by Tony Nester

We Are Witnesses
Tony R. Nester
Acts 1:8

Our Scripture text is from Acts Chapter 1, verses 6-8:

(Acts 1:6-8 NRSV) "So when they had come together, they asked him, "Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?" {7} He replied, "It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. {8} But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.""

Here the disciples ask Jesus a question that we often ask: Is this the End Time? They wanted to know the moment had arrived for Jesus to restore the nation of Israel to its former glory.

It seemed the right time to them. Jesus had been crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. According to verse 3 of this same chapter Luke reports that Jesus had spent a period of forty days appearing to the disciples after his resurrection. Luke tells us that during that time Jesus presented himself to the disciples with many convincing proofs of his resurrected life, and taught them more about the Kingdom of God.

To the disciples the moment seemed right for Jesus to finish his saving work by uprooting the Jewish authorities who had requested his crucifixion and over throwing the Roman authorities who had carried it out. It was time, they thought, for Israel to be redeemed and restored.

Jesus says, "No. This is not the time for the Kingdom to come in all its fullness." But then he teaches them that it is the right time for something else . . . witnessing.

" you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

From the beginning of his ministry Jesus had his eye on witnessing. Jesus knew that his people, the people of Israel, had been called out by God to bear witness to the world.

This purpose was expressed in the words that God spoke to Abraham.

(Genesis 12:1-3 NRSV) "Now the LORD said to Abram ...

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