Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Which,” He said, “you heard of from Me;
(a) Not to leave Jerusalem. No doubt the Galilean disciples were keen to get as far from hostile Judea as possible, but Jesus told them to stay put.
(b) What the Father had promised was the Holy Spirit.
(c) You heard of from Me. Jesus had already told the disciples about the promised Holy Spirit (Luke 12:11–12, John 14:26).
for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
(a) Baptized… baptized. The original word implies total immersion. See entry for Baptism.
(b) Water… Holy Spirit; John’s baptism of water prophetically foreshadowed the baptism of the Holy Spirit. See entry for Mark 1:8.
So when they had come together, they were asking Him, saying, “Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?”
Is it at this time? Like the rest of us, the disciples wanted to know when Jesus would come (Matt. 24:3), and he told them, “I don’t know” (Matt. 24:36). Evidently, the disciples had a hard time accepting this because they asked him again after his resurrection.
He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;
It is not for you to know. “I still don’t know, and it’s none of your business.” The timing of the Lord’s final coming is the Father’s business. It’s not our business. Don’t listen to anyone who says they know when the Lord will return. They are wrong.
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
In Jerusalem. The message of grace and forgiveness was for all nations, but it was particularly for the Jews. “Beginning at Jerusalem,” said Jesus, as though he knew there would be some who would deny grace to his killers. “God’s grace is for all, but those in Jerusalem get to hear about it first” (Luke 24:47).
There is a reason why Jerusalem is considered the birthplace of Christianity and it is not just because Christ died there. By the Lord’s command Jerusalem was the first place evangelized with the gospel. By the Holy Spirit’s direction, Jerusalem was the location of Pentecost. And by the apostles’ obedience, Jerusalem was the birthplace of the church.
Jesus did not wash his hands of Jerusalem. Nor did he tell his apostles to give the city a wide berth. Instead, he designated the city Mission Field Number One. The apostles did what he asked, and their teaching spread all over Jerusalem. The result was nothing short of miraculous. The city that had rejected the Lord began to change, and the number of Christians in Jerusalem increased greatly (Acts 2:41, 4:4, 5:14, 6:1, 7). Jerusalem had rejected Jesus, but he never rejected Jerusalem. The Jews had spurned him, but he continued to woo them to himself. Not even death would hinder his relentless love.
And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.
A cloud. The apostles saw Jesus rising toward heaven into a cloud and from the other side the prophet Daniel saw him arriving on a cloud (Dan. 7:13). A few weeks earlier Jesus quoted Daniel’s prophecy to his disciples on the Mount of Olives (see entry for Matt. 24:30).
They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
The same way. Jesus will return in the manner he left. He ascended with resurrected saints (see entry for Matt. 27:52). When he returns he will come with “all his saints” (1 Thess. 3:13). Jesus will come back with a crowd of people.
Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.
A Sabbath day’s journey is equivalent to the distance between the Mount of Olives and the city, or a little over half a mile.
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
(a) Mary the mother of Jesus. All four Gospel writers (and the author of Acts was Luke) refer to Mary as the mother of Jesus. See entry for Matt. 1:18.
(b) His brothers (or half-brothers) were James, Joseph, Simon and Judas (Matt. 13:55). At first, these men did not believe Jesus was the Son of God (Mark 3:21). But here we find them among those praying in the Upper Room. James became the influential leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15:13). It’s possible the other brothers became ministers of the gospel and apostles, but we have no direct evidence for this (1 Cor. 9:5).
At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said,
The first part of Acts chapter 1 records probably the most dramatic event in history – the ascension of Christ into heaven. The second part of Acts 1 is about a committee meeting (and a largely fruitless one at that). It is a dramatic contrast of the God’s work vs men’s work.
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