Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for June 2

Here’s the Explore the Bible Sunday School lesson commentary for June 2, written by Jay T. Robertson, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Mobile.

Explore the Bible Sunday School Lesson for June 2

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By Jay T. Robertson, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Mobile

COMMISSIONED

Acts 1:4–11, 23–26

This quarter we will begin an exciting study in the Book of Acts. We will see the gospel advance from Jerusalem and Judea to Samaria and to the ends of the earth. Acts is the unfolding story of the people of God filled with the Spirit of God engaging in the mission of God.

The Book of Acts teaches the Church that she exists to glorify God by making disciples through the gospel while in community and on mission.

The life-changing reality we learn in this Scripture is that Jesus commissions His followers for Kingdom work. Every Christian has been transformed by the grace of God and is to be a witness of the powerful gospel of Jesus Christ.

Stay focused (4–8)

Old habits die hard. Set minds don’t change overnight. The disciples who were with Jesus in the days between His resurrection and ascension still had old-fashioned ideas.

One of these ideas was that the Kingdom of God was going to be established by political, earthly power. At this time, Israel was occupied by the Romans, and the Jews were looking for a Messiah who would expel the Romans and restore the earthly kingdom of David.

Their eschatology wasn’t biblical. It had been shaped by the popular teaching of Jewish rabbis through the centuries, but it didn’t square with Scripture. Their question in verse 6 reveals they were expecting an immediate restoration of a national kingdom for the Jews. Jesus responded to their question by telling them not to be focusing on when He would set up His kingdom.

It wasn’t their business to worry themselves with the Father’s sovereign timetable. They were to stay focused on being His witnesses.

Jesus didn’t answer the question to their satisfaction, but He did promise they would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses. His response in verse 8 challenged their presuppositions.

They must have been wondering why they would go to Samaria and to the ends of the earth.

Their conception of God’s grace and mercy had to be expanded because God was going to redeem peoples from every tribe and language and people and nation.

With urgency (9–11)

After refocusing the disciples on God’s plan to redeem not just the Jews but peoples around the world, He ascended to the Father in heaven.

As they stood there amazed, two angels told them that this same Jesus was going to come back to earth one day.

Obediently, they returned to Jerusalem to wait for empowerment from the Holy Spirit. Since Jesus was going to return, they began to sense an urgency to be His witnesses, but they waited for strength from on high. They were being commissioned to reach the nations with the gospel.

The Spirit within them would enable them to proclaim the gospel faithfully. We, too, are commissioned to proclaim the good news of Christ to the nations urgently, empowered with strength from on high.

Through prayer (23–26)

While waiting on the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the disciples followed the example of Jesus from Luke 6:12–16 by praying for wisdom as they replaced the fallen Judas Iscariot.

After praying and casting lots, they selected Matthias to be an apostle. We, too, need to be fervent in prayer as we equip others and engage in making disciples for Jesus.