“He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”” (Acts 1:7–8, NIV84)
Just before Jesus’ ascension, His disciples asked Him if He was now going to restore the kingdom of Israel. Jesus responded with our verses for today. He told them that it was not for them to worry about dates and times. He assured them that dates and times are securely in the Father’s hands. But He did leave them with one charge. He clearly let them know what He expected of them once the Holy Spirit came upon them. And what was that? That they be witnesses. They (we) were instructed by Jesus Himself to be witnesses to the world around us about the kingdom of God.
So, what does it mean to be a witness? It’s simple! Witnesses testify to what they have seen, heard, or experienced. If we were witnesses in a court of law, we would be expected to truthfully testify to things we know, saw, heard, or experienced surrounding the events of the case we were involved in. The same is true for our Christian witness. We certainly have come to know things about God’s kingdom. We have experienced the love and grace that flows from the Father of that kingdom. We have seen how the truths of that kingdom have changed peoples’ lives (including our own) before our very eyes. This is what we are called to do: to share what we have experienced from the kingdom of God to those God places in our lives. And by doing so, we participate in the restoration of the kingdom of God.
It is my prayer that we not only commit ourselves to firmly root ourselves in God’s Word, but we seriously accept the responsibility of being a witness for the kingdom of God.