We like to know what is going to happen.
We want to know what tomorrow, or next week, or next month will bring.
We want the blueprints drawn up, laid out, and specific. “Inquiring minds want to know.”
Jesus’ disciples in the first chapter of Acts were no different. Jesus had been seen of them multiple times since the resurrection, and while that was wonderful, life was not what it had been before His crucifixion. The time was filled with waiting, with expectation, and they wanted to understand what was going to happen.
Now, they were with Jesus for their last time together before Jesus ascended into Heaven. Jesus had just told them to wait for the promise of the Father and given them a glimpse of what they would accomplish (Acts 1:4-5). They had a question.
Verse six is a simple yes or no question, and it seems reasonable that Jesus would have responded with a direct answer. After all these were the men to whom He was entrusting His mission, His message – men who had walked with Him and fellowshipped with Him. They would end up giving their physical lives for Him.
Acts 1:6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of Him, saying, Lord, wilt Thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”
This sounds like a question we would ask. “Lord, are You planning to return this year?” “Lord, will my family, or my finances, or my health, be okay?” “Lord, who is going to lead our country?” “Lord, when will this virus end?” Just like the disciples, we want to know.
But Jesus didn’t give them a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. Instead, He told them that they did not need to know. He told them the answer was in God’s hands.
Acts 1:7 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.
There are some questions that will not be answered for us in this life. We may plead to know the outcome. We may rebel when God seems silent. We may figuratively beat our fists against the door of Heaven, but there are some answers that will remain beyond our capacity to know, some questions that will remain unanswered. We must simply (though we don’t always see it as simple) trust the fact that God knows. He is always working His plan. The answers are in His power and under His control.
Jesus didn’t stop with verse seven, though.
Verse eight begins with a ‘but’, and ‘buts’ are important to notice in scripture.
Acts 1:8 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 Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
What Jesus did tell the disciples, what He did promise them, was power to complete the task that He had set for them. He would give them what they needed – to do what He called them to do.
It was God’s job to know and their job to go.
Just like us.
There are many, many things that our human minds may not see or understand clearly, but God has given us, and will give us, what we need to complete the tasks that He has for us to do. As we follow Him, He empowers us to take the next step and do the next thing.
We can rant and worry about what we do not understand,
or we can be obedient to what He has called us to do – serving, loving, telling, obeying, helping, praying, studying, doing right, living.
God knows, so we can go.
I Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
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