7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.
8But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Eleven days of 2016 have already disappeared! We look toward the next 355 days, wondering what lies ahead for us. Our speculations must come to rest in promises from God's word like the one we find in the above verses.
These oft-quoted verses were stated by Jesus during one of the most exciting times in his earthly ministry. Just over 40 days earlier, Jesus's friends had watched him die an agonizing death. Joseph of Arimathaea had taken Jesus's broken, bloody and lifeless body from the cross and carefully cleaned and wrapped it, placing it reverently in his own tomb. Just a few days later, their deep mourning was turned to incredible joy as they discovered that Jesus had conquered death! For forty days now, Jesus had been preparing his disciples and friends to carry the gospel throughout the world. Imagine the excitement as they awoke to each new day to find that it wasn't a dream! Jesus was actually alive and physically present with them! If they had doubted his deity before, all doubts had vanished now! Their question in verse 6 must have been asked with breathless anticipation. Surely this was the day that the Jewish world had been waiting for! The Messiah was here, and it was time for this God-man to take over! This would be the dawn of the restoration of the kingdom to Israel!
But as is so often true, God's plan was different than man's limited ideas.
Is it time, Lord?
In verses 7 and 8, Jesus sets their perspectives aright, and ours, too. It is not time for us to know the times and seasons, which the Father has put in his own power. We should not anxiously preoccupy ourselves with predictions of the future. The times and the seasons of history and of the future are held in God's powerful hands. And these believers who were assembled that day were first hand witnesses of that power! That power that had performed miracles, changed lives, and now had given life to a dead and buried Jesus!
Look at what Jesus told them. The knowledge of the future is not for you, but the power is! Frances Bacon said, "Knowledge is power," and there is some truth to that statement. But here in verse 8, we learn that the power of the Holy Spirit supersedes the power of human knowledge! Jesus was about to exit the atmosphere, but the Holy Spirit would then fill believers with the power of God, the power of the resurrection!
And why? To be witnesses! They were given power to GO, not to KNOW! To go throughout the world proclaiming the Gospel!
As we look at our new 2016 calendars, let's determine not to be filled with anxiety over the unknown days ahead. Let's live in the power of our resurrected Lord! Let's make each new day of our lives in 2016 a witness of what His love and grace can do! Let's go when He says go, even when we don't know what the future holds.
He knows! So I will go!