Acts 1: Waiting in Prayer

So when the apostles came together, they put this question to Jesus.  “Master,” they said,” is this the time when you are going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6)

We have come to a new book, written by a different author, Luke the physician and traveling partner of Paul.  We are at a turning point in our story: Jesus is leaving and there is a promise of something new.  But these are the same old apostles.  Even now, forty days after the death and resurrection of Jesus, still they do not get it (and maybe I wouldn’t have either).  It sounds like they are still thinking the kingdom Jesus is bringing is an earthly one in which Israel’s political, cultural, and economic blessings will be restored.  Surely, Jesus has returned from the grave in an astounding show of power in order to rally the masses in a great revolt against Rome.

But he has not.  In another move they were not expecting, he ascends into the sky and disappears.  They are so confused they stand looking into the sky and have to be sent back to Jerusalem by two angels to wait for whatever comes next.

It is what they do next that struck me today:

They all gave themselves single-heartedly to prayer. (1:14)

That is such the right thing to do.  When life gets confusing, pray.  When things do not go as expected, pray.  When you are sad and feel left alone, pray.  When life becomes a waiting game, pray.  When it is time to prepare for something new, pray.  When you are scared, pray.  That is a good example for today.

What caught your eye in this chapter?

Categories: Acts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Acts 1: Waiting in Prayer

  1. David Jackson

    It always amazes me that God chooses to leave his message in the hands of humans. When he could do all the communicating directly, he sends people–Moses, prophets (women and men; remember when he told Ezekiel to speak to the dry bones, instead of commanding them himself?), Ananias to Saul, Peter to Cornelius… I just wonder, why does God choose to do it that way?

    • Hello David! Glad to have you here!

      Your point is a wonderful one! Thanks! What an incredible honor to be used by God! What an incredible God to work that way! It really dignifies and humbles us all at once. Maybe that is part of the point?

  2. v1- Theophilus, what is the book of Theophilus, is it a gospel?
    Wiki said it was a honorary title, but I cant accept it because why it need to mention “In my former book, Theophilus,”. It something like previous book and etc. Is it this book exist? If none, why?

    v2 – after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
    This is what I think, Holy spirit received an order/instruction and pass it to Jesus. Normally people who read this verse will assume that, Jesus receive a instruction by Higher Order through Holy Spirit.

    v6 – Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel? The reply given by Jesus make me think -It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. This verse are mention about his come back in the end of day.

    v8- But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
    Still, many like to tell me that one is three, three is one, even Trinity is not in Bible. But v8 make me think again, Jesus and Holy spirit is 2 separate entities. Something like holy Spirit living away from Jesus. And Jesus do not posses a power, he need to required it from Holy Spirit.

    v14 – They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
    I heard many Christian said that they prefer to pray alone, this verse shown (1) they pray in group. (2) Constantly pray, but this can be easily challenge by “this sabbath day”. Right.

    Choosing a leader –
    1. Have a faith (v20)
    2. Reliable, can stand hardship together. (v21)
    3. I dont understand the v22, as we understand the resurrection of Jesus is in the end of day. How to be a witness unless you are immortal.
    4. Cast lots, if there was a equivalent talent and etc. Many like to use cast lots to pick between 2 thing, but actually it always a last resort. Talent, righteous, reliability is always a priority to choose a leader.

    • A bit of background to Acts: A man named Luke who was a doctor and later a traveling partner/missionary with the apostle Paul wrote a gospel account of Jesus to a man named Theophilus. This gospel is the Gospel of Luke. Yes, “theophilus” is an honorary title but it is clearly used here as a proper name too. Then Luke wrote the book of Acts and again addressed it to Theophilus. So today we are reading the introduction to the second book. The Gospel of Luke is that previous book you are asking about.

      Yes, the three personalities of the Trinity are usually mentioned in such a way that it seems they are different people. I think the explanation here is more so one of time. God in the form of Jesus was here on this earth for 33 years, then at his ascension, within a month, the Holy Spirit of God comes down to earth to live within God’s people. The apostles will receive power from the HS at this time because Jesus is no longer around to dispense that power himself. All of Jesus’ miracles would indicate Jesus’ had amazing power. But it was in line with the mission of the HS as an empowering and sanctifying force within Christians to bring that power to Christ’s followers. Jesus and the Spirit had different roles to play in human history. Let’s keep picking away at this idea of Trinity. It is a very complex one and it takes the whole Bible to really figure out. You are doing a great job trying to piece together what us Christians believe of this topic.

  3. The verse that you quoted and your last few lines reminds me of this verse in the Quran.

    Verily in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest. The Glorious Quran 13:28

    Not a friend’s shoulder or a mothers hug is equal to the consolation that is achieved by falling down prostrate and crying your heart out to God.

    Umm Muhammad

  4. Eddy

    “They agreed they were in this for good, completely together in prayer, the women included. Also Jesus’ mother, Mary, and his brothers.” (‭Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭14‬ MSG)

    What a good feeling they must have had when they agreed to be in this together. The church was true community from the start.

  5. Remember Joseph Barsabbas? His friends called him Justus. Remember him?

    Yeah, none of us do. His stories weren’t told. He was the one not picked. BUT that doesn’t matter. He follows nonetheless. He has been there since the beginning. He didn’t run away with others when it got hard (John 6:66). And he probably went on to do great things for the kingdom too. No reason not to think so.

    The kingdom is made up of countless unnamed, unheralded disciples whose only praise comes from God. They don’t write books. They don’t blog. They don’t cut records or speak for crowds. They serve. They head into the fray when others are leaving it. Thank God for the Joseph Barsabbases!

  6. Eddy

    Love that thought Jason!

  7. For the 40 days between Easter and Pentecost, Jesus “taught them [apostles] the truth of God’s kingdom realm and shared meals with them.” (1:3-4)

    You’ve got 5 weeks left before you leave. What do you do? Teach like crazy! Well, not just that. Jesus also stopped and ate with them. Jesus was always about relationship. That’s what makes the teaching stick.

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