READ: Acts 28:17-31
- Twice in this text, Luke gives part of the content for Paul’s messages. He preached about the Kingdom of God. Interestingly, Acts begins with Jesus proclaiming the Kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). Philip preached the Kingdom of God (Acts 8:12). Paul and Barnabas preached the Kingdom (Acts 14:22). For 3 months in Corinth, Paul preached the Kingdom (Acts 19:8). And, in Paul’s speech to the Ephesian elders (Acts 20), Paul claims to have consistently proclaimed the Kingdom.
- The language of the ascension in chapter 1 is the language of Kingdom. Jesus ascends to His Father’s right side. Stephen sees Him standing there. He’s in the position of authority and power. For the Jews, it was hard to see a crucified human standing with God. For a Roman, it was hard to accept anyone as King other than Caesar. The story of the Kingdom is a hard story to accept for either Jews or Gentiles.
- Actually, that hasn’t changed. Jesus as King is hard for most Americans to accept. While we are no longer under the King (Queen) of England, we’ve made sure we built into our system that we are King (we have inalienable rights). Culturally, man is the measure of all things. We are independent, autonomous, rulers of our own world, and makers of our own fate. Along comes Jesus and lays claim to our throne and we often rebel.
- Why do we humans find it so hard to submit to Jesus as King?
- How can we make that message understandable and appealing to 21st century people?
- Give an illustration of one way that Jesus is King in your life.
PRAY: Confess Jesus as King. Pray that you can live as if you believed that. Pray that you can clearly present that idea.