So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking Him, "Lord, has the time come for You to free Israel and restore our kingdom?"
He replied, "The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be My witnesses, telling people about Me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8)
In the last Gems I gave you the following references to king and kingdom found in Luke’s Gospel.
(AMP) Lord, is this the timewhen You will reestablish the kingdomand restore it to Israel?
(BBE) Lord, will you at this timegive back the kingdom to Israel?
(CEV) Lord, are you nowgoing to give Israel its own king again?
(ESV) Lord, will you at this timerestore the kingdom to Israel?
(GW) Lord, is this the timewhen you’re going to restore the kingdom to Israel?
(LITV) Lord, do You restore the kingdom to Israelat this time?
(MSG) Master, are you going to restore the kingdom to Israelnow? Is this the time?
(NASB) Lord, is it at this timeYou are restoring the kingdom to Israel?"
(NLT) Lord, has the time comefor You to free Israel and restore our kingdom?
(YLT) Lord, dost thou at this timerestore the reign to Israel?
Luke 1:33 And He will reign over Israel forever; His Kingdomwill never end!"
Luke 4:43 But He replied, "I must preach the Good News of the Kingdomof God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent."
Luke 6:20 Then Jesus turned to His disciples and said, "God blesses you who are poor, for the Kingdomof God is yours.
Luke 7:28 I tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John. Yet even the least person in the Kingdomof God is greater than he is!"
Luke 8:1 Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdomof God. He took His twelve disciples with Him,
Luke 8:10 He replied, "You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdomof God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled: ‘When they look, they won’t really see. When they hear, they won’t understand.’
Luke 9:2 Then He sent them out to tell everyone about the Kingdomof God and to heal the sick.
Luke 9:11 But the crowds found out where He was going, and they followed Him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdomof God, and He healed those who were sick.
Luke 9:27 I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Kingdomof God."
Luke 9:60 But Jesus told him, "Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdomof God."
Luke 9:62 But Jesus told him, "Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdomof God."
Luke 10:9 Heal the sick, and tell them, ‘The Kingdomof God is near you now.’
Luke 10:11 ‘We wipe even the dust of your town from our feet to show that we have abandoned you to your fate. And know this—the Kingdomof God is near!’
Luke 11:2 Jesus said, "This is how you should pray: "Father, may Your name be kept holy. May Your Kingdomcome soon.
Luke 11:17 He knew their thoughts, so He said, "Any kingdomdivided by civil war is doomed. A family splintered by feuding will fall apart.
Luke 11:18 You say I am empowered by Satan. But if Satan is divided and fighting against himself, how can his kingdomsurvive?
Luke 11:20 But if I am casting out demons by the power of God, then the Kingdomof God has arrived among you.
Luke 11:52 "What sorrow awaits you experts in religious law! For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdomyourselves, and you prevent others from entering."
Luke 12:31 Seek the Kingdomof God above all else, and He will give you everything you need.
Luke 12:32 "So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.
Luke 13:18 Then Jesus said, "What is the Kingdomof God like? How can I illustrate it?
Luke 13:20 He also asked, "What else is the Kingdomof God like?
Luke 13:24 "Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.
Luke 13:28 "There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdomof God, but you will be thrown out.
Luke 13:29 And people will come from all over the world—from east and west, north and south—to take their places in the Kingdomof God.
Luke 14:15 Hearing this, a man sitting at the table with Jesus exclaimed, "What a blessing it will be to attend a banquet in the Kingdomof God!"
Luke 16:16 "Until John the Baptist, the law of Moses and the messages of the prophets were your guides. But now the Good News of the Kingdomof God is preached, and everyone is eager to get in.
Luke 17:20 One day the Pharisees asked Jesus, "When will the Kingdomof God come?" Jesus replied, "The Kingdomof God can’t be detected by visible signs.
Luke 17:21 You won’t be able to say, ‘Here it is!’ or ‘It’s over there!’ For the Kingdomof God is already among you. "
Luke 18:16 Then Jesus called for the children and said to the disciples, "Let the children come to Me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdomof God belongs to those who are like these children.
Luke 18:17 I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdomof God like a child will never enter it."
Luke 18:24 When Jesus saw this, He said, "How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdomof God!
Luke 18:25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdomof God!"
Luke 18:29 "Yes," Jesus replied, "and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God,
Luke 19:11 The crowd was listening to everything Jesus said. And because He was nearing Jerusalem, He told them a story to correct the impression that the Kingdomof God would begin right away.
Luke 21:10 Then He added, "Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdomagainst kingdom.
Luke 21:31 In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdomof God is near.
Luke 22:16 For I tell you now that I won’t eat this meal again until its meaning is fulfilled in the Kingdomof God."
Luke 22:18 For I will not drink wine again until the Kingdomof God has come."
Luke 22:29 And just as My Father has granted Me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right
Luke 22:30 to eat and drink at My table in My Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
Luke 23:42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when You come into Your Kingdom."
Luke 23:51 but he had not agreed with the decision and actions of the other religious leaders. He was from the town of Arimathea in Judea, and he was waiting for the Kingdomof God to come.
Luke 1:5 When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron.
