It must have been awesome to see Jesus suddenly start ascending into heaven. And I think it’s perfectly understandable that the disciples were standing slack-jawed looking into the heavens where Jesus disappeared. I probably would have done the same.
But then two angels appeared. And they said,
Men of Galilee…why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.
I think we see two things here. First, the hope that we have. That though this world is a mess and will only get worse, Jesus will return. The day will come when he comes back and makes all things right.
But second, we have work to do until he does come back. I think the angel was implying to the disciples, “Don’t just stand there slack-jawed. Do what Jesus told you to do.”
For the disciples, the first thing they had to do was go back to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit to come. And before we can do any kind of ministry, so do we. Like I said in my last blog, while we can “accomplish” much on our own, it is nothing compared to what we can do when we are filled with his Spirit. It is people filled with God’s Spirit who can turn this world upside down (Acts 17:6 — ESV).
So let us not just look at this world and complain. Let us not just look at the heavens longing for Christ’s return. Instead, let us be filled with his Spirit, doing the things God has called us to do.