In the World–April 28, 2019

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Much of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris was destroyed two weeks ago. The magnificent building, which had withstood 850 years of revolution, peace, and wartime peril, fell victim to fire. French President Emmanuel Macron quickly promised the cathedral would be rebuilt in 5 years. However, architectural experts predicted the project could take as long as 20 years. At this point, no one really knows the time involved, the cost, or even whether the building suffered more damage than can be repaired.


We’re looking at Notre-Dame’s future the way the apostles looked at the future of their faith after Jesus’ death. Someone of great value to them had been destroyed (or so they thought). Even after the resurrection of Jesus, their question to Jesus shows that the apostles still believed that Jesus had an earthly kingdom of the Jews in mind (see Acts 1:6). However, God’s vision for His kingdom was greater than theirs. Their vision would include the Jews, but God’s restored kingdom would be open to people of every ethnicity. The timing and nature of the restoration might be unknown, but the fact of it is certain beyond doubt!

  1. Do you see any parallels between the destruction at Notre-Dame and the dilemma the apostles were facing? Explain.
  2. Does uncertainty over the timing of Jesus’ return trouble you? Why or why not?
  3. In what ways might our view of God’s kingdom be limited (as the apostles’ view was)?

—Charles R. Boatman
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