Hey all – we’re going to start a new series this Sunday in the Book of Acts! I’m pretty stoked about it and I think we’ll all be challenged and encouraged by this glimpse into the early church.
Acts is the second part of a two volume set that Luke wrote – Luke’s gospel and the sequel: Acts. (Nowadays it would have been titled “Jesus II: Global Conquest”)
This week we’ll begin by reading the first 11 verses of chapter one. It’s sort of Luke’s introduction and a segue between the conclusion of the Gospel accounts and the inauguration of the Church.
In v1 Luke says something very important about what he recorded of Jesus’ ministry. He wrote about what Jesus began to do and teach. What does that word imply to you?
This was Luke’s heading – as if to say, the rest of that ministry is in this account.
V2-5 inform us about what was inspiring to the disciples at that time. What does Luke highlight – and what kind of impact do you imagine that would have on Jesus’ followers? What impact, if any, does it have on you now, as a reader of this account from 2,000 years ago?
V6-8 reveals a bit of confusion on the disciple’s part. What were they expecting the kingdom of God to look like and how did they expect it to be established? Where did they have God’s kingdom localized? In what way does Jesus redirect their understanding of the “kingdom project”?
I find v9-11 to be delightful. Apart from the amazing theology wrapped up in the ascension – I love how Jesus’ disciples just stand there staring into space after he’s gone. That’s so wonderfully flawed yet so relatable! I often try to imagine myself on the mountain that day, wondering what I would have thought, if I’d start to question my perception of reality. For them, it’s the very last place they’ve seen Jesus at work…and they are apparently reluctant to move on. Do you discern a message in that, and in what the angels (or very clean dudes in white) say to them? In what ways might we be tempted to stand still, staring at something in the past, instead of moving forward into life as we wait for Christ to return? Can you think of ways that the church in general has made that mistake? How can we avoid it in the future?
This should be a really challenging and encouraging study we’re embarking on! Hope to see you this Sunday!