“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:6b-8)
Yesterday, we saw that “the kingdom of God” was at the forefront of Jesus’s preaching. On the first Easter Sunday, Jesus proved that he is the prophesied king of that kingdom, thus inaugurating his redeemed creation.
But Jesus didn’t bring the fullness of his kingdom in one fell swoop. He certainly could have, but he didn’t.
This shouldn’t have surprised his disciples. Before his crucifixion, Jesus made clear that his kingdom would come gradually—slowly—like a mustard seed growing into a tree or yeast folding into dough (see Matthew 13:31-33).
How will Jesus’s kingdom come? At least partially through him working through us. In response to his disciples’ question about when the kingdom would come, Jesus issued them a directive to be his “witnesses…to the ends of the earth.”
You see, while Easter declared that Jesus is the rightful king of this world, somebody has to witness to that truth. That is the mission of the Church! King Jesus has given us a mission to be his ambassadors throughout the world, bearing witness to his lordship over every square inch of creation, including our places of work.
To be clear, Jesus is king—present tense (see 1 Corinthians 15:25-26). But his kingship won’t be fully visible until he returns to finish the work of establishing his kingdom (see Revelation 21:5). In the meantime, we are to act as his agents of redemption, working in a way that makes his kingship a little more visible and tangible in our present world.