The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,…
The crucifixion had seemed to put an end to Jesus's ministry. But not so: the period of Gospel history was yet forty days from its end. Consider —
I. HOW THEY RESEMBLED PREVIOUS DAYS.
1. In the visible presence of Jesus.
2. In the personal ministry of Jesus. No one else could have done what was required.
3. In the verbal instruction of Jesus. "The things pertaining to the kingdom of God" had been Christ's themes at the commencement (Matthew 4:17; John 3:3), and throughout His public life.
4. The exercise of the authority of Jesus. Long ago He had chosen them, now He gave them commandments. They were to understand that death had not broken His authority.
5. In the mysterious agency of the Holy Ghost (Matthew 3:16; John 3:34; Hebrews 9:14).
II. HOW THEY DIFFERED.
1. He who was now seen had been hidden in the grave. Here was a testimony to the reality of the invisible. Then He could be present with them in thought, though not to sense when He returned again to the unseen.
2. The voice now heard had been silent in death. Surely then His words must have been listened to with the deepest reverence.
3. Strange experiences had increased the fitness of the disciples to receive Christ's instructions. Their misunderstandings had been rectified, and their attachment deepened. When attention has been secured a speaker can say more in a minute than in an hour otherwise.
4. The visible presence of Jesus was not constant. To give His disciples —
(1) Intervals for reflection.
(2) Evidences of His permanent interest in them.
III. THEIR LEADING IMPRESSION. That Jesus was alive. He still lives, and because of that we shall live also.
Parallel VersesKJV: The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,