The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,…
I. IT WAS A NEW THING AMONG MEN.
1. His miracles. "We have seen strange things to-day."
2. His teaching. "Never man spake as this Man."
3. His character. "Which of you convinceth Me of sin?" This originality presents —
(1) An example for all time.
(2) An argument for the Divine origin of Christianity.
II. IT WAS INTRODUCTORY TO THE WORK OF THE APOSTLES.
1. He prepared them for their work by instruction. He made them to feel that they could have no other Master. They were assured that to learn of Him was to find the truth. This relation continued during His presence, but they had to be prepared for His absence.
2. Accordingly He brought them to a conviction of His abiding supremacy in the Church. Though when with Him they in a degree lived by sight, even then faith was required; and after His departure faith was their chief directive principle. And Low realising was the faith in which they carried on their work (Acts 2:33; Acts 4:10).
III. IT WAS INTRODUCTORY TO THE WORK OF THE CHURCH IN SUCCEEDING AGES. Centuries have rolled by, and Christianity has not fulfilled all the desires of its friends. Yet the name of Jesus has never ceased to be spoken, and His Holy Spirit has wrought by means of the truth however partially known. Of His living ministry we have abundant proofs in buildings, institutions, and saved souls. And provision is made for the perpetual continuance of the work of Jesus. The Gospel history furnishes —
1. An inexhaustible theme.
2. An all-powerful motive.Conclusion: See here —
1. How to understand the history of the Christian Church. It presents the truth of Jesus in incessant contention with error, the world, and Satan, and it points hopefully to the time when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our God, etc.
2. The magnificence of a right influence. The work which Jesus began has never ceased. Some of His followers have begun movements which have continued So bless the world ages after they have gone. If your life is short and sphere narrow you have the opportunity of beginning what may bless many.
3. The dignity of Christian effort. It is an honour to have distinguished associates, how much more to have your name in the long list headed by Jesus!
Parallel VersesKJV: The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach,