Acts 1:6-11 (JDV)
Acts 1:6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, are you restoring the kingdom to Israel at this time?”
Acts 1:7 But he said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own right.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Sacred Breath has come on you, and you will be my testifiers in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the land.”
Acts 1:9 After he had said this, he was lifted up as they were watching, and a cloud took him up away from their sight.
Acts 1:10 While he was going, they were gazing into the sky, they noticed that two men in shining clothes had stood by them.
Acts 1:11 And these said, ” Galilean men, why have you stood looking up into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been picked up from you into the sky, will come in the same way that you have seen him going into the sky.”
I have a pair of glasses, and I use them to see more clearly. I’m okay when I am looking at a book, or a computer screen, but when I try to see into the distance, everything is out of focus. It’s really important that I wear my glasses when I’m driving — otherwise I am liable to miss something important.
The believers in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus’ ascension were getting out of focus.
First, they started focusing on where they were in prophetic history. They asked the Lord whether theirs was the time of full messianic expectation. That is logical, because they had discovered that Jesus was the Messiah. They naturally thought that the next thing to happen in history was the overthrow of Rome and the establishment of the messianic kingdom.
But Jesus told them that they were out of focus. They were concentrating on the wrong expectation.
Later, after Jesus ascended, the two divine messengers pointed out to the believers that they were out of focus again. They were so busy sky-gazing that they were wasting time. The messengers told them that Christ was going to come again, visibly and gloriously, just like he ascended. But that second coming was not supposed to be their focus either!
The proper focus for believers today is the mission we were called to complete. We need to get our eyes off the sky, and focus on reaching all the nations on the land. There is work to do, so we have to stay focused.
Lord, we get out of focus so easily. Wake us up, and turn us back to the mission you called us to complete.