February 20, 2014
READ: Acts 1:6-11
You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere (v.8).
The 2012 film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit tells the story of a band of dwarves seeking to recapture their lost mountain kingdom from an evil dragon.
As Thorin, the dwarf king, lays out his plan to reclaim the long-lost kingdom, an older dwarf named Balin speaks the following discouraging words: “What are we? Merchants, miners, tinkers, toymakers—hardly the stuff of legend”.
Discouraged Christians can sometimes think similar things. What are we? Salesmen, waitresses, mechanics, college students—hardly the stuff of legend. But is this how we should see ourselves? Is this how God views us?
According to Jesus, we’re His “witnesses”, entrusted with an all-important task. He said to His disciples, “You will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). What is it that we’re to proclaim? That Jesus is the world’s true King (v.6)! He’s alive, at work and establishing His rule on earth as it is in heaven.
What does the rule of Jesus on earth mean today? One thing is certain: Jesus intends to reign through people, as God originally planned. God intended to govern the world through His image bearers (Genesis 1:26-30). And Jesus came to rescue and restore this original, ‘legendary’ calling and vocation.
Thorin’s first challenge was to help his fellow dwarves understand that they were much more than merchants, miners, tinkers and toymakers. They were co-workers with the king. And we, as believers in Jesus, hail Him as King. As His forgiven and restored image bearers, we shouldn’t be simply standing around. Instead we must actively do His kingdom work (Acts 1:11). —Jeff Olson
Read Ephesians 4:12 and note what Paul said about the vital work that church leaders have been called to do.
How is God calling you to be a part of Jesus’ rule on earth as it is in heaven? Read through the gospel accounts with an eye for how Jesus brought heaven to earth.