“When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas, son of James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers” (Acts 1:9-14 NRSV).In only 3 hours we’ll deliver a custom Acts 1:9-14 Scripture Analysis essay written 100% from scratch Get help
Acts 1:9-14 concentrates on the great commission of Jesus Christ and his ascension to heaven. Notably, this scripture is an insight into understanding whether and when Jesus would restore the kingdom. In Acts 1:6-8, when Jesus speaks of his departure, the disciples are highly concerned about whether he would restore the kingdom. He notes that he would depart and fulfill the promise of the father to them. This was about the Old Testament scriptures, which spoke of the promise of the Father to pour out his Spirit upon the people. Specifically, these scriptures are found in Isaiah 32:15; Joel 2:28-31; Ezekiel 37:14. However, Jesus does not imply the promise of the father that these disciples know about from their previous reading of the Old Testament. However, he states that he will send the Holy Spirit to be their guide, reminder, and be with them all their days. To the disciples, the outpouring of the spirit implied the restoration of Israel.
Ideally, the departure of Christ meant that he would not restore the kingdom at that time. However, he would return at a later date to do so. Nonetheless, the kingdom will not be restored until everyone is well aware that Jesus Christ will come again. It is during this time the restoration of Israel will take place. Ideally, the objective of this period between the time Jesus ascends and returns is not for the restoration of the kingdom, but for ensuring that everyone is a witness to his coming back. It is the same purpose that continues to prevail in the lives of Christians today. That is why when the disciples stood gazing at Christ as he ascended into the sky, the two men asked why they were staring at the sky. The two men witnessed the departure of Jesus. Notably, before his departure, Jesus had told his disciples what to do and how to prepare for his ascension. Among the things that he empowered the disciples with were insights into the plan and purpose of God and a vision of how they would be witnesses. He also gave them a strategy as to how they would practice their calling, mapping it out to Judea, Jerusalem, and Samaria.
Verse 9 begins by intonating that Jesus ascended into the clouds and out of the disciples’ sight. As he ascended into the cloud and was being lifted up, the disciples stood in amazement and stared at him. In this verse, I assume that the cloud is mentioned is similar to the cloud of glory that was commonly associated with the presence of God in the Old Testament. Notably, the disciples were present when Jesus was ascending into heaven, with all of them watching as he left. The act of Jesus leaving his followers as they saw was a significant event. Ideally, Jesus would have just woken up and vanished to heaven in secrecy. However, his departure in the disciples’ presence was so to confirm that he was leaving them for good and would not be back as they had become used to when he would at times appear and reappear in the forty days after his resurrection. Notably, Jesus had earlier mentioned in the book of John 16:7 that he would depart. In the same verse, he said that his departure was for the sake of the people as it would pave the way for the coming of the helper, who would only come after his departure. In this case, Christ’s ascension into heaven was a clear picture of the disciples that, indeed, Jesus was leaving them, and that they would be assured of the coming of the helper just as earlier promised.
As Jesus ascended into heaven and the disciples stood there gazing at him, two men appeared in white apparel questioning the disciples why they were gazing into heaven. This question was meant to provoke the disciples to keep their attention in the right place as they awaited the second coming of the messiah. The right place to focus their attention was to obey the commands of Christ and return to the City of Jerusalem. Initially, Jesus had commissioned the disciples to spread the gospel to every corner of the earth. Instead, they were there busy looking at him as he ascended into heaven. One could presume that the appearance of the two men who had come to receive Jesus into the clouds depicted Moses and Elijah. Previously, when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, two men, who looked like Moses and Elijah, appeared to him, colored in white robes. Thus, these same men could have appeared to receive the king into glory.
Verse 11 of the same chapter further adds that “this Jesus” who has been taken up in glory will come back the same way. This phrase seeks to explain the ever-present glorious nature of Christ, which implies that, just as he had left with all the glory that abounds him, he shall return the same way covered with glory. Moreover, just as he ascended, so shall he descend when coming back. Ideally, this means Christ’s return will also be in the presence of his disciples as he left them gazing at him. Secondly, Jesus will descend from the Mount of Olives, the same place through which he ascended. Moreover, he will come with a blessing for the church, as he left the church with his blessings too. Just as instructed by Jesus to bear him witness and to return to Jerusalem, this is what his witnesses to his ascension do. The disciples departed from Mount Olives and headed towards Jerusalem. When they entered Jerusalem, they went to the upper room where they had been staying. Here, there is a mention of only 11 disciples, with an exclusion of one, signifying that Judas Iscariot had already been excluded from the lot. The verses further state, “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus and with His brothers” Acts 1:12-14.
There are notable actions that the disciples did after the departure of Christ. The first is that they return to Jerusalem. The return to Jerusalem signified their obedience towards Christ. According to Acts 1:4, Jesus had earlier instructed his disciples that they should return to Jerusalem after his departure, and this is what they did. Thus, the disciples did not forget Jesus’ preaching immediately after he left them physically. Further, there is a mention of only 11 disciples plus some women and the brother of Christ, alongside other women who had been followers of Jesus, making them 120 people. Ideally, the mention of the brother is significant as his siblings were initially opposed to Christ’s gospel. The brothers had not been supporting Jesus’ ministry. However, the outlook of Jesus’ brothers changed after his ascension. Thus, there is power in the resurrection of Christ on display. The unity of the disciples is also another issue of consideration. The scripture states that “they all continued with one accord.” The picture painted of the disciples is one of a people that was always fighting with one another. However, this seemed to have changed after the ascension of Christ. Even though the nature and character of these disciples were still the same, the resurrection of Christ in their hearts made greater reason to be united. Besides, they communed in prayer. When they all went up to the room upstairs, they continued to pray earnestly and desperately, seeking God in supplication. This was indicative of the way that Christians should search and pray to God without ceasing, and with the need to receive the Holy Spirit. These three virtues that the disciples practiced show how the conduct of Christians today should be as they await the return of Christ. Ideally, Christians and believers should obey the commands given to them by Christ, stay together through fellowship, and commune in prayer.Academic experts
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New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). Ed. Ridling Zaine. Washington, D.C: National Council of the Churches of Christ, 1989. Print.