Bible Verses of the Week

Jesus Ascends to Heaven

3 After [Jesus'] suffering he presented himself alive to [the apostles] by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4 While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; 5 for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” 6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10 While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (NRSV, Acts 1:3–11)

Jesus' eleven remaining apostles still believed the Messiah would drive the occupying Roman forces out of Israel and restore its greatness. They would not understand the truth about Jesus' spiritual kingdom until the Holy Spirit came upon them about ten days later. While Jesus and the apostles were together at the Mount of Olives, Jesus suddenly disappeared into the clouds. While the apostles were still watching in bewilderment, two angels appeared and promised Jesus would return again.

Jesus' mission on earth was completed, and it was time for Him to return to His glory in heaven. His ascension served as proof to His disciples of His divine origin. But God has not forgotten us. Jesus will come again someday to establish a new, perfect world for all the faithful. However, it is pointless to try to guess when that will be (Mark 13:32).