Acts 1:22
Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
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1:15-26 The great thing the apostles were to attest to the world, was, Christ's resurrection; for that was the great proof of his being the Messiah, and the foundation of our hope in him. The apostles were ordained, not to wordly dignity and dominion, but to preach Christ, and the power of his resurrection. An appeal was made to God; Thou, Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, which we do not; and better than they know their own. It is fit that God should choose his own servants; and so far as he, by the disposals of his providence, or the gifts of his Spirit, shows whom he was chosen, or what he has chosen for us, we ought to fall in with his will. Let us own his hand in the determining everything which befalls us, especially in those by which any trust may be committed to us.Beginning from the baptism of John - The words "beginning from" in the original refer to the Lord Jesus. The meaning may be thus expressed, "during all the time in which the Lord Jesus, beginning (his ministry) at the time when he was baptized by John, went in and out among us, until the time when he was taken up," etc. From those who had during that time been the constant companions of the Lord Jesus must one be taken, who would thus be a witness of his whole ministry.

Must one be ordained - It is fit or proper that one should be ordained. The reason of this was, that Jesus had originally chosen the number twelve for this work, and as one of them had fallen, it was proper that the vacancy should be filled by some person equally qualified for the office. The reason why it was proper that he should be taken from the seventy disciples was, that they had been particularly distinguished by Jesus himself, and had been witnesses of most of his public life, Luke 10:1-16. The word "ordained" with us has a fixed and definite signification. It means to set apart to a sacred office with proper forms and solemnities, commonly by the imposition of hands. But this is not, of necessity, the meaning of this passage. The Greek word usually denoting "ordination" is not used here. The expression is literally, "must one be, or become, γενέσθαι genesthai, a witness with us of his resurrection." The expression does not imply that he must be set apart in any particular manner, but simply that one should be designated or appointed for this specific purpose, to be a witness of the resurrection of Christ.

22. Beginning from the baptism of John—by whom our Lord was not only Himself baptized, but first officially announced and introduced to his own disciples.

unto that same day when he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection—How clearly is the primary office of the apostles here expressed: (1) to testify, from personal observation, to the one great fact of "the resurrection of the Lord Jesus"; (2) to show how this glorified His whole previous life, of which they were constant observers, and established His divine claims.

Beginning from the baptism of John; when Christ was baptized by him, and by that consecration began the ministry, and publishing of the gospel (which the history of his immaculate conception did preface to).

A witness with us of his resurrection; all other things being consummated in that, it being the most difficult to be believed; and therefore God was pleased to attest it by so many eye witnesses.

Beginning from the baptism of John,.... Not from the time trial John first administered the ordinance of baptism; for Christ was not so soon made known, or had followers; but from the time of the administration of it by John, to Christ, when he was made known to Israel; and quickly upon this, he called his disciples, and entered on his public ministry: now Peter moves, that one who had been so early a follower of Christ, who had heard his excellent discourses, and seen his miracles, and who had steadfastly and constantly adhered to him, might be chosen in the room of Judas; one whose faith in Christ, love to him, and firmness of mind to abide by him, had been sufficiently tried and proved; who had continued with Christ and his apostles, from the beginning of his ministry, to that time: or as Peter adds,

unto the same day that he was taken up from us; by angels, and received by a cloud, and carried up to heaven; or "he ascended from us", as the Ethiopic version renders it; or "lifted up himself from us", as the Arabic version; for as he raised himself from the dead by his own power, by the same he could raise himself up from earth to heaven; the sense is, to the time of his ascension to heaven, whether by himself, or by the ministry of angels:

must one be ordained; there was a necessity of this, partly on the account of the above prophecy, and partly to keep up the number of the twelve apostles, Christ had thought fit to pitch upon; answering to the twelve tribes of Israel, and to the twelve gates, and twelve foundations of the new Jerusalem: and this choice or ordination was moved to be made, and was made, not by the other eleven apostles, but by the whole company of an hundred and twenty; for these are the persons addressed by the apostle, and to whom he said, as the Arabic version renders it, "one of these men ye must choose": and if the choice and ordination of such an extraordinary officer was made by the whole community, then much more ought the choice and ordination of inferior officers be by them: the end of this choice was,

to be a witness with us of his resurrection; the resurrection of Christ from the dead, which supposes his incarnation and life, and so his obedience, ministry, and miracles in it; and also his sufferings and death, with all the benefits and advantages thereof; and is particularly mentioned, because it not only supposes and includes the above things, but is the principal article, basis, and foundation of the Christian religion; and the sign which Christ gave to the Jews, of the truth of his being the Messiah; and was what the disciples were chosen to be witnesses of; and a principal part of their ministry was to testify it to men: and since this was their work and business, it was necessary that one should be chosen, and joined with them, who had been with them, and with Jesus, from the beginning, to the time of his ascension; and who was an eyewitness of his resurrection, that he might join with the apostles in their testimony.

Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up {u} from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

(u) From our company.

