Our Lifegroup began meeting again last night after a two week Easter break. We talked about Acts 1 -- the ascension of Jesus. I told the story last night (we're using storying in our group...ask me about it if you're unfamiliar) and, as a result, I noticed the word Kingdom used twice.
Over the 40 days that Jesus was with them after He rose from the dead the Bible says He talked to them about the Kingdom. Then, the disciples turn right around and ask if Jesus was about to institute the earthly, Israelite kingdom they had all been expecting.
It's easy to sit here 2000 years later (and having read the end of the book) and wonder how those guys missed the point. Jesus spent three years plus 40 days trying to shift their thinking...and obviously He still hadn't broken through.
But for me the point isn't so much the apostles who still didn't get it. The point, and the hope, is that just as Jesus was exceedingly patient with those first followers who were slow to grasp the power and reality of the Kingdom, He will be equally patient with me as a follower today going through those identical struggles.
I don't understand His patience. But I'm grateful for it then and now.