1:6 Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority. 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
I love it! Do you remember when Jesus took Peter for a walk on the beach and told him how he was going to die? Peter immediately looked around and pointed at another disciple and said "What about him?!" Do you remember what Jesus said? He basically said "What does that have to do with you? You follow Me!"
In other words the details of another man's journey were none of Peter's business.
Now a few weeks later the disciples want to peer into the future again. This time it's just a ridiculous question. They want to know when Jesus is going to overthrow the Roman occupation and give Israel back to Israel. Jesus never said He would do any such thing but bad theology built of generations of repeating it had convinced the people that this is what the Messiah would do. Now that Jesus has died (which wasn't part of "the plan") and risen again they are assuming He can get back to the "real plan".
Jesus' response is a rebuke to how we would have handled the situation. We would have launched into correcting their bad theology. We would have made sure they knew how wrong they were and why. We would have buried them in proof after proof to ensure they never entertained such a wrong and stupid idea again.
Jesus did no such thing. He didn't even really address the question. He basically said it was none of their business and then drew their attention back to what was their business. See paying attention and staying focused is not only a modern day challenge. Humanity has always tended to drift off into rabbit trails that have little or nothing to do with the task at hand.
Jesus' response is genius. He says "Let the Father worry about those details. Your job right now is to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit. When He comes upon you, you are going to receive power and become witnesses to Me here and all over the world."
He just reined them back in. Brought them back into focus. Put their attention back on their present situation.
How often do we spend time and energy contemplating/worrying about the future and some big event that may or may not come all the while missing out on the present? I feel as Christians we are guilty of this way too much. We are worried about being good enough 'some day' or when the prophecies of Revelation will unfold or when Jesus will come. We wonder why 'the church' isn't growing faster, or why it isn't more effective etc... We have these ideas of how things are supposed to be and we wonder when it's all going to happen. We pray "Jesus are you at this time going to fix me and/or fix the church and/or turn this community/world upside down?"
Do you think Jesus has a different answer for us? I don't. I think He is still saying "Let the Father sweat the big stuff. Just make sure you are doing the things I am asking you to do today. Remember Susie down the street that I asked you to visit? Let's start there..."
"Today if you hear His voice..."