Introduction: Last week we learned you are ambassadors for
Jesus to declare His praises and share the message of your
reconciliation with God. Now that you have your message,
where do you go? Who do you tell? Does it matter? Let’s
jump into our lesson and find out!
- Read Acts 1:6-8. These words are the last recorded
between Jesus and His disciples. What did the
disciples want? (They wanted Jesus to make them
rulers of Israel and take power away from the
- Would this question be discouraging to you if
you were Jesus?
- What was wrong with the disciples’ question?
(It showed they still had the wrong goal in
- Did Jesus answer the disciples’ question?
- Did He say, “What kind of numbskull
question is that? Haven’t you been
listening to a word I’ve said? And now
I’ve got to go and you still haven’t
- What answer did Jesus give? (He told
them about the Second Coming and
that His Father had set the time for
- Is there a lesson in this for us? (Yes. Our
goal is not to take over the country.
Political power is not our first goal.)
- Did Jesus tell the disciples a way to restore
the kingdom to Israel? Did He directly answer
their question? (Yes. It is in verse 8.)
- What kind of “restoration” do we find in
verse 8? (Being a witness “restores” the
Kingdom of God in preparation for the
Second Coming of Jesus.)
- Let’s concentrate on verse 8 a bit. The
disciples asked Jesus about power that had
certain geographical limits. How did Jesus
respond to that? Did He agree to geographical
- Do you attach any significance to the way
Jesus describes where the disciples will
- Is this an instruction limited to
them, or does this provide
instruction to us? Should we start
in our nation’s capital, work our
way to the boarders of the country,
go next to neighboring countries and
then go to the world?
- Are we just part of the “ends of the
earth” – and thus left to our own
- Is this a comment about starting
small? Would you start smaller by
beginning with your family? Your
hometown? Would that be consistent
with Jesus’ command?
- Do you think Jesus meant for His
disciples to start at the
nation’s capital, or did He just
say the name of the capital
because that was where they were
at the moment?
- Eager Audience
- Let’s say that you start witnessing. You start
small, you start where you are. You have decided
on the “where” for witnessing. Should you have a
plan for “whom?” Or should you just talk to
whomever you see first? Will the Holy Spirit give
you a plan if you ask for one?
- Let’s read some examples. Read Acts 2:4-11. Is
there a plan at work here?
- What is it? (On the face of it the disciples
were witnessing at a large religious gathering
(the feast of Pentecost) of people from all
nations. Pentecost was the last day of the
grain harvest (also called the Feast of
Weeks). ( Deuteronomy 16:9-10, Leviticus 23:15-16.)
- Should we pick large, international
religious gatherings to witness?
- Notice that Acts 2:5 says Jews from every
nation “were staying” in Jerusalem. This does
not seem to be a short visit (the Greek means
to have a fixed or permanent dwelling
according to Barnes’ Notes). Any idea why they
would be staying?
- Read Luke 19:11. This is the tail end of
the Zacchaeus story and it has a very
interesting comment about Jerusalem and
the Messiah. What does it suggest? (That
the people thought it was time for the
Messiah to come.)
- Do you remember all the talk and
speculation about Y2K and the end of the
world? Do you think it was like that in
Jerusalem? (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on
Acts 2:5-11 tells us that the people had
been studying Daniel’s prophecy about the
weeks “and it was then generally thought
that the kingdom of God would immediately
- Is this a plan or is this a plan?
The disciples start witnessing in a
city that has a lot of international
people in it who have come to find
- Do we have a similar opportunity
now? Can we make that opportunity by
teaching the Second Coming is near?
- Class Attack
- Our lesson (Sunday) directs our attention to Acts
6:7 (gospel to priests), Acts 8:26-39 (gospel to
the Secretary of the Treasury of Ethiopia), and
Acts 13:6-12 (gospel to the Roman Proconsul) and
concludes that we are “passing by” the
“intelligent” “refined” class in our witnessing
because our “hook is not baited to catch this
class.” Do you agree?
- When was the last time your church converted
(as oppose to a transfer of membership) a
truly wealthy person?
- Read James 2:2-6. Would James agree with our
lesson that we are not sufficiently “baiting the
hook” for the rich?
- Is it James’ position that we should expect
that the poor would join our church instead of
- Do you think James would agree that we should
“bait the hook” for the rich?
- As you look at these verses, what is James
complaining about? Rich people? (I’m not sure
he is wild about rich people, but his
complaint is about discrimination.)
- Would it be discrimination to try to make
sure the rich get the gospel message too?
- Read Acts 10:25-29. Do you recall Cornelius? Who
was he? ( Acts 10:1 tells he was a centurion
(leader of 100) in the Italian Regiment. This
means he was not a Jew.)
- Was there a problem with Peter going to
- What does this story tell us about to whom we
should witness? (Read Acts 10:34-35.)
- Let’s read on. Read Acts 10:30-33. We have not
read the entire chapter (Acts 10) because I think
you already know it. What is the role of the Holy
Spirit in Peter’s witnessing to Cornelius?
- The Bible has stories about rebels who hit
bottom and turn to God. This is a story about
a man who was seeking God. Should we target
those people for the gospel?
- How would you do that?
- Are there strong “class issues” in the story
of Cornelius? (Yes – and they go both ways!
Cornelius is an important man in his culture.
On the other hand, Jews would look down on
- Is there a common thread between the
statements of James that we read earlier
and the point of the Cornelius story?
(Yes, in spreading the gospel we should
not show favoritism based on race,
culture or cash.)
- Friend, God calls us to witness to others. I think
He calls on us to start where we are, have an
intelligent plan, ask for the Holy Spirit to lead
and try to ensure that all classes hear the
everlasting gospel. Will you join in that effort?
- Next Week: The Action Words of Witnessing.