BibleProject | Upside-Down Kingdom / Part 2 - Acts


Luke is the author of one of the earliest accounts about Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension, we call this account, The Gospel of Luke. But did you know that Luke also has a second volume? We know it as the book of Acts. It’s all about what the risen Jesus continues to do and teach through his Holy Spirit in his people after he ascends into heaven. 

Luke begins Acts with a meeting between the disciples and the risen Jesus. For weeks, Jesus continues to teach them about his upside-down Kingdom and the new creation that he launched through his death and resurrection. The disciples want to go and share his teachings, but Jesus tells them to wait until they receive a new kind of power, so they can have all they need to be faithful witnesses to Jesus’ Kingdom. He says their mission will begin in Jerusalem, then move out to Judea and Samaria, and from there out into all the nations.

The main theme and design of the book of Acts flows right out of this opening chapter. This is a story about Jesus leading his people by his Spirit to invite all nations to live in the love and freedom of his Kingdom. The first seven chapters show how the invitation will begin to spread in Jerusalem. The next four chapters map out how the message spreads to the non-Jewish neighboring regions of Judea and Samaria. And from chapter 13 on, Luke tells us how the good news of Jesus’ Kingdom begins to reach all the nations of the world. 

Read, Reflect, and Respond:

  • John the Baptist’s renewal ministry is introduced in Luke’s first volume. Compare John the Baptizer’s words in Luke 3:16-18 with Jesus’ words in Acts 1:4-5. What do you notice?

  • Review Acts 1:6-8. What do the disciples want Jesus to do for their people in Israel? How does Jesus reply? What does he want them to know and do while they wait for God’s timing? What do you want Jesus to do for you and your community, and how does Jesus’ answer to the disciples speak to you today?

  • Centuries before Luke’s account of Jesus’ ascension, the prophet Daniel saw a vision of Israel’s future king. Check out the ancient account of what Daniel saw (see Daniel 7:13-14) and compare it to Luke’s account (see Acts 1:9-11). What do you observe, and how is this significant? 

  • Let your reflections prompt a prayer. Express your gratitude to Jesus. Tell him where you want to see his restoration in your life and community, and ask him for courage to receive the power of his Spirit, so you can join in his restoration plans today.