Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Indulging in wishful thinking or inspiration for being witness (Acts 1 6-8 and a Quote from I Howard Marshall)

In preparing for Sunday I found a couple of great quotes from I Howard Marshall ( Acts, Tyndale New Testament Commentary, IVP: 1980).

Marshall comments on the question asked Jesus about "is it time that you will now establish Israel. And I think Jesus answer and Marshalls reflections are helpful to us as it is easy to want to look for God to move and make it all right... be it revival, a political swing back to the Church ( a longing to return to the days of Christendom), or that the Lord's coming is immanent... you just have to read the signs (and lets face it we've just been through a period of heightened eschatological stress with the Millennium and living in an age where for the first time human activity can be seen to have catastrophic global ramifications).

I Howard Marshall Comments... On the question...

" Their question (tying into Jesus comment in v.3) is weather Jesus intends to restore the Kingdom to Israel. This may reflect the Jewish hope that God would establish his rule in such a way that the people of Israel would be freed from their enemies (especially the Romans) and establish as a nation  to which other people would be subservient. If so, the disciples would  appear here as representatives of Luke's readers who had not yet realised  that Jesus had transformed the Jewish hope of the Kingdom of God by purging it of its nationalistic political elements."

he goes on to acknowledge some may have been looking towards how soon the end was coming...Marshall comments on Jesus reply...

" Jesus roundly states that the matter of the time of God's action is his own affair, and it is not open to men to share his knowledge. Since this is God's secret, there is no place for human speculation- a point that might well be borne in mind by those who still anxiously try to calculate the probable course of events in the last days. Instead of indulging in wishful thinking or apocalyptic speculation, the disciples must accomplish their task of being witnesses to Jesus. The scope of their task is world wide. It begins in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and it stretches to the end of the earth."
I find myself encouraged that to believe in and follow a Risen Jesus is a call to live in a world that God so loved and to Witness in it to that Love shown in Jesus... with the knowledge of God's promised presence and power in the Holy Spirit, knowing that God has the God sized stuff under his control.
It's not a matter of (see image above) wanting to jump off, but jumping into the arms of God for what we are called to live out.

Darrell Bock succinctly sums it up by saying ' Instead of being worried about the end of the plan they are to be equipped to carry the message to the ends of the earth." 

No comments:

Post a Comment