Even though Jesus gave His disciples an intensive and dramatic Bible study during the forty days between His resurrection from the dead and His ascension into heaven (see Luke 24 for a partial description, especially verses 25-27, 31-32, and 44-48), these disciples still had much to learn. As He had told them on the eve of His crucifixion, “I have many more things to tell you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). And even the forty-day seminar wasn’t enough time to convey it all.
In Acts 1:6, just before His ascension, the disciples were still curious about the political administration of Israel.
In Acts 1:26, they realized they had to start asking Jesus questions in an entirely different way, given that He was now enthroned in the heavens. This is, however, the first and last recorded incident we have of their resorting to casting lots.
In Acts 10:14, Peter is found still clinging to the notion of dietary restrictions – even though Jesus had previously taught that those restrictions were being made obsolete (Mark 7:19). In Acts 11:1-18, Peter recounts the entire experience that led him to this understanding.
In Acts 15:1-33, the issue was circumcision. Again, the answer was that the life of the spirit transcended the regulations of the flesh (see Romans 8 for an elegant and pithy summary of this principle). The grace of Jesus Christ was a new – and entirely sufficient – expression of the Law of Moses (John 1:17).
Further, you can tell from the epistles that all these lessons were not immediately and comprehensively understood. Questions about circumcision, food, and other Mosaic issues continued to arise (see especially Paul’s letter to the Galatians).
As it says in Proverbs 4:18, “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn that shines brighter and brighter until the full day.” We cannot take all of the Lord’s light at once. It would blind us! That’s why He lets His truth dawn on us. (There’s a reason that we don’t go from the black of midnight to the brilliance of a noon-day sun in the physical realm, and this principle applies to the spiritual.)
If the Lord’s truth is not continually dawning on you, perhaps it is because you have closed yourself off from it. We should be learning every day from the Lord. He wants to teach us more and more about Himself and His ways.
The purpose of this blog is to proclaim Jesus Christ in terms familiar to those who read the Bible, and to help others become more familiar with the Bible. For those unfamiliar with the Bible, see the blog A Nonchurchgoer’s Guide to Jesus and His Kingdom.