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  • JOHN WESLEY'S BIBLE COMMENTARY
    NOTES - ACTS 1

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    Verse 1. The former treatise - In that important season which reached from the resurrection of Christ to his ascension, the former treatise ends, and this begins: this describing the Acts of the Holy Ghost, (by the apostles,) as that does the acts of Jesus Christ. Of all things - In a summary manner: which Jesus began to do - until the day - That is, of all things which Jesus did from the beginning till that day.

    Verse 2. After having given commandment - In the 3rd verse St. Luke expresses in general terms what Christ said to his apostles during those forty days. But in the 4th and following verses he declares what he said on the day of his ascension. He had brought his former account down to that day; and from that day begins the Acts of the Apostles.

    Verse 3. Being seen by them forty days - That is, many times during that space. And speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God - Which was the sum of all his discourses with them before his passion also.

    Verse 4. Wait for the promise of the Father, which ye have heard from me - When he was with them a little before, as it is recorded, Luke xxiv, 49.

    Verse 5. Ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost - And so are all true believers to the end of the world. But the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Ghost also are here promised.

    Verse 6. Dost thou at this time - At the time thou now speakest of? not many days hence? restore the kingdom to Israel? - They still seemed to dream of an outward, temporal kingdom, in which the Jews should have dominion over all nations. It seems they came in a body, having before concerted the design, to ask when this kingdom would come.

    Verse 7. The times or the seasons - Times, in the language of the Scriptures, denote a longer; seasons, a shorter space. Which the Father hath put in his own power - To be revealed when and to whom it pleaseth him.

    Verse 8. But ye shall receive power - and shall be witnesses to me - That is, ye shall be empowered to witness my Gospel, both by your preaching and suffering.

    Verse 12. A Sabbath-day's journey - The Jews generally fix this to two thousand cubits, which is not a mile.

    Verse 13. They went up into the upper room - The upper rooms, so frequently mentioned in Scripture, were chambers in the highest part of the house, set apart by the Jews for private prayer. These, on account of their being so retired and convenient, the apostles now used for all the offices of religion. Matt. x, 2; Mark iii, 14; Luke vi, 13.

    Verse 14. His brethren - His near kinsmen, who for some time did not believe; it seems not till near his death.

    Verse 15. The number of persons together - Who were together in the upper room. were a hundred and twenty - But he had undoubtedly many more in other places; of whom more than five hundred saw him at once after his resurrection, 1 Cor. xv, 6.

    Verse 16. Psalm xli, 9.

    Verse 18. This man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity - That is, a field was purchased with the reward of his iniquity; though very possibly Judas might design the purchase. And falling down on his face - It seems the rope broke before, or as he died.

    Verse 19. In their own tongue - This expression, That is, the field of blood, St. Luke seems to have added to the words of St. Peter, for the use of Theophilus and other readers who did not understand Hebrew.

    Verse 20. His bishopric - That is, his apostleship. Psalm lxix, 25.

    Verse 21. All the time that the Lord Jesus was going in and out - That is, conversing familiarly: over us - as our Master. Psalm cix, 8.

    Verse 22. To be a witness with us of his resurrection - And of the circumstances which preceded and followed it.

    Verse 23. And they appointed two - So far the faithful could go by consulting together, but no further. Therefore here commenced the proper use of the lot, whereby a matter of importance, which cannot be determined by any ordinary method, is committed to the Divine decision.

    Verse 25. Fell - By his transgression - Some time before his death: to go to his own place - That which his crimes had deserved, and which he had chosen for himself, far from the other apostles, in the region of death.

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