Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you.”
They had seen his glory like no one else, and yet they still couldn’t get their earthly troubles out of their minds. They heard him preach as no one had ever preached. They saw him perform miracles like no one else ever had. They even saw him conquer death. And yet, in one of the last moments they had with him, their concern seemed to be their own earthly problem—they wanted to know when Israel might be a great nation again. They had the right Jesus, but their concerns were looking in the wrong direction.
Jesus didn’t leave them looking in the wrong direction. He told them that those earthly concerns belonged to the Father. He reminded them that they would have something better than a restored kingdom, they would have the Holy Spirit. With the Holy Spirit, they would have the gift of faith to take the Good News of Jesus to not just Israel, but to the ends of the earth.
It’s easy for us to have the right Jesus but the wrong direction. This happens when we focus more on what matters to us than what matters to God. This happens when we care more about our own lives than the lives of others. This happens when we put more energy into our lives on earth than we do into our lives in heaven. Like the disciples, we may have the right Jesus, but we focus our lives in the wrong direction.
But by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus still reminds us today what is truly important. He points us heavenward and reminds us of our mission. He helps us to focus our efforts not on what is temporary but on what is eternal.
He gives us the right Jesus and points us in the right direction.
Gracious God, when I look in the wrong direction, gently restore me and remind me of what is truly important, the work you empower me to do. Amen.