The disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “… You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:6-8)
When Jesus Christ had conquered death, His disciples hoped that He would now bring political restoration and peace. Finally, their dreams would come true!
But no, God’s plans still did not meet their expectations. Jesus taught them a lot about the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). This kingdom would indeed come. But not in a political sense. Instead, the disciples would receive the power of the Holy Spirit to be Jesus’ witnesses over all the earth. Through their ministry, the Gospel would spread and the number of believers would grow, thereby increasing Jesus’ reign.
The disciples were longing for Jesus to become a king and to put an end to all evil immediately. I can relate to that longing. I am also hoping that Jesus will return today to fulfill all the promises that we are still waiting for! This is a valid hope (see Revelation 22:20). But God is infinitely wiser than we are. He has an overview over all the world and over all of history. We need to trust that His timing is perfect and that His ways are just. It’s not for us to know the times or dates God has set. But it is our task to be Jesus’ witnesses and to wait for His return with eager longing. Do you do this?