He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.”
The disciples were convinced as were their Jewish culture that one day Israel would be the top nation. For the disciples they believed Jesus would bring this about. They then had to go through the topsy-turvy of the Death where things seemed to be at an end and then came the Resurrection. The question on their minds was this: are things back to normal now? Are we still heading for freedom from Roman rule? Are you going to lead us to the top again? Are we going to rule, reign, establish, conquer?
The answer that came wasn’t a YES or NO. In fact it didn’t correct their thinking, it almost encouraged it by simply focusing on knowing the future. Jesus was saying God does not want you to have the crystal ball life. He wants you to live in relationship with Him who will not reveal what’s ahead to you.
So at this point they are still thinking they are heading for the top.
Jesus would correct that in what he says next, but here, they are waiting and even if they don’t know the dates, they are expecting glory here on earth.
There are still some people expecting their glory here on earth. Their promotions. Their accolades. They truly believe God is going to bless them in such a way that they will be top-dog. It’s only time, but it will happen. This is their vision, their dream. To be the best, the most, the biggest, the most sought after, the favourite.
They are like the disciples at this moment: they have not understood the kingdom.
I hope as you consider this today you are quicker off the mark and realise the kingdom of God is not about rising to the top. It is not about how high you climb in life either by praise of men or achievements gained. The kingdom is something quite different.