Acts 1:22. ἀρξάμενος, cf. note on Acts 1:1. The word need not be restricted to our Lord’s own baptism, but would include the time of the baptism preached by John, as his baptism and preaching were the announcement of, and a preparation for, the Christ. If St. Mark’s Gospel, as there is every reason to believe, was closely connected with St. Peter, its opening verses give us a similar date for the commencement of the Apostolic testimony; cf. Schmid, Biblische Theologie des N. T., p. 436.—ἕως τῆς ἡμέρας ἧς: according to Wendt and Weiss, the relative is not attracted for , but is to be regarded as a genitive of time, but cf. Leviticus 23:15, Haggai 2:18, Bar 1:15; Winer-Schmiedel, p. 226; Blass, ubi supra, p. 170.—μάρτυρα τῆς ἀναστάσεως. It has been noted as remarkable that St. Peter here lays down experience of matters of fact, not eminence in any subjective grace or quality, as one of the conditions of Apostleship, but it is evident that from the first the testimony of the Apostles was not merely to the facts, but to their spiritual bearing, cf. chap. Acts 5:32 : “On the one side there is the historical witness to the facts, on the other, the internal testimony of personal experience” (Westcott’s St. John, John 15:27), and the appeal to Him “Who knew the hearts,” showed that something more was needed than intellectual competency. Spitta and Jüngst (so Weiss) regard the whole clause ἐν παντὶ χρόνῳἀφʼ ἡμῶν as introduced by a reviser, but on the other hand Hilgenfeld considers the words to be in their right place. He also rebukes Weiss for maintaining that the whole passage, Acts 1:15-26, could not have been composed by the author of the book, who gives no intimation of the number of the Apostles, with whom the Twelve as such play no part, and who finds his hero outside their number. But Hilgenfeld points out that the Twelve have for his “author to Theophilus” a very important place; cf. Acts 2:14; Acts 2:22, Acts 4:33, Acts 5:12; Acts 5:40, Acts 8:1; Acts 8:14, Acts 9:27.

22. to be a witness with us of his resurrection] The Resurrection was the central truth, but to bear testimony that it was truly Jesus who had risen, the witness must have known Him well before His crucifixion.

It is quite in accordance with the character of St Luke’s narrative that although he is careful to relate how the number of the Apostles was made complete, and the Church thus furnished with that same number of leaders which Jesus had chosen from the first, yet when Matthias has been chosen, he tells us no word about his special actions. These were no doubt of the same character as those of the eleven, but the writer’s purpose is only to give typical instances of the Apostolic labours, and to shew how the Gospel was spread abroad exactly as Christ had foretold.

Acts 1:22. Ἀπὸ τοῦ βαπτίσματος Ἰωάννου, from the baptism of John) It is with this point that the history of Jesus Christ in Mark has its actual Beginning. The other evangelists briefly explain the preceding events.—ἓως, up to) The testimony of the Twelve Apostles concerning the Lord Jesus and His resurrection, extend up to the day of His Ascension.—τῆς ἀναστάσεως αὐτοῦ, of His resurrection) He who believes in the resurrection of Christ, believes in all which went before and which followed. As to the resurrection of Christ, there is frequent mention of it in the Sermons and in the first Epistle of Peter. As an apostle is a witness of the resurrection of Christ, so he is a Christian who believes in it. At that time there was just as much need of grace (Divine power), to enable one to believe that the act had been accomplished, as there was to believe that there is salvation in that act so accomplished. Accordingly, they who believed in the former received the whole faith. In our days, whilst no one in the Church calls in question the accomplishment of the act, many stop short at that point, and, notwithstanding their belief in the certainty of the fact, do not thereby attain to the whole faith.—ἓνα, one) For there ought not to be more than Twelve, and therefore both were not to be taken into the apostleship together.

Verse 22. - The day for that same day, A.V.; received for taken, A.V.; of these must one become for must one be ordained to be, A.V. Beginning belongs to the Lord Jesus. He began to go in and out among his apostles from the time that John baptized, and continued to do so till his ascension, the day that he was received up ("taken up" A.V.), as in ver. 11. This definition of the time of our Lord's public ministry exactly agrees with Matthew 4:12-25; Mark 1; Luke 3, 4; John 1:29-51. Must one become a witness, etc. The resurrection of Christ from the dead thus appears to be a cardinal doctrine of the gospel. The whole truth of Christ's mission, the acceptance of his sacrifice, the consequent forgiveness of sins, and all man's hopes of eternal life, turn upon it. All the sermons of the apostles recorded in the Acts and the Epistles also agree with this (see Acts 2, 3, 4; Acts 5:31, 32; Acts 6:56, 59; 10:39-41; 13:30, etc.; Romans 1:4; 1 Corinthians 15:4; 2 Corinthians 1:9, etc.; 1 Peter 1.3; 3:21,22; Revelation 1:5,etc.). The great care taken to secure competent witnesses is very remarkable. A disciple who had recently joined the company might be mistaken; one who had been the daily companion of Jesus Christ for three years and a half, and knew every gesture and every feature of the Master with perfect certainty, could not be mistaken. Acts 1:22Witness (μάτρυρα)

One who shall bear testimony: not a spectator, a mistake often made on Hebrews 12:1. Compare Acts 2:32.

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