It does not seem that Jesus gave a direct answer when the disciples asked him about the Kingdom in Acts 1:6.

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” (ESV)

His response seems much like he avoided the question when he said:

“It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. (ESV)

So, was he avoiding the question? If yes, what is the possible explanation for his action?

  • Telling someone the answer is not for them to know is not the same as not knowing it, and in that sense avoiding it out of ignorance—the bad kind of 'avoid.' – Sola Gratia Oct 2 at 11:14
  • Christ is anything if not consistent (Mark 13:32). – Lucian Oct 4 at 11:30

Jesus at that time did not know the answer to that question as recorded at:-

Matthew 24:36

“Concerning that day and hour nobody knows, neither the angels of the heavens nor the Son, but only the Father."

Jesus had to wait for God to inform him of the time etc. etc.. ethos

No, I do not believe that Jesus was evading the question. I believe that He deliberately did not answer because the disciples were not ready to receive the answer.

Think about the context of Acts 1:6. He has just spent 40 days with His disciples after His resurrection, teaching them about the kingdom of heaven. He was now ready to be received back to the Father and did not have time to address their misunderstanding about the nature of His kingdom.

Remember, He had already told them that His kingdom was not of this world.

John 18:36

Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.

So after all this teaching, the disciples still could not receive the truth that the purpose of Christ’s coming was not to restore the earthly kingdom to Israel, which is why Jesus told them the parable of the nobleman.

Luke 19:11-13

Jesus proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they [i.e., the people in general and the disciples in particular] thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear immediately. Therefore he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return" (emphasis has been added).

Had Jesus been any more explicit, his followers would have had difficulty understanding him.

John 16:12

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.

In other words, Christ knew that the disciples would be slow in letting go of their Old Testament Covenant baggage. Jesus did tell them, however, they would soon have another teacher.

John 16:13

13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

In summary, Jesus was not evading the question. He understood that it would be long time before the disciples would be to fully able understand the NT covenant of grace. The Apostle Peter’s own words in 2 Peter 3 illustrated this fact, admitting that Paul’s teachings were “hard to understand”.

2 Peter 3:16

As also in all his (Paul’s) epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

  • Jesus told them; they just didn't want to hear it. They kept expecting a political land based kingdom after the wealth and glory of Solomon's kingdom. It is very hard to break thru false expectations. See the post The Fig Tree & The Mountain at ShreddingTheVeil.org. Christ did tell them before hand. – Gina Oct 2 at 21:23
  • @ rhetorician Thanks for the edits; I kept most of them. I just changed back the last part as I wanted Peter's statement about Paul's teaching to be left in there. – alb Oct 15 at 22:06

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