The Forty Days
Acts 1:3
To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days…


I. HOW CAREFUL OUR SAVIOUR WAS TO HAVE THE FACT OF HIS RESURRECTION CERTIFIED TO HIS DISCIPLES BEYOND THE POSSIBILITY OF DOUBT. Strictly speaking, one meeting was enough. But proofs were multiplied, as His visits were repeated. They grew familiar with His look and aspect; heard Him talk, etc.; and after all this, they could never suppose that a vision had been imposed upon them. The positiveness with which they always spoke on this subject was an important element in their preaching, and it was their Lord's purpose to build them up in a confidence which should never be shaken. Through the "forty days" a work of education was going on the fruits of which were seen in the next forty years.

II. THIS PERIOD WAS NOT ONE OF UNINTERRUPTED INTERCOURSE, but of brief meetings, followed sore-times by days, or possibly weeks, of separation. Very graciously the Lord condescended to His friends, very blessed were these seasons when they came, but there was not the companionship of former days. Now Christ stood forth in His proper character as the Divine Mediator, to whom all power was committed in heaven and earth. The apostles had to learn this truth, and act upon it. Their approaches to the Mercy-seat, while bold, were to be marked with that solemn reverence without which all worship is a mockery.


1. Particular directions given from time to time. They were to tarry at Jerusalem, where, judging from past experience, they would sow their seed as upon a rock, and peril their lives for nought. From that centre light was to radiate over the wide surface of this fallen world.,

2. Special gifts were promised to them for their work and "power from on high."

3. Mistakes and prejudices were corrected.

4. The great truth was enforced, explained, anti illustrated, that their Lord's death was the world's life.Learn —

1. A lesson of patience. Think what was before Him, and how contentedly He waited for it. No hasting to His crown till all was ready. We may well suppose that there was eagerness on the part of the heavenly hosts. Their harps were ready strung, and the song was on their lips, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates," etc. But their King has work to do in this lower world; and the march of triumph must be deferred. Let us then not only put up with our crosses, but wait patiently for the good things to come. What we sow in faith we shall reap one day; and God's harvest-time is the best. We long to see the Church advancing faster in her march of triumph, to see Christ's name more honoured among ourselves. Let us not wish less fervently, but let us wait more humbly. Centuries rolled away before the Son of God was manifested, and many more may come and go before He shall come back again in glory. Ten thousand unconscious agents in different lands are doing His work, and fulfilling His pleasure.

2. To think of Christ as the apostles thought of Him. They knew Him well before as the human Friend, but now as the Divine Redeemer. In both characters may we think of Him as ascended to His throne, and realise His presence with ourselves! You must not so degrade the Saviour as to think of Him only as the world's great Prophet, or as the perfect Pattern; nor in your attempts to exalt Him, lose sight of the truth that He carried His human nature with Him to heaven. "Such an High Priest became us," etc.

(J. Hampden Gurney, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: 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:

WEB: To these he also showed himself alive after he suffered, by many proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days, and speaking about God's Kingdom.

The Epiphanies of the Forty Days
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