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Acts 1:9-14 – Cloud travel and how they waited

After Jesus finished teaching the Apostles about the kingdom of God, Luke tells us that he was lifted up and a cloud took him out of their sight. Cloud travel is significant. In the Old Testament only God travelled on the clouds. However, in Daniel 7, Daniel sees a vision. First, he sees four powerful although distorted wild animals. These represent four world empires of men. Then he sees someone “like a son of man” (a person) who approaches the Ancient of Days (God in heaven) and is given authority over every nation, tribe, and tongue. This son of man (contrasted with the wild animals) rules an eternal kingdom and does so seated at God’s right hand. Jesus’ cloud travel points to him being that person who inherits all things.

Two men, although clearly, they are heavenly messengers, announce that Jesus will return in the same way i.e. in the kingdom glory of God.

Jesus had previously told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the pouring out of the Holy Spirit – and so they do. They return to the upper room from the Mount of Olives and with one accord devoting themselves to prayer. It is joyous to see Mary there along with Jesus’ formerly unbelieving brothers.

The announcement of angels, waiting in Jerusalem, references to the Holy Spirit, devotion to prayer – these things remind us of the start of Luke. Simeon and Anna – moved by the Holy Spirit, waiting for the redemption and consolation of Israel, praying, and speaking – well now Jesus has fulfilled their hopes but wait … there is more to come!

The passage encourages us to meditate on who Jesus is? The cloud-travelling, glory of God ruling Lord of all things. Do our lives reflect this? Are we faithful in gathering and devoting ourselves to prayer as the disciples were doing? Do we desire the great work of the Spirit in our lives?