Why Did the Disciples Ask if Jesus Was Going to Restore the Kingdom of Israel?

The disciples asked Jesus if he was going to restore the kingdom of Israel because they were expecting him to establish a physical kingdom on earth. This question arose after Jesus’ resurrection, when he appeared to his disciples over a period of forty days and spoke to them about the kingdom of God. Let’s explore this question in more detail.

Context

Before we delve into why the disciples asked this question, let’s first consider the context in which it was asked. The Jewish people had been waiting for a Messiah who would deliver them from oppression and establish a glorious kingdom on earth. They believed that this kingdom would be a physical one, with Jerusalem as its capital, and they expected the Messiah to be a powerful political leader who would overthrow their Roman oppressors.

Expectations

The disciples were no exception to this expectation. They had followed Jesus for three years, witnessing his miracles and listening to his teachings.

They believed that he was the promised Messiah who would restore Israel’s glory and power. However, their understanding of the Messiah’s mission was limited by their cultural and historical context.

Jesus’ Response

When the disciples asked Jesus if he was going to restore the kingdom of Israel, his response was not what they expected: “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority” (Acts 1:7). In other words, Jesus told them that it was not within their knowledge or authority to know when or how God would establish his kingdom.

Instead, Jesus instructed them to wait in Jerusalem until they received power from on high (Acts 1:8). This power came in the form of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, which empowered them to preach the gospel and establish Christ’s spiritual kingdom on earth.

The Spiritual Kingdom

Jesus’ response to the disciples’ question reveals that his mission was not to establish a physical kingdom on earth, but rather a spiritual one. This kingdom would not be limited by geographical boundaries or political power, but would be open to all who believe in him.

As Jesus said in John 18:36, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.”

Conclusion

In conclusion, the disciples asked Jesus if he was going to restore the kingdom of Israel because they were expecting him to establish a physical kingdom on earth. However, Jesus’ response revealed that his mission was much greater than that. He came to establish a spiritual kingdom that would transcend political and cultural boundaries and offer salvation to all who believe in him.