The Art of Not Getting It
Acts 1:6 (ESV) – So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
Have you ever had a situation where you tried to explain something to someone but they just didn’t get it? As someone who teaches regularly, I’ve experienced this before. Sometimes concepts are hard to grasp. There are complex ideas that require multi-levels of thinking. But sometimes the problem is that people are already so fixated on what they already think that they are unable to see what you’re teaching them.
This is exactly what we see in our passage today. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He meets with His disciples. He is about to ascend back to His Father in Heaven, leaving the disciples to accomplish the work He is sending them to do. But notice in our passage today what happens. Acts 1:6 says, “So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?’”
Why is this question such a big deal? Because it reveals that after three years of following Jesus, and in His final moments on earth with them, they are asking a question that reveals they don’t understand what is going on. They believe Jesus is there to overthrow the Roman Empire and reestablish Israel’s independence and power. “Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” They are wanting Jesus to be David with the Philistines or Joshua with the Canaanites. They fail to recognize that He has come to establish a spiritual kingdom that will reign on earth, in nations everywhere.
Their question shows they don’t get it. Even in the last moments before Jesus’ return, they don’t know what He has come to truly do. But that’s okay. Jesus was about to send them the Holy Spirit to help open their eyes and empower their actions. He is patient with them. He knows they don’t grasp everything, but He doesn’t expect them to.
He is patient with us too.
While we need to seek understanding of what God has said and requires, He is patient with us in our ignorance. Thankfully, we have the Holy Spirit to help build us up and mature us in the faith.
Ask God to help you shed any wrong thought or idea that is keeping you from seeing the truth. May He be patient with us as we too seek to know and walk in the truth.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is it so disheartening to hear the disciples’ question to Jesus just moments before His departure?
- What are some ways that we may still misunderstand Jesus’ words today?
- How does Jesus’ patience and love come out in this story?
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