replied, “and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God,
- Luke 19:11 The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because He was nearing Jerusalem, He told them a story to correct the impression that the Kingdom of God would begin right away.
- Luke 21:10 Then He added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.
- Luke 21:31 In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near.
- Luke 22:16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdom of God.”
- Luke 22:18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdom of God has come.”
- Luke 22:29 And just as My Father has granted Me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right
- Luke 22:30 to eat and drink at My table in My Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
- Luke 23:42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom.”
- Luke 23:51 but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdom of God to come.
Now let’s look at King:
- Luke 1:5 When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron.
- Luke 1:27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.
- Luke 2:4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.
- Luke 14:31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him?
- Luke 19:12 He said, “A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return.
- Luke 19:14 But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want him to be our king.’
- Luke 19:15 “After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what their profits were.
- Luke 19:17 “‘Well done!’ the king exclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’
- Luke 19:19 “‘Well done!’ the king said. ‘You will be governor over five cities.’
- Luke 19:22 “‘You wicked servant!’ the king roared. ‘Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I’m a hard man who takes what isn’t mine and harvests crops I didn’t plant,
- Luke 19:24 “Then, turning to the others standing nearby, the king ordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’
- Luke 19:26 “‘Yes,’ the king replied, ‘and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.
- Luke 19:27 And as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king—bring them in and execute them right here in front of me.'”
- Luke 19:38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the LORD! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”
- Luke 23:2 They began to state their case: “This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming He is the Messiah, a king.”
- Luke 23:3 So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “You have said it.”
- Luke 23:37 They called out to Him, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”
- Luke 23:38 A sign was fastened to the cross above Him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
Read through these verses to get an idea of Luke’s focus on the King and His Kingdom. I was surprised to see that Luke actually has more references to “kingdom” than Matthew does, spread over his two books. Matthew is renowned for his repetition of the Parables related to the Kingdom of God but Luke has more Kingdom focus than even Matthew. And that does not include other kingdom related words apart from “king” and “kingdom”.
Take time to gain an understanding of Luke’s records related to the kingdom and the king and we will discuss it in the next Gem.
If God TODAY answered every prayer you prayed LAST WEEK, would there be anyone new in the kingdom of God?Lee Strobel
God’s plan for enlarging His kingdom is so simple – one person telling another about the Savior. Yet we’re busy and full of excuses (when) someone’s eternal destiny is at stake.Charles Stanley
There is an irony to the fact Jesus told us to seek first the Kingdom of God, but in reality it is the last thing we seek.Ian Vail
Jesus is not saying, Make sure you pray a prayer of repentance, go to church, pay your tithe and wait for Me to come back. Ah, but what is He saying?Ian Vail