Nearly a month and a half after the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord of glory, He walked with His disciples to the familiar Mount of Olives, a modest hill opposite the Temple Mount. These forty days had been filled with the King teaching them about the Kingdom; it is no wonder, then, they asked Him thus: “Lord, are You now going to restore the Kingdom?”[1]

Some stop here to criticize the disciples, as if nothing could sway their minds from petty things. Others go farther, suggesting “God doesn’t care about real estate.”[2] Yet every king has a city, and Scripture is very clear that Jerusalem is—literally—the city of King Jesus.[3] His history, intentions and purposes in that city cover Scripture end-to-end. If Zechariah’s prophecy literally meant He’d enter the city on a donkey, then it literally means He’ll return to the city from the same Mount of Olives He ascended from.[4] Our confusion and ignorance surrounding the God of Israel’s plans for Jerusalem is directly related to our confusion and ignorance of the Scriptures themselves.

Jesus neither refuted nor condemned their question posed to Him on that final morning before the Ascension. Instead, His answer pointed to the fact that redemptive history (including the restoration of the Kingdom) involved a long-haul the disciples were unaware of.[5] The men weren’t petty. How unprepared do we think forty days with a resurrected Jesus would leave them?

For sake of Gentile inclusion,[6] the men were told to wait it out. The Helper would come, and when He did, they were to start moving, and go so far to reach the point on this circular globe where one more step would start their journey home. They were to go to the ends of the earth.[7] No Jewish ear that morning would’ve been unfamiliar with the term. The psalmist sung about it. Isaiah spoke at length about it. The LORD Himself brought it up when He confronted Job’s ego.[8] Surely, the international intentions of the Everlasting Covenant would’ve begun to make more sense to these men who’d pledged their allegiance to the Lamb slain to absolve their sins.

Their conversation that morning, closing forty days of Emmaus-road teaching,[9] confirmed the testimony of all the prophets who’d gone before: the Great King has plans for His city. He wasn’t finished then, and He isn’t finished now. Jesus’ farewell to Jerusalem was neither final nor forever;[10] as the fading rays of this aging sun fall over this present evil age, we can be confident His purposes will be filled; not one jot or tittle of the Law will go to waste; no Word will return void.[11] The tumultuous city of the Great King will soon come face-to-face with that Man from Nazareth.[12]







[1]  Acts 1:3, 6
[2]  Burge, G. (2012). Theology of the land in the New Testament. Christ at the Checkpoint, 2012. Retrieved from
[3]  Psalm 2; 48:2; Isaiah 2:1-4; Matthew 5:35; Revelation 6:22
[4]  Zechariah 9:9;14:1-5; Acts 1:11
[5]  Acts 1:7-8
[6]  Genesis 12:3; Isaiah 65:1; Romans 10:19-21
[7]  Psalm 2:8; 48:10; 59:13; 67:7; 72:8; 98:3; 135:7; Isaiah 24:16; 40:28; 41:5, 9; 42:10; 43:6; 45:22; 49:6; 52:10; Acts 1:8
[8]  Job 38:12-13
[9]  Luke 24:13-35
[10] Saphir, A. (1911). Christ and Israel: Lectures on the Jews. London: Morgan and Scott.
[11] Isaiah 55:11; Matthew 5:18
[12] Zechariah 12:10