Luke 1:27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of KingDavid.
Luke 2:4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.
Luke 14:31 "Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him?
Luke 19:12 He said, "A nobleman was called away to a distant empire to be crowned king and then return.
Luke 19:14 But his people hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We do not want him to be our king.’
Luke 19:15 "After he was crowned king, he returned and called in the servants to whom he had given the money. He wanted to find out what their profits were.
Luke 19:17 "’Well done!’ the kingexclaimed. ‘You are a good servant. You have been faithful with the little I entrusted to you, so you will be governor of ten cities as your reward.’
Luke 19:19 "’Well done!’ the kingsaid. ‘You will be governor over five cities.’
Luke 19:22 "’You wicked servant!’ the kingroared. ‘Your own words condemn you. If you knew that I’m a hard man who takes what isn’t mine and harvests crops I didn’t plant,
Luke 19:24 "Then, turning to the others standing nearby, the kingordered, ‘Take the money from this servant, and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’
Luke 19:26 "’Yes,’ the kingreplied, ‘and to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.
Luke 19:27 And as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king—bring them in and execute them right here in front of me.’"
Luke 19:38 "Blessings on the Kingwho comes in the name of the LORD! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!"
Luke 23:2 They began to state their case: "This man has been leading our people astray by telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government and by claiming He is the Messiah, a king."
Luke 23:3 So Pilate asked Him, "Are You the kingof the Jews?" Jesus replied, "You have said it."
Luke 23:37 They called out to Him, "If You are the Kingof the Jews, save Yourself!"
Luke 23:38 A sign was fastened to the cross above Him with these words: "This is the King of the Jews."
I asked the questions, ‘Could it be that this is not new?’ ‘Has Luke mentioned it before?’ Then I told you to take time to understand Luke’s thrust and we would discuss it in the next Gems. I am sure you are aware that these Gems are live. I am working my way through the two books of Luke at the same time you are. As I came to this new Gems I realised, with some prompting from the Lord, that I was not going to be able to discuss this complex issue of the Kingdom in the next Gems. It is going to take us quite a number of Gems to handle this topic, even though we are only dealing with two verses related to the Kingdom (Acts 1:4-5), and then one verse focused on our task concerning that Kingdom (Acts 1:18). Let’s settle in for a while to camp here on these first two verses.
I trust your answer to my question, ‘Could it be that this is not new?’ is most decidedly, “No Ian, you have talked about the Kingdom a lot before during our time going through Luke’s Gospel. Does it all sound familiar? I am sure you can pick up on the major elements of the theme of the Kingdom from Luke, but in case you can’t, I will give you some references to read. I chose to list the big pieces of the puzzle for you below. Then I will summarise some of the others. I am also thinking that I will give you a week to read through these references so that you are at the same point of understanding with me before we proceed further. I am also giving the links to the Gems concerned because I am aware at this point I can’t send emailed Gems to you with the information contained within. So I will do the next best thing. Many of you have written to me to tell me when I give you a larger task to do like this requires, I need to give you the time to complete it too. Hence, the week to at least read through these major references or explanation first. Not only that, but I know at least 500 have joined Gems since the end of Luke’s Gospel and so you have not seen the material I wrote earlier related to the theme of the Kingdom of God in Luke’s Gospel. So I figure it is best for me to give you the links to enable you to follow up these ideas during this next week. I will start to summarise it, add some new material and then share with you some new ideas the Lord has been pouring into my spirit over the last days. I will return to add more and discuss this in the next Gems.
Here are eight (8) major links for you to read to get up to speed with the past thoughts on the Kingdom of God:
Bible Gem 794 – A matter of two kingdoms, glory and worship (Luke 4:5-8)
Bible Gem 940 – The Kingdom of God is near, now. (Luke 10:9. 11)
Bible Gem 958 – Thy Kingdom come (Luke 11:2 / Matt 9:10)
Bible Gems 972 – The collision of two worlds (Luke 11:14-20)
Bible Gems 1103 – Jesus gives the disciples a behind the scenes glimpse (Luke 17:22-25)
Bible Gems 1107 – Where will this happen? It’s obvious (Luke 17:37)
Bible Gems 1115 – The Kingdom of God belongs to the childlike (Luke 18:15-17)
Bible Gems 1185 – The Chess Clock, Jerusalem and the End Times (Luke 21:20-28)
As well here are five segments clipped from related Gems:
There were many interpretations of what Messiah would do when He came. Most imagine He was coming as an emancipator who would free them from Roman rule; He would restore the kingdom. Oh, not the Kingdom of God but the kingdom of Israel. Many of the zealots and freedom fighters of the day picked up on this and used it to espouse their cause. You can bet that when the demons spoke up "for Christ" that it would have a demonic slant to it. [The word used here is not "Messiah" but in fact Christos or Christ. But the meaning is the same. Christos meant the Anointed One which is exactly what Messiah was.] Jesus rebuked the demons and commanded them not to speak about His Messiahship and what it meant because they would couch it in terms of the false expectations in the land at the time. That was NOT why Messiah had come.
Furthermore, it was an issue of timing. His time had not yet come, as John took great pains to tell us. This Messianic ministry was to be disclosed in God’s time, not man’s, and certainly not in satan’s timing. Satan was all for precipitating the action and pushing Jesus to show Himself, knowing full well it would be prematurely. If satan can’t stop you from doing something (for God), he will push you into doing it at the wrong time. The wrong time being either too soon or too late. Either way is fine with him. Jesus was careful to not rush ahead and do things in His own time. Rather, He was careful to do only what the Father wished Him to do, in the Father’s timing. That is a good lesson for us to learn.
There are numbers of pictures or types used for the Coming One. He was depicted as the Prophet coming as a type of Moses. He was expected as God Himself come to shepherd His people. He was coming as the Reigning King to free Israel from the bonds of slavery and oppression to restore the kingdom of David and of God. He was coming as Messiah, the Anointed One to usher in the new age. But most Jews were expecting the Messiah the son of David, the conquering king not Messiah son of Joseph, the suffering servant. This switch confused many and it confuses us today. However this difference in biblical views of the Messiah is not at the back of John’s query given the nature of Jesus reply. Note what Luke writes first: "At that time Jesus had healed many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits and had given sight to many who were blind." Jesus follows it up with: "Go and tell John what you have observed and heard: the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear again, the dead are raised, and the destitute hear the good news." These are exactly the items listed in Isaiah 35:5 / 61:1 related to God’s coming and the Coming One. But interestingly Luke doesn’t include a story of a person healed of blindness. But the point of Jesus’ answer to John is clear. You got it right. Just look at what is happening. This is all in line with what Scripture said would happen. I am indeed the One you thought I was when you pointed me out.
John was expecting Jesus to do something radical in the "now". Not for later. And he certainly didn’t expect the suffering servant first and the reigning king later. With the kind of thing John preached to prepare the way for the Messiah later it was with the expectation of dealing with sin and bringing judgement. This was in fact the aspect of Messiah that John pointed out when he pointed to the Lamb of God the Saviour of the World. Yes that was indeed all yet to happen but the provision for dealing with sin had to be put in place first. John had not seen that element of it all at this stage. So Jesus has to reassure him that things are still on track and yes you did point to the right One. This made even clearer by the use of the word [heteros] and not [allos]. Allos refers to one of similar likeness while heteros refers to one of another kind. So the inference here is that the expectation is one different from what John expected. John was looking for a different kind of Messiah than what was reported to him in prison.
John clearly understood the kingdom to be for the here and now and that was the reason he was confused over "this Messiah". To John, the kingdom was apocalyptic, material and political, it seems. But to Jesus it was present now, spiritual and eternal. Anyone who realized that was indeed greater than John. In kingdom terms if you understand that, you are greater than John. John still hadn’t got it. Have you? As I have said before, this kingdom brings division. The division is clearly stated here in these verses. If you don’t realize this key to understanding the Kingdom of God, you position yourself to missing the point and missing out. As the text tells us, the people had heard this and accepted it. They had humbled themselves and gone off to the wilderness to be baptized in repentance, in order to receive it. The pharisees and the teachers of the law rejected God’s plan for themselves because they refused to accept the baptism of repentance. They refused to confess and change their ways.
Luke doesn’t depart from the standard story. This is quite a new Messiah who is being painted with these words. It departs markedly from the Messiah the Jews were expecting. The Scriptures and the Jews talked about two Messiahs. There was Ha Messiach ben David, (Messiah the Son of David) and Ha Messiach ben Yosef (Messiah the Son of Joseph). The first was the all-conquering-King Messiah. The second signified the suffering-servant-Messiah. The surprise is that Jesus is both. The Jews were looking for Messiah to come and rule and throw off the Roman oppression. For them it was a matter of a political entity and an earthly kingdom. But that was not the kingdom or the focus Jesus was coming to bring.
The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things
He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law
He will be killed
On the third day He will be raised from the dead
Want to follow me?
You must turn from your selfish ways
Take up your cross daily.
If you give up your life for My sake, you will save it.
But if you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it.
That is the very antithesis of what they expected.
"fulfilled in the kingdom of God"
The Passover will indeed be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God. When the Kingdom of God finally comes on earth as it is in heaven then there will be no need for Passover. All sin will be gone and therefore no need for a Passover lamb again. In fact, with the coming of Jesus the first time that was the case as well. But it needs to be fulfilled or worked out for all of mankind, not just a few chosen ones. Jesus was looking through the Ages to the consummation of the Kingdom at the inaugural banquet, the Feast of the Lamb in heaven. The purpose of the Passover meal will be fully realized.
See you in a week. Interact with me if you want more time than a week or less time. (I figure it is a little more than a Gems per day for 8 days).
Greater than man walking on the moon was when the Son of Man walked on earth. Neil Armstrong
Do you realise He is coming back to walk this earth in just the same way He once did, only this time as reigning King? Ian
The time in between these two appearances is the time for us to be extending His Kingdom just as He commanded us to do. Ian
The kingdom of Satan retreats only as the kingdom of God advances. John Stott