Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.
The Scriptorium

What on Earth?

What is Jesus doing in heaven? Acts 1.9-11

The Beginning of the Ongoing: Acts 1 (4)

Pray Psalm 47.1-4.

Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!
Shout to God with the voice of triumph!
For the LORD Most High is awesome;
He is a great King over all the earth.
He will subdue the peoples under us,
And the nations under our feet.
He will choose our inheritance for us,
The excellence of Jacob whom He loves.
Selah

Sing Psalm 47.1-4.

(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
O clap your hands, you peoples all; with joy to God your songs intone!
Shout out to Him, and on Him call, He is the mighty, sovereign One!

High is the Lord, O, fear His Name! He rules, a King o’er all the earth.
Nations and peoples He has tamed, the heritage of His holy worth.

Read Acts 1.1-11; meditate on verses 9-11.

Preparation

1. Where was Jesus taken?

2. How did the two men instruct the disciples?

Meditation
One of the most neglected teachings of the entire Bible is the ascension and enthronement of Jesus Christ as King of kings. Luke doesn’t flesh out the details here, not because they’re not important, but because they were well known from the psalms and prophets of the Old Testament. Indeed, the enthronement of Christ provides the unspoken backdrop, overarching agenda, and essential motive force for everything that happens in Acts (and beyond, for that matter).

Jesus ascended in a cloud as the disciples watched. He will return in a cloud as well, and every eye shall see Him. Meanwhile, we might ask, “What in heaven is Jesus doing on earth?” He is building His Church, advancing His Kingdom, upholding the entire creation, gathering and perfecting His chosen ones, keeping Satan bound and defeated, and preparing a place for us to be with Him forever.

And you thought you were busy.

If the book of Acts were a baroque cantata, the ascension and enthronement of Christ would be the harpsichord continuo running consistently under all the other instruments and voices. Take away that harpsichord, and the piece loses its integrity, continuity, consistency, and undergirding energy. Soon enough, we’d all get bored and find something else to listen to. But keep that harpsichord continually in motion, and the whole piece moves gloriously, ineluctably forward.

Is this how you experience the Kingdom and rule of Jesus? Jesus is even now exalted at the Father’s right hand, continuously doing the work only He can do. He is doing an important aspect of that work through those who know, love, and serve Him. So we need to be ready. We need to keep Him always exalted in our minds. And we need to wait on Him and His Word, always making ourselves ready for obedience. What will that require of you today?

Treasure Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“…while they watched…” (Acts 1.9).

The disciples had been allowed to watch Jesus for three years.
They watched Him perform miracles,
they watched Him deal with His earthly parents and siblings,
they watched Him deal with the Pharisees and Sadducees and all forms of hypocrisy,
they watched Him love His enemies,
they watched Him scold His enemies,
they watched Him in the midst of storms,
they watched Him love and teach them,
they watched Him be persecuted,
they watched Him die,
and they saw Him resurrected.
They watched Him teach them during His forty last days on earth, and
they watched Him ascend out of their sight.
They saw everything that had to do with Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension.

We, too, are privy to the same observation of Jesus. We see Him in His Word.

“All of Scripture is about Jesus. In our reading of Scripture, we must not be content to delight in theological ideas or fleeting spiritual insight only. These are good and necessary, but we must, like those ancient Greeks, say to the Spirit… ‘Sir, we would see Jesus.’ (Jn. 12.21)
We would see Him as the Light of the world.
We would see Him on His throne in glory.
We would see Him riding forth, conquering and to conquer.
We would see Him putting His enemies under His feet.
We would be dazzled by His radiance.
We would see Him in all His majesty, brilliance, strength, peace, wisdom, love, holiness, joy, and victory.
We would see Jesus!” (Revision 26 October 2020, T. M. Moore)

We are also called to do something about all we’ve seen.
We are told in Acts 1.11 that He will return. Jesus also said Himself, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory” (Matt. 25.31) And He will begin to judge between the sheep and the goats based on how they lived out what they saw and heard and did. “Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave Me food;
I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry…thirsty…a stranger…naked…sick…in prison?’” (Matt. 25.34-39).

His answer to us in our own Personal Mission Field is, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matt. 25.40).

Will we watch and do? Jesus is waiting to see.

For reflection
1. What makes the ascension of Jesus so important for us as His followers?

2. Why is it so important to focus on Jesus as we live each day for Him?

3. How can you help your fellow believers stay focused on Jesus in all they do?

When we stand gazing and trifling, the thoughts of our Master’s second coming should quicken and awaken us: when we stand gazing and trembling, they should comfort and encourage us. May our expectation of it be steadfast and joyful, giving diligence to be found of him blameless. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Acts 1.6-11

Pray Psalm 47.5-9.
Give praise and thanks to God for Jesus, ascended in glory and ruling at the right hand of the Father. Pray for the coming of His Kingdom, in and through your life, and in all the nations of the earth.

Sing Psalm 47.5-9.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
God has ascended with a shout, the Lord with sound of trumpet bold!
Sing praise to Him, let praise ring out! Let praise through all the world be told!

God is the King of all the earth; sing praise to Him with glorious psalms!
He rules the nations by His worth, and on His throne receives their alms.

Princes of peoples gather all to Abraham and to our God.
Exalt the Lord, and on Him call – the earth is His, so praise our God!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to our summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by clicking here. For more about what Jesus is doing at the right hand of God, order a free copy of our book, What in Heaven Is Jesus Doing on Earth? (click here).

We’re happy to provide a free companion study to our study of the book of Acts. The Ongoing Work of Christ considers the book of Acts thematically. It is suitable for personal or group use, and you may have a free PDF copy of The Ongoing Work of Christ by requesting it from us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

As you work through Scriptorium each day, give thanks to God that He provides the means for us to be able to present this daily study. Pray that we might reach many new readers for Scriptorium, and consider how you might help in this effort by telling your friends about it, sharing a daily study with them, or beginning a study group of your own using our Scriptorium studies.

If you find Scriptorium helpful in your walk with the Lord, please seek the Lord, asking Him whether you should contribute to the support of this daily ministry with your financial gifts. As the Lord leads, you can use the Contribute button at the website to give with a credit card or through PayPal, or you can send your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 360 Zephyr Road, Williston, VT 05495.

Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.
Books by T. M. Moore

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