Introduction: Have you ever faced a crisis in your life when someone
let you down? You had a certain plan for the future, but then your
plans all changed. Do you remember the turmoil in your mind? You did
not know what to believe and you did not know what the future held.
I think that is where we meet the disciples in this lesson. Let’s
dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

  1. Wrong View

    1. Read Mark 10:35-36. Have you ever had someone ask you,
      “Will you do something for me?” or “Are you free Tuesday
      night?” Do you answer those questions, or instead ask
      your own question: “Why?” (I know those questions are
      almost always trouble, so I don’t answer unless I find out
      what they have in mind. We see that Jesus is equally

    2. Read Mark 10:37-39. Jesus tells them that they do not know
      what they are asking. This is undoubtedly true. What do
      you think that they believed they were asking? (They spoke
      of “glory.” They thought Jesus was going to be King and
      they wanted to have the top places in His kingdom on

    3. Read Acts 1:6-7. Are James and John the only disciples
      thinking that Jesus is going to “restore the kingdom to
      Israel?” (No! Even at this late date, immediately before
      Jesus is about to return to heaven, the disciples still
      have the wrong view of the future.)

    4. Read Acts 1:4-5 and Mark 10:32-34. This is what Jesus said
      just before James and John asked their question and the
      disciples asked their question. How do you explain their
      failure to pay attention? (They should have been focused
      on the coming Holy Spirit or that fact that Jesus just
      said He was about to be killed. Instead, they considered
      what they wanted to happen, and seemingly paid no
      attention to what Jesus actually said.)

  2. Correct View

    1. Read Acts 1:8-9. What future did Jesus have in view for
      the disciples? (They would be witnesses on earth, not

      1. If you were a disciple, how would you react to that
        change in your plans?

      2. What general plan does Jesus set out for witnessing?
        (Their place of witnessing was an increasingly large
        circle, to include the entire world.)

      3. When the disciples asked about restoring the “Kingdom
        to Israel,” do you think they meant just Israel, or
        that Israel would rule the world?

    2. Read Acts 1:10-11. What were the disciples thinking when
      Jesus rose up into heaven?

      1. What were their thoughts when the angels told them
        Jesus was coming back?

    3. Read Luke 24:44-52. This is another look at the time Jesus
      returned to heaven. It reports that the disciples were
      filled with “great joy.” How did that happen, considering
      that just a while before they were confused about the

      1. How did that happen when I’m sure they must have been
        bitterly disappointed not to be rulers on earth? (I’m
        not sure they completely understood, but I suspect
        they thought that if they completed their witnessing
        goals, Jesus would return and set up His Kingdom.
        That gave them joy. It was merely delayed

  3. Real World

    1. Read Acts 1:12-14. If life is going the wrong way, or if
      you are confused about the future, what should you do?
      (Pray! That is what the disciples and Jesus’ closest
      friends and family did.)

    2. Read Acts 1:15-17. Consider the words of Peter, and tell
      me what you think was the subject of the prayers in the
      upstairs room? (Peter talks about the Scripture and
      prophecies. He talks about the Holy Spirit. I think they
      were going over the prophecies about Jesus, and asking for
      the direction of the Holy Spirit. No doubt they wanted to
      know where they went wrong in their future plan. No doubt
      Judas’ failure was a sobering warning about missing the
      mark on God’s plan.)

    3. Read Acts 1:18-20. What direction does the Bible give with
      regard to future leadership? (It says that someone should
      take the place of Judas.)

    4. Read Acts 1:21-22. What qualifications must the
      replacement disciple possess? (Some man who is an eye
      witness to all of Jesus’ ministry, including His

      1. Think about this. Why would this be what they needed
        in a replacement disciple? (This shows they have
        caught the correct vision for the future. They are
        looking for a witness, not a political leader. They
        now understand their future on earth.)

    5. Read Acts 1:23-26. Why does the Holy Spirit have to choose
      between the two men previously selected by the group of

      1. Why not let the Holy Spirit chose from among all 120

      2. Some churches still choose leaders this way. Why
        don’t all churches?

      3. What does this teach us about decision making in our
        life? (We see that in the big picture, we might well
        have it wrong – and God will correct us. But, we
        also see a strong component of human judgment and
        choice. What we see here is a joint project between
        the Holy Spirit and humans.)

    6. Read Acts 13:1-3. Why does the Holy Spirit unilaterally
      make the decision here?

    7. Read Acts 16:6-10. Here we see the Holy Spirit physically
      (it seems) preventing Paul from preaching in certain
      areas. Why not make a joint decision with Paul?

      1. When Acts 16:10 says that Paul and his fellow
        evangelists were “concluding” that God called them to
        preach in Macedonia, what does that say about the
        certainty of their decision? (This seems so much like
        us. We are not sure what to do. We want to do God’s
        will. Some paths we wanted to take are blocked, but
        then we see a sign that we should take a certain
        path. We “conclude,” as best we can, what God wants.
        We don’t have the certainty that we would have with
        divine lots or the Holy Spirit giving a special

    8. What direction do these texts give us when it comes to
      choosing church leaders and making future plans for the
      church? (If we are looking to God, he will direct our
      plans. It is just fine for us, based on prayer and common
      sense, to make plans. But, we need to invite the Holy
      Spirit to either make small or large changes in our plans
      to advance the Kingdom of God.)

    9. Friend, have you been disappointed about the future? Did
      your plans not work out as you thought? Did you pray and
      invite the Holy Spirit to direct your future? If you did,
      then you should start with what you think you should do,
      and look for the Holy Spirit to direct your paths.

  4. Next week: Pentecost.