JESUS SITS AT GOD’S RIGHT HAND
SAUL BECOMES A DISCIPLE
WE HAVE REASON TO REJOICE
Ten days after Jesus ascended heavenward, the outpouring of holy spirit on the day of Pentecost provided evidence that he was, in fact, in heaven. And additional evidence of that was forthcoming. Just before the disciple Stephen was stoned for his faithful witnessing, he exclaimed: “Look! I see the heavens opened up and the Son of man standing at God’s right hand.”—Acts 7:56.
While with his Father in heaven, Jesus would await a specific command foretold in God’s Word. David wrote under inspiration: “Jehovah declared to my Lord [Jesus]: ‘Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies as a stool for your feet.’” When the period of waiting was completed, he would “go subduing in the midst of [his] enemies.” (Psalm 110:1, 2) But what would Jesus do from heaven while awaiting the time to take action against his enemies?
At Pentecost 33 C.E., the Christian congregation came to be. From heaven, Jesus began to rule, or reign, over his spirit-anointed disciples. (Colossians 1:13) He guided them in their preaching and prepared them for their future role. What role? Those proving faithful to death would eventually be resurrected and would serve as associate kings with Jesus in the Kingdom.
An outstanding example of one who would be a future king was Saul, better known by his Roman name Paul. He was a Jew who had long been zealous for God’s Law, but he was so misguided by Jewish religious leaders that he even approved of the stoning of Stephen. Then, “breathing threat and murder against the disciples of the Lord,” Saul headed to Damascus. He was authorized by High Priest Caiaphas to arrest Jesus’ disciples and bring them back to Jerusalem. (Acts 7:58; 9:1) However, while Saul was en route, a bright light flashed around him and he fell to the ground.
“Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” a voice from an invisible source called out. “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” came the reply.—Acts 9:4, 5.
Jesus told Saul to enter Damascus and await further instructions, but he had to be led to the city because the miraculous light had blinded him. In a separate vision, Jesus appeared to Ananias, one of his disciples living in Damascus. Jesus told Ananias to go to a certain address to find Saul. Ananias was apprehensive about doing so, but Jesus assured him: “This man is a chosen vessel to me to bear my name to the nations as well as to kings and the sons of Israel.” Saul recovered his sight, and there in Damascus “he began to preach about Jesus, that this one is the Son of God.”—Acts 9:15, 20.
With Jesus’ support, Paul and other evangelizers carried on the preaching work that Jesus had started. God blessed them with outstanding success. About 25 years after Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus, Paul wrote that the good news had been “preached in all creation under heaven.”—Colossians 1:23.
Years later, Jesus gave his beloved apostle John a series of visions, which are found in the Bible book of Revelation. Through these visions, John, in effect, lived to see Jesus return in Kingdom power. (John 21:22) “By inspiration [John] came to be in the Lord’s day.” (Revelation 1:10) When would that be?
A careful study of Bible prophecy reveals that “the Lord’s day” began in modern times. In 1914, what became known as World War I broke out. And the decades since then have been marked by more wars, plagues, starvation, earthquakes, and other evidences marking a large-scale fulfillment of “the sign” that Jesus gave his apostles about his “presence” and “the end.” (Matthew 24:3, 7, 8, 14) The preaching of the good news of the Kingdom is now being done, not just in the area of the Roman Empire, but globally.
John was inspired to describe what this means: “Now have come to pass the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ.” (Revelation 12:10) Yes, the Kingdom of God in heaven, which Jesus so widely proclaimed, is a reality!
That is wonderful news for all loyal disciples of Jesus. They can take to heart John’s words: “On this account be glad, you heavens and you who reside in them! Woe for the earth and for the sea, because the Devil has come down to you, having great anger, knowing that he has a short period of time.”—Revelation 12:12.
Thus, Jesus is no longer sitting at his Father’s right hand waiting. He is ruling as King, and soon he will eliminate all his enemies. (Hebrews 10:12, 13) What exciting developments then await us?