To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days…
Now that Jesus was about to depart, it might reasonably be expected that His parting instructions would be concerning that kingdom which He was to rule as the Invisible Head, and they were to administer as the visible agents.
I. THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IS A KINGDOM. With Christ and His apostles it was never less. Christ did not come as an ecclesiastic to found a new sect, nor as a philosopher to construct a new school of thought, nor as a democratic leader to form a new social club or to draw up a new social programme. He came as a sovereign to establish a new Kingdom of Truth, of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Hence the apostles felt that they had more to do than to secure a place for Christianity side by side with Judaism and Paganism — they claimed universal sovereign supremacy. Hence, again, they had no philosophy to set over against the school of Hillel or the school of Aristotle. True they reasoned, but that was only because the kingdom rested on a rational and not on a military basis, and its subjects were to be won by the force of persuasion and not by the force of arms. And hence lastly the apostles entered into no revolutionary plots, nor asked any man to rise above or turn aside from the secular occupation; but told slave and governor alike to abide in the callings wherein they were called as servants of the Lord Christ. Note
1. The grandeur of this conception. Sects, systems, programmes are all limited, and one after another pass away. Christians are citizens of a commonwealth which transcends space and outlives time. Compared with the dignity of the Christian that of the proudest autocrat is mean. Here all subjects are royal. The divine right of kings, a myth elsewhere, is a reality here. Christ "hath made us kings and priests unto God."
2. The responsibility.
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: