Posted by May 23, 2011on
What did Jesus Christ focus on after His resurrection, and what did His disciples preach? What should we be focusing on today?
Have you ever thought about what the disciples were doing during the 50 days between Jesus Christ’s resurrection and Pentecost? What were they learning from Jesus Christ? What were they focusing on? And what should be our focus during this time?
Let’s look into the book of Acts and see what Jesus Christ was teaching the disciples—and us—during this time between the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Pentecost.
In Acts 1:3, Luke summarizes what happened during this time. To the apostles Jesus Christ “also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days. …”
Infallible proofs of the resurrection
The Bible records 10 or 11 appearances of Christ to the disciples, and here Luke tells us these gave them infallible proofs of His resurrection. Think about Thomas, who said he wouldn’t be convinced unless he put his hand in the prints of the nails and into Jesus’ side. And what about the time Paul tells about when 500 people saw the resurrected Jesus Christ! Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:6 that many of those eyewitnesses were still alive when he wrote.
These were infallible proofs that energized the disciples and helped them to know what Christ taught them was true, that He was resurrected and that they would be too. It helped give them the courage and faith to do God’s work to the end of their lives.
Focus on the Kingdom of God
Besides infallible proofs of the resurrection, what did Jesus Christ focus on during this time before Pentecost? The end of Acts 1:3 says He was “speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” This was His central topic during the 40 days—He taught them more about the Kingdom of God. This should also be our focus before Pentecost and before Jesus Christ’s return.
Jesus Christ was born to be a King, and He will return as the King of Kings in the Kingdom of God.
At the end of the 40 days, Jesus was taken up into heaven. As they watched Him disappear in the clouds, two men in white clothing said to them: “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).
Jesus Christ will come again. This truth motivated the New Testament Church, and it was what they preached. Jesus Christ will bring the Kingdom of God, which will bring restoration and refreshing of all things: of the earth, of governments, of health, of peace, of education, of human relationships. This wonderful, peaceful and prosperous Kingdom under the rule and the laws of God was the focus of all the holy prophets (Acts 3:21). It is still our focus today.
What can we do?
What can we do to focus on the Kingdom of God now as we eagerly wait for Jesus Christ’s return?
From beginning to end
So, as Jesus Christ was teaching His disciples to focus on the things pertaining to the Kingdom of God during the time between His resurrection and Pentecost, we can be focusing on that now too. But the disciples didn’t stop focusing on the Kingdom of God after Pentecost. In fact, from the beginning of the book of Acts to the end, they were focused on preaching the Kingdom of God. The last verse in Acts has Paul as a prisoner in his own rented house “preaching the kingdom of God” (Acts 28:31).
So, let’s also focus on the Kingdom of God. Let’s pray for the Kingdom of God to come soon! Let’s live the ways of the Kingdom of God now! And let’s share the good news of the soon-coming solution to all this world’s problems—the wonderful, peaceful and joyous Kingdom of God!
Read more about this wonderful Kingdom in the booklet The Mystery of the Kingdom.
Mike Bennett and his wife and two daughters attend the Cincinnati/Dayton, Ohio, congregation of the Church of God, a Worldwide Association.