Acts 1 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Acts 1)
1:1 The 1 former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to a do and teach,

(1) Luke switches over from the history of the Gospel, that is from the history of the sayings and doings of Christ, unto the Acts of the Apostles.
(a) The acts of Jesus are the miracles and deeds which showed his Godhead, and his most perfect holiness, and examples of his doctrine.

1:3 2 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many b infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:

(2) Christ did not immediately ascend into heaven after his resurrection in order to thoroughly prove his resurrection, and with his presence strengthen and encourage his Apostles in the doctrine which they had heard.
(b) He called those things infallible proofs which are otherwise termed necessary: now in that Christ spoke, and walked, and ate, and was felt by many, these are sure signs and proofs that he truly rose again.

1:4 And, being c assembled together with [them], commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, [saith he], ye have heard of me.

(c) They were dispersed here and there, but he gathers them together so that all of them might together be witnesses of his resurrection.

1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized d with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

(d) Either by the Father, or by me: so that either the Father or Christ is set here contrasted with John, as the Holy Spirit is contrasted with water, as things that are comparable to one another.

1:6 3 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time e restore again the kingdom to Israel?

(3) We must fight before we triumph, and we must not search curiously after those things which God has not revealed.
(e) To the old and ancient state.

1:7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the f seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

(f) That is, the proper occasions that provide opportunities for doing matters, which occasions the Lord has appointed to bring things to pass in.

1:9 4 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

(4) After Christ had promised the full power of the Holy Spirit, with whom he would govern his church (even though he would be absent in body), he took up his body from us into heavenly tabernacles to remain there until the latter day of judgment, as the angels witness.

1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up g from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

(g) That is, out of your sight.

1:12 Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath h day's journey.

(h) About two miles.

1:13 5 And when they were i come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode both Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, Philip, and Thomas, Bartholomew, and Matthew, James [the son] of Alphaeus, and Simon Zelotes, and Judas [the brother] of James.

(5) Ecclesiastical assemblies to hear the word, and to make common prayer, were first instituted and kept in private houses by the Apostles.
(i) They went into the house which the Church had chosen at that time to be a gathering place for the whole assembly.

1:14 These all k continued with l one accord in m prayer and supplication, with the n women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his o brethren.

(k) The Greek word signifies an invincible constancy and steadfastness.
(l) It is to good purpose that this agreement is mentioned: for those prayers are most acceptable to God which are made with agreeing minds and wills.
(m) The disciples prayed for the sending of the Holy Spirit, and also to be delivered from present dangers, of which there were many that they were experiencing.
(n) For it was appropriate to have the wives strengthened and encouraged who would afterwards be partakers of the dangers with their husbands.
(o) With his relatives.

1:15 6 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of p names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

(6) Peter is made the spokesman and interpreter of the whole company of the Apostles, either by secret revelation of the Holy Spirit, or by the express judgment of the congregation.
(p) Because men are commonly referred to and enrolled by their names.

1:16 7 Men [and] brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

(7) Peter anticipates the offence that might be taken at the falling away of Judas the betrayer, showing that all things which happened to him were foretold by God.

1:18 Now this man q purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and r falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

(q) Luke did not consider Judas' purpose, but that which followed it, and so we used to say that a man has done himself harm, not that he wanted and intended to, but in respect of that which followed.
(r) The Greek words signify this much, that Judas fell down flat and was torn apart in the middle, with a tremendously great noise.

1:20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his s bishoprick let another take.

(s) His office and ministry: David wrote these words against Doeg the King's herdsman: and these words "shepherd", "sheep", and "flock" are used with reference to the Church office and ministry, so that the Church and the offices are called by these names.

1:21 8 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus t went in and out among us,

(8) The Apostles do not deliberate at all, but first they consult and take guidance from God's word: and again they do nothing that concerns and is incumbent upon the whole body of the congregation, without making the congregation a part of the decision.
(t) This kind of speech signifies as much in the Hebrew language as the exercising of a public and difficult office, when they speak of such as are in any public office; (Deuteronomy 31:2; 1 Chronicles 27:1).

1:22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up u from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

(u) From our company.

1:23 9 And they x appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

(9) The Apostles must be chosen immediately from God: and therefore after praying, Matthias is chose by lot, which is as it were God's own voice.
(x) Openly, and by the voices of the entire company.

1:25 That he may take y part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression z fell, that he might go to his own place.

(y) That he may be a member and partaker of this ministry.
(z) Departed from, or fallen from: and it is a metaphor taken from the word "way": for callings are signified by the name of "ways" with the Hebrews.