To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days…
Men now-a-days yearn for a repetition of Pentecost without the trouble of preparing for it. The text teaches that that must be preceded by prolonged communion with Jesus.
I. THIS COMMUNION GAVE THE DISCIPLES THE FULL PERSUASION THAT CHRIST WAS THE SON OF GOD. They held such a thought before, but the crucifixion had shaken it. The resurrection however restored it and the forty days intercourse confirmed it. No Pentecost without the mastering conviction that Jesus is the Son of God with power.
II. Along with these great thoughts of Christ's Godhead THE INTERCOURSE BROUGHT THE MOST DELIGHTFUL CONSCIOUSNESS THAT JESUS WAS STILL THEIR BROTHER. He called them by that name, and demonstrated his Brotherhood by many infallible proofs. The realisation of this relationship by love-begetting certitude of Christ's presence is necessary to Pentecost. The Holy Spirit simply gives us power to bear witness to facts of which we are sure.
III. THE CHARACTER OF THIS INTERCOURSE.
1. It was discriminating. Christ dealt with each man as each required Peter, Thomas, John, etc.
2. It was self-discovering. Unsuspected faults were revealed and hearts were moved to self-renunciation.
3. It was educational.
4. It was encouraging. Knowing what we do of the disciples Pentecost would have been an impossibility before the forty days. So now we all need to be dealt with one by one, to know ourselves, to be humbled, taught, and inspired.
IV. THE SUBJECT DWELT UPON. "The kingdom of God" — its spirituality, glory, universality, final triumph. This was the matter which they had by the Spirit's inspiration to preach. Hence they must know about it from the King. Hence Christ must fire our minds with the same thought before the Spirit can fire our hearts to proclaim it.
(J. P. Gledstone.)
Parallel VersesKJV: To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: