And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:…
Why did not our Saviour show Himself after His resurrection to all the people? Why only to witnesses chosen before of God? Because this was the most effectual means of propagating His religion through the world.
I. Consider what would have been the PROBABLE EFFECT OF A PUBLIC EXHIBITION OF HIS RESURRECTION. Suppose our Saviour had shown Himself as openly as before He suffered crucifixion, preaching in the temple, talking to His disciples, etc., the people would perhaps have shouted hosannas once more, but the impression would soon have passed away; and then only a few of the multitude would have had an opportunity of testing the reality of the fact that He had risen. In all probability they would have denied the miracle.
II. He showed Himself to a few, BECAUSE, HUMANLY SPEAKING, ONLY A FEW COULD BE MADE INSTRUMENTS. No one could become witnesses of the fact of His resurrection who did not know Him intimately before His death. The apostles alone had this knowledge.
III. Every great change is EFFECTED BY THE FEW, AND NOT BY THE MANY. By satisfying the few, the many would be influenced. The few, thoroughly convinced, become convincers of the many. This is always the case. The twelve apostles overturned the powers of darkness, and established the kingdom of righteousness.
(J. H. Newman, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: