Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Acts 1:6-11
Pastor Steve Schell
Sunday: Acts 1:6
v6: This gathering (vs4-5) probably took place in the upper room (Ac 1:13) of the home owned by John Mark’s parents (Ac 12:12), where Jesus had celebrated the Last Supper (Lk 22:7-13). After eating with them and teaching from the Scriptures (Mk 16:14; Lk 24: 36-48), He led them out of the city along the road that runs eastward over the Mount of Olives toward Bethany, a village two miles east of Jerusalem (Lk 24:50). Somewhere along that road, probably at its crest, which is about 1,000 yards directly east of Jerusalem (“a Sabbath day’s journey away,” v12), He stopped and had everyone gather around Him.

Monday: Acts 1:6-8
vs6-8: Someone had the courage to ask the question weighing on everyone’s mind. They were confused by His statement about being baptized in the Holy Spirit. Since they were children they had all been taught what would happen when Messiah comes. In synagogue they regularly listened to the reading of the Law (Genesis through Deuteronomy) and the Prophets (Ac 13:15, 27), and they knew the passages that when Messiah comes He will rule the earth from Jerusalem and the Holy Spirit will be poured out on all flesh (Ac 2:16, 17). Yet Jesus had only spoken about the Spirit coming upon them as individuals. Did He mean by this the Spirit would not come on everyone else? Now that He was resurrected from the dead, surely He would set up His throne and that glorious age would begin where the desert would bloom like the rose and the lion would lay down with the lamb.

Tuesday: Acts 1:6-8
vs6-8 (continued): To which Jesus answered, “It is not for you to know times (chronos) and seasons (chairos) which the Father placed in His own authority.” In other words, things will not happen as you expected. There is a divine plan at work you don’t understand. But I can tell you this much, the promised outpouring of the Spirit is about to come on those of you who believe in Me to equip you for ministry (Lk 24:49). When that moment arrives you will receive power to be My witnesses here in the city of Jerusalem, to the surrounding regions of Judea and Samaria, and out to the Gentile nations, clear to the most distant part of the planet (lit: the end of the earth).

Wednesday: Acts 1:8
v8: Jesus is revealing a mystery. He’s telling them that their understanding of what would happen when the Messiah came was incomplete. Yes, someday the Spirit will “baptize” the entire planet, but not yet. Before that day arrives God has ordained a season of sending out Spirit-baptized believers to make disciples (Ac 1:8; Mt 28:19). How long this season will last is something only the Father knows, and He will not share this information with us. He has “placed it in His own authority” (v7). His plan is to pour out the Holy Spirit on Messiah’s people so they can effectively win souls. That outpouring would release a rapid expansion of God’s kingdom into the nations, and this “harvest” will continue until God determines it is complete.

Thursday: Acts 1:9
v9: After giving these instructions Jesus lifted His hands and began to bless His disciples, but while He was speaking He started to slowly rise up off the ground (Lk 24:50, 51). He was lifted upward, as it were, by an unseen hand, higher and higher until He was enveloped by a cloud. Luke literally says, “...and a cloud received Him from their eyes.” We’re not told whether it was a naturally-formed cloud or a cloud of “glory” like the one that hovered over Mount Sinai (Ex 19:16) or enveloped Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration (Mt 17:5), but Mark tells us where He went after entering the cloud. He says He was “taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mk 16:19; Ps 110:1; Ac 2:33-36; Mt 22:43-45).

Friday: Acts 1:10
v10: Luke describes the ascension because he wants his readers to understand that Jesus didn’t evaporate into thin air. He didn’t disappear suddenly like a ghost, God lifted Him up and took Him to another place. He slowly, physically rose into the air with everyone intently watching, straining their eyes until He entered a cloud and passed out of sight. Because their gaze was focused upward, no one saw two men approach. It’s obvious from their appearance and the way they spoke to the disciples that they were angels. Luke doesn’t say their clothing “shone,” as was true of the two angels who stood near the empty tomb (Lk 24:2-4), but he does sat they wore white garments.

Saturday: Acts 1:11
v11: They said, “Men, Galileans, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will come in the same way as you beheld Him going into heaven.” Their question is specifically addressed to the men from Galilee, singling out the eleven apostles who had been accompanying Jesus and listening to Him teach for the past three and a half years. Their question seems to be more of a challenge than an inquiry. They seem frustrated, or maybe shocked, that those who had spent so much time with Him were acting like they hadn’t heard anything He said. Surely they weren’t standing there waiting for Him to come back down were they? By staring up into an empty sky it looked like they were waiting for Him to reappear. So, in case they hadn’t understood, the angels reminded them of what He’d said. Numerous times He had laid out a full scenario of the events that would take place before He returned (Lk 17:20-37; 21:5-36). In fact, one of these very detailed explanations had taken place on that same Mount of Olives (Mt 24:3-31; Mk 13:3-27). Had they forgotten? Indeed He will come back down “in a cloud with power and great glory” (Lk 21:27), but not now. Now the great harvest of souls was to begin.

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