Summary: The inerrant Scriptures teach that Holy Spirit has come upon the church, the renewed Israel, to empower the gospelizing of Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the remotest part of the earth.
Outline: The chapter breaks down into three sections.
The Prologue of the Physician
The Promise of Pentecost
The Prophecy Passes
1. The Prologue of the Physician 1:1-3
Acts 1:1 The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.
a. Note that Theophilus (God-lover) is addressed concerning what Jesus began to do. Now he is continuing.
b. See the apologetical force regarding this. The phrase "by many infallible proofs" is ev polloi tekmeriois - Luke is the only NT writer to use this. There is no term for "infallible" in the Greek. TEKMERION is used once in the LXX: 3 Maccabees 3:24 Therefore, fully convinced by these indications that they are ill-disposed toward us in every way, we have taken precautions lest, if a sudden disorder should later arise against us, we should have these impious people behind our backs as traitors and barbarous enemies. The word here, according to Liddell & Scott’s Classical Greek Lexicon say it is "a sure sign or token" from Heroditus, or "a positive proof" in Plato.
c. In Luke’s usage, though, he indicates the nature of the proof: over forty days after his "suffering" (Greek: pascho), he spoke of the kingdom. Let us suppose that you came to church every week over the last five weeks, since March 10, 2002. And for argument’s sake, say that you only saw me in the pulpit. Would you have any reasonable doubt that I was a living person? Jesus appeared to his disciples on at least four separate Lord’s Days and taught them. It may be that he was with them other days, but at least those days.
Gary Habermas of Liberty University debated Antony Flew on the resurrection. In the debate, which is an interesting example of "pure" evidential apologetics, Habermas said four facts are hardly disputed, even by critical scholars: "Jesus’ death due to crucifixion, the subsequent experiences that the disciples were convinced were literal appearances of the risen Jesus, the corresponding transformation of these men, and Paul’s conversion experience which he also believed w as an appearance of the risen Jesus" (p. 25)
d. I would only point out here that Luke goes beyond this kernal of evidential factuality - he says, "He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." Jesus "presented himself’ PARISTEMI - pari,sthmi In Luke’s writing it often has a sense of judicial presentation: For example earlier in Luke 1:
"I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and was sent to speak to you and bring you these glad tidings. AND Luke 2:22 Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord. Acts 4:26 The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.’ Acts 9:41 Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive. Acts 27:24 and he said, `Do not be afraid, Paul; you must stand before Caesar;
e. My conclusion is that Luke strongly indicates that Jesus stood before his disciples, not only the twelve but more than 500 brethren (1Co 15), so that no one could rationally dispute the resurrection in that day. One example of the evidential veracity that John gives is the well-known passage on doubting Thomas. Not much is given about Thomas in the gospels, but his character can be surmised from these glimpses.
HE HAS A BIT OF A SARCASTIC COMMENT IN THE LAZARUS STORY: John 11:16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."
THE WELL KNOWN WORDS ARE TO THOMAS: John 14:5 Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?"
6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
HE IS A MISSOURI KING OF PERSON: John 20:24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe." 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!" 27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing." 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"