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3After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

The Ascension of Jesus

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas

12 Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. 13When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.


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3-5. showed himself alive—As the author is about to tell us that "the resurrection of the Lord Jesus" was the great burden of apostolic preaching, so the subject is here filly introduced by an allusion to the primary evidence on which that great fact rests, the repeated and undeniable manifestations of Himself in the body to the assembled disciples, who, instead of being predisposed to believe it, had to be overpowered by the resistless evidence of their own senses, and were slow of yielding even to this (Mr 16:14).

after his passion—or, suffering. This primary sense of the word "passion" has fallen into disuse; but it is nobly consecrated in the phraseology of the Church to express the Redeemer's final endurances.

seen of them forty days—This important specification of time occurs here only.

speaking of—rather "speaking."

the things pertaining to the kingdom of God—till now only in germ, but soon to take visible form; the earliest and the latest burden of His teaching on earth.

4. should not depart from Jerusalem—because the Spirit was to glorify the existing economy, by descending on the disciples at its metropolitan seat, and at the next of its great festivals after the ascension of the Church's Head; in order that "out of Zion might go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem" (Isa 2:3; and compare Lu 24:49).

5. ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days henceten days hence, as appears from Le 23:15, 16; but it was expressed thus indefinitely to exercise their faith.

6-8. wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?—Doubtless their carnal views of Messiah's kingdom had by this time been modified, though how far it is impossible to say. But, as they plainly looked for some restoration of the kingdom to Israel, so they are neither rebuked nor contradicted on this point.

7. It is not for you to know the times, &c.—implying not only that this was not the time, but that the question was irrelevant to their present business and future work.

8. receive power—See Lu 24:49.

and ye shall be witnesses unto me … in Jerusalem … in all Judea … and unto the uttermost part of the earthThis order of apostolic preaching and success supplies the proper key to the plan of the Acts, which relates first the progress of the Gospel "in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria" (the first through ninth chapters), and then "unto the uttermost part of the earth" (the tenth through twenty-eighth chapters).

9-11. while they beheld, he was taken up—See on Lu 24:50-53. Lest it should be thought He had disappeared when they were looking in some other direction, and so was only concluded to have gone up to heaven, it is here expressly said that "while they were looking He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight." So Elijah, "If thou see me when I am taken from thee" (2Ki 2:10); "And Elisha saw it" (Ac 1:12). (See on Lu 9:32.)

10. while they looked steadfastly toward heaven—following Him with their eager eyes, in rapt amazement. Not, however, as a mere fact is this recorded, but as a part of that resistless evidence of their senses on which their whole subsequent testimony was to be borne.

two men in white apparel—angels in human form, as in Lu 24:4.

11. Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven, &c.—"as if your now glorified Head were gone from you never to return: He is coming again; not another, but 'this same Jesus'; and 'as ye have seen Him go, in the like manner shall He come'—as personally, as visibly, as gloriously; and let the joyful expectation of this coming swallow up the sorrow of that departure."

Ac 1:12-26. Return of the Eleven to JerusalemProceedings in the Upper Room till Pentecost.

12-14. a sabbath day's journey—about two thousand cubits.

13. went up into an upper room—perhaps the same "large upper room" where with their Lord they had celebrated the last Passover and the first Supper (Lu 22:12).

where abode—not lodged, but had for their place of rendezvous.

Peter, &c.—(See on Mt 10:2-4).

14. continued with one accord—knit by a bond stronger than death.

in prayer and supplication—for the promised baptism, the need of which in their orphan state would be increasingly felt.

and Mary the mother of Jesus—distinguished from the other "women," but "so as to exclude the idea of her having any pre-eminence over the disciples. We find her with the rest in prayer to her glorified Son" [Webster and Wilkinson]. This is the last mention of her in the New Testament. The fable of the Assumption of the Virgin has no foundation even in tradition [Alford].

with his brethren—(See on Joh 7:3).